Thursday, April 10, 2014

Curried Eggplant and Lentil "Lasagna"

I'm trying to eat healthier...which may seem incongruent with my recent behavior, since last weekend I just made a beef and bacon pie and ate a lottt of it. But that's because I let myself cheat a little (maybe a lot...) on weekends. Recently, I'm trying to eat more at home and less at Wendy's between class, and also eat less carbs and more whole foods. 


I found this recipe for a lasagna that substitutes noodles for eggplant. I was inspired by something I saw on Instragram with very vague instructions, so I took many liberties with modified it. The original version was supposed to be vegan and grain-free, but I'm a carnivore and needed to throw some ground beef in there. It came out surprisingly delicious, as I've been eating it for the past couple of days and I'm not sick of it yet. Give it a try :)


Directions
  1. "Noodles": Slice one large eggplant thinly and steam - I used the steaming rack in my rice cooker.
  2. Lentils: Boil a handful in water according to package directions and drain. 
  3. Sauce: Add a bit of oil or butter to your pan, and stir fry 1 diced onion with 6-7 cloves of chopped garlic until lightly browned. Add 1/2 lb ground beef, break up the pieces, and cook until browned. Add your drained lentils, 1/2 a jar of marinara sauce, a dash of oregano, a dash of curry powder, and salt+pepper to taste. Add a little bit of water or beef broth to thin the sauce a bit.
  4. Assemble: Cover the bottom of your baking dish with sauce. Layer on eggplant, sauce, and cheese (I used Monterey Jack) repeatedly, stopping your last layer on top with just eggplant and sauce (without cheese).
  5. Bake for 30 min at 350F, add more cheese on top (I used romano, you can stick with your original or use parmesan) and bake for an additional 10-15 min. For pizzazz, you can even broil the the top for a little until the cheese is golden but my oven isn't that fancy :(
Modifications - my version is simply grain-free, but! If you feel like you wanna be even healthier, here's some tips:
  • Vegetarian modification: cut out ground beef - the original instructions was for a vegetarian grain-free lasagna, but I couldn't resist. Meat so good...
  • Vegan modification: cut out ground beef and use soy cheese
  • Primal modification: cut out lentils