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Meatless Eggplant Lasagna

The American Institute of Cancer Research recommends limiting red meat intake, which has been linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer. This practical recipe is a healthier meatless version of a traditional favorite. Eggplant is a great seasonal choice, a good source of fiber and rich in antioxidants.  Plus, the recipe also contains such other healthy items as garlic, spinach, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.

Eggplant LasagnaIngredients:

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 (25 oz.) jars low-sodium tomato sauce
18 sheets no-bake whole-wheat lasagna noodles (or make the recipe gluten free-with gluten-free noodles)
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained (or use fresh for a healthier recipe)
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese

(As always, for the very healthiest recipe use organic content as much as possible.)

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté 1 clove minced garlic until light golden brown. Add eggplant and oregano and stir. Cover and cook until eggplant is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Meanwhile mix ricotta with Parmesan and remaining garlic. Set aside.

4. Cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish with 2 cups of sauce. Cover sauce with layer of uncooked noodles. Top with thin layer of sauce. Add cooked eggplant and another thin layer of sauce. Distribute all the ricotta cheese evenly. Add another layer of noodle, followed by a thin layer of sauce. Add all the spinach and another thin layer of sauce. Add another layer of noodles and sauce.

5. Cover with lid or wax paper and then with foil. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Then uncover, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and continue baking, about 15 minutes.

Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 280 calories, 6 g. total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 41 g. carbohydrate, 16 g. protein, 8 g. dietary fiber, 170 mg. sodium

Original recipe (modified) and image source: aicr.org

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