Thursday, August 9, 2012

Low-Carb Roasted Vegetable "Lasagna"

So good you won't even miss the noodles!
Surprise, surprise, the inspiration for this recipe came from another Pinterest post. (No joke, I get the urge to make something new EVERY time I visit that site!) Anyhoo, I was all geared up to try the spaghetti squash idea—and then Trader Joe’s didn’t have any left. So, I bought some regular yellow squash and an eggplant and came up with something a little different.

I realize this is the second vegetarian entrĂ©e I’ve posted this week. My apologies to the carnivores for that. But with the abundance of delicious summer veggies out there right now, I just can’t help myself. If you want to add meat, see the “swap”tions section below.
Low-Carb Roasted Vegetable "Lasagna"
Serves 6
1 medium eggplant
2 medium-to-large yellow squash
3 medium zucchini
Olive oil spray
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic powder (optional but suggested)
1 25-ounce jar pasta sauce (I used Trader Joes’ Organic Tomato Basil Marinara)
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Slice eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini into ¼-inch rounds. Cover two baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil. Place vegetables on baking sheets in a single layer, lightly spritz with olive oil, and season with freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder (if desired).

Raw veggies, seasoned and ready for the oven.
Place vegetables in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. (If you have to put the baking sheets on different oven racks, rotate them at the halfway mark so that the veggies cook evenly.) Remove vegetables from oven, reduce temperature to 350 degrees, and allow vegetables to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Drizzle a few spoonfuls of pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish. Place roasted eggplant in the baking dish. (It’s okay if slices overlap.) Break up 1/3 cup of the ricotta cheese and distribute it evenly over the top of the eggplant in “chunks.” Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta and eggplant. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the cheese and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. (This completes the first “layer.”)

Completed first layer.
Repeat the layering process with zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, and seasoning.

Add the yellow squash and top with remaining ricotta and sauce. Spread the rest of the mozzarella cheese over the top, sprinkle with Italian seasonings, and bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese on top is bubbly and browned.
Mushrooms aren’t my personal favorite but if you like them, they would hold up well in this dish. If you want to add meat, lean ground turkey or chicken would also be tasty. Just brown the meat in a skillet with a little garlic or onion powder and then incorporate it into your layering process.

This pasta-less dish turned out great. I’m not gonna lie, lasagna without the noodles sounded a little suspect at first. But honestly, the eggplant and other veggies give it a great texture and it’s so cheesy and flavorful that you really don’t miss the pasta. Well, not that much…I asked the hubs to rate this dish on a scale of 1-10. He gave it an 8. When I asked him what would have made it a 10 he said, “noodles.” Ugh. So much for low-carb!
If you want to keep it vegetarian but add the pasta, I would suggest using whole wheat lasagna noodles. However, as written, this recipe is truly delicious. I heated up leftovers for lunch the next day and it was every bit as tasty. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I love hearing your feedback!

Until next time,

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