‘Eating Clean on the Cheap’ – Eggplant and Asparagus Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite meals. I do not care for a lot of pasta though, so I like to replace the lasagna noodles with thin strips of eggplant. If you need to sneak these mock noodles by a suspicious eater, peel the eggplant so the purple skin doesn’t give them away. You can also do this with zucchini or summer squash.

Eggplant and Asparagus Lasagna

*On sale this week (2/23-2/29/12) at Publix

  • 1 lb Jeannie-O lean ground turkey*
  • 3 cups Sorrento part-skim ricotta cheese*
  • 2/3 cup Kraft Parmesan cheese*
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Jar Classico Pasta Sauce*
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3/4 lb asparagus, ends trimmed*
  • Pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley

Slice eggplant lengthwise into thin strips. Lay eggplant slices in a strainer and gently sprinkle with salt. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes. Pat dry.

Preheat oven to 350.  Brown ground meat over medium heat on stovetop. Remove from pan.  In the same pan, saute  onion and garlic for5-7 min. or until softened. Turn off heat and add tomato sauce and meat to onion and garlic. In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper to taste. Stir until combined.

In an 8×8 pan, spoon a small amount of the sauce mixture over the bottom to prevent sticking. Lay 3-4 eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Try to keep them flush but not overlapping. Place a layer of asparagus over the eggplant. Spoon half the ricotta mixture over the asparagus, and then one half of the meat sauce over the ricotta. Repeat the layers and end with sprinkling some Parmesan cheese over the final layer of ricotta. Spray with just a bit of olive oil to help it to brown. Bake for 40-45 minutes until bubbling. I like to turn on the broiler for the last 2-3 minutes if it has not browned enough for my liking. Pull out and allow to stand 15-20 minutes so it can set. Garnish with fresh parsley, and then slice and serve.

And, yes, kids like it too!

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