The classic Italian dish is undeniably delicious—and undeniably not a friend of your waistline. But as with the chicken in Chicken Parm, the purple vegetable isn’t to take the blame. There’s no need to deny yourself of your favorite things in order to look the way that you want to look, and there’s proof of that in this (non) pudding recipe. Say “ciao” to the bad ingredients!
Ingredients (Serves 16):
- 3 large eggplants
- Kosher salt
- Egg whites of 6 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups wheat bran
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb Grass-Fed 90% Lean Ground Beef
- salt and pepper
- 1 (24-oz) jar Rao’s Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce*
- 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 1 cup Organic Valley part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Slice eggplant horizontally into ¼-½ inch thick rounds and lay flat on paper towel. Sprinkle generously on both sides with kosher salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- In a shallow bowl (for dipping), whisk together egg whites.
- Pulverize GG crackers in a blender or food processor until fine crumbs. Place in another shallow dish. Add Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese and mix.
- One at a time, dip each eggplant slice into egg wash and then into Italian seasoning cracker mix and place flat on prepared baking sheets. Once all eggplant slices have been coated and laid on baking sheet place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven, but keep oven on for baking lasagna in step 9.
- While eggplant bakes, prepare meat sauce. Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over high heat. Add diced onion and garlic and cook for five minutes. Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned. Once browned, add Rao’s sauce and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare ricotta mixture by combining ricotta cheese, oregano and basil in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Once eggplant has cooked and sauce and ricotta mixture have been prepared, assemble lasagna. In a 14×9 glass dish, layer meat sauce mixture, followed by baked eggplant, and ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with half mozzarella and half of the Parmesan cheese and repeat, meat sauce, eggplant, ricotta and remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Place lasagna in oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 hour, or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes before serving.
- To reheat, place in oven for 15 minutes at 350°F and serve.
*Why Rao’s sauce? Click here.
[box]THE F-FACTOR DIET NUTRITIONAL CONTENT FOR JOURNALING: 7g carbohydrate, 7g fiber
ACTUAL NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER SERVING (serves 16): 193 calories, 14g protein, 14g carb, 7g fiber, 9g fat[/box]