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PROTEIN PACKED EGGPLANT LASAGNA


PROTEIN PACKED EGGPLANT LASAGNA

Low carb, high protein (with sneaky added cottage cheese), and perfectly roasted eggplant. This dish really checks all the boxes for me and my family.


Ingredients:

1 large (or 2 medium) eggplants, sliced lengthwise (I used 1/2 inch setting on my mandolin)

½ cup ricotta cheese, full fat

½ cup cottage cheese, I used @goodculture low fat

¼ cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

1 tsp of red pepper flakes, more or less depending on heat preference

½ tbsp lemon zest, approx. half of a lemon

Couple tbsp of olive oil

1 lb beef, could substitute meat of choice

1 tbsp garlic powder

1(24 oz) can marinara of choice, I used @raos

1 cup chopped spinach, optional

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 tbsp chopped basil

½ tbsp chopped parsley


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a wire rack on a large sheet pan and spray with olive oil spray.

2. Slice the eggplant thin. Arrange eggplant on wire rack and lightly salt. Set aside to release moisture.

3. Make the ricotta mixture. Add ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt/pepper, red pepper flakes (can skip if giving to kids), and lemon zest to a blender. Blend until creamy. Put in fridge to chill while you roast eggplant and make meat sauce.

4. Blot eggplant with paper towels to remove any moisture. Brush with olive oil on both sides and roast in oven for approx. 20 min or until pliable and golden, flipping over halfway through.

5. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large sauté pan until hot. Add beef, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Brown beef until cooked through. Add marinara. Stir. Add chopped spinach. Cook until wilted. Finally, add the balsamic vinegar and stir until well incorporated. Let sauce come to a boil, then reduce on low for 10-15 min.

6. Next, remove eggplant from the oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 casserole dish with olive oil spray. Start to assemble lasagna as follows: 1/3 of meat sauce, 1/3 of eggplant, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of shredded mozzarella. Repeat process until you finish with shredded mozzarella.

7. Bake lasagna at 350 for approx. 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped basil and parsley.

8. Let rest 10 minutes then serve.

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