Chareva’s Kitchen: Eggplant Lasagna

      78 Comments on Chareva’s Kitchen: Eggplant Lasagna

When Chareva and I were first engaged, she warned me not to marry her for her cooking abilities.  At the time, it was a fair warning – not that I cared.  Considering that it took me 25 years of dating to find someone I wanted to marry, a lack of enthusiasm for cooking wasn’t exactly a deal-breaker for me.

That was then, this is now.  She’s become an excellent cook over the years, despite the restriction of preparing meals without sugars and grains.  Here’s one of my recent favorites from Chareva’s Kitchen:

Eggplant Lasagna

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage
1 large eggplant
12 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 cup parmesan cheese
1 16 oz. bag shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbs. parsley
1 6 oz can of tomato sauce (canned tomato sauces tend not to have added sugar).
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. If you have the prep time, you can coat the eggplant slices with salt and let them sit for an hour to extract any bitter juices, then rinse clean and squeeze dry with paper towels.  If not, skipping this step doesn’t seem to affect the final taste much at all.

Rub both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about an hour in a 325-350 degree oven.

While the eggplant is baking, brown the ground beef and sausage together in a pan. Pour off the extra grease – nothing wrong with eating  fat, mind you, but you don’t want the lasagna to be runny.

Make the white sauce:  In a medium bowl mix together 12 oz ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 2 eggs, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley.

Remove the eggplant from the oven once it has browned on both sides. (You may need to turn the slices halfway through baking).

Build the lasagna layers:  Pour a little olive oil in a casserole dish and spread it around. Then create a layer of eggplant slices, browned meat, white sauce, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Repeat. You can probably create two or three layers, depending on the size of your casserole dish.  (The dish in the picture below is 8 in. x 8 in.  There were enough leftover ingredients to make a second batch in a smaller dish.  Tom ate that second batch himself.)

Bake the lasagna for about an hour at 350 degrees. It’s ready when the top layer of cheese begins to brown. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes so it becomes firm before serving. Makes great leftovers and a very convenient packed lunch for the kids and hubby the next day.

(It’s also awesome cold – Tom)

Share

78 thoughts on “Chareva’s Kitchen: Eggplant Lasagna

  1. Galina L.

    I love eggplant. One of my favorite veggies when cooked. It is great in salads with raw tomatoes and cooked peppers.

    Dave RN gives a good recipe for the liver pate, but I would use sauteed onions instead of raw ones.

    Reply
  2. Craig

    We have a farm-to-table restaurant in town that is generally really good but the most frustrating thing they do is on their Italian night. They offer two types of lasagna — a vegan version that uses eggplant instead of noodles as part of the recipe along with fake soy cheese product and a traditional version made with local pastured beef and real noodles. So close yet so far…

    Ugh. If only they’d make a meat-and-eggplant variety.

    Reply
  3. Peter

    I’m thinking this has been answered before, but is there truth to the idea that the low carb thing can make people irritable? Watching your documentary, it seems like the opposite is true. You were happier.

    Here’s the article I was reading arguing that low carbs make people depressed and angry. What gives?
    http://www.geneva-health.com/sciencehealth/lowcarb.html

    Refined carbs raise serotonin. So does cocaine, but I don’t believe the writer of the article would warn people not to give up cocaine.

    Some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they give up sugars and refined starches, yes. It passes. My mood is consistently higher now than when I was sending my blood sugar on rollercoaster rides by living on a high-carb diet.

    Reply
  4. Peter

    I’m thinking this has been answered before, but is there truth to the idea that the low carb thing can make people irritable? Watching your documentary, it seems like the opposite is true. You were happier.

    Here’s the article I was reading arguing that low carbs make people depressed and angry. What gives?
    http://www.geneva-health.com/sciencehealth/lowcarb.html

    Refined carbs raise serotonin. So does cocaine, but I don’t believe the writer of the article would warn people not to give up cocaine.

    Some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they give up sugars and refined starches, yes. It passes. My mood is consistently higher now than when I was sending my blood sugar on rollercoaster rides by living on a high-carb diet.

    Reply
  5. Jim Butler

    The “lasagna” is sitting on the top of the stove, resting.
    Should be out of lava-stage in about 20mins…will know then if it’s a thumbs up or thumbs down 🙂
    From the smell in the kitchen, I’m going with up so far, but I’ve never been a fan of eggplant.

    Jim

    Reply
  6. Jim Butler

    Ok…jury is in…definite winner. I couldn’t even taste the eggplant, and everyone else loved it.

    Many thanks to Chareva for sharing. I now have a “go to” Italian dish for when you just have to…

    The trick will be to resist making to too many times, so it still satisfies that itch 😉

    Jim

    I’m glad it was a hit.

    Reply
  7. Dee Casey

    If you don’t like eggplant, you can always use Zucchini. If you don’t like either substitute with your favorite veggie or just use bacon. Oh and bacon “pizza” is fabulous. Can’t go wrong with bacon!

    Reply
  8. Jim Butler

    The “lasagna” is sitting on the top of the stove, resting.
    Should be out of lava-stage in about 20mins…will know then if it’s a thumbs up or thumbs down 🙂
    From the smell in the kitchen, I’m going with up so far, but I’ve never been a fan of eggplant.

    Jim

    Reply
  9. Jim Butler

    Ok…jury is in…definite winner. I couldn’t even taste the eggplant, and everyone else loved it.

    Many thanks to Chareva for sharing. I now have a “go to” Italian dish for when you just have to…

    The trick will be to resist making to too many times, so it still satisfies that itch 😉

    Jim

    I’m glad it was a hit.

    Reply
  10. Dee Casey

    If you don’t like eggplant, you can always use Zucchini. If you don’t like either substitute with your favorite veggie or just use bacon. Oh and bacon “pizza” is fabulous. Can’t go wrong with bacon!

    Reply
  11. Keith

    Peter: In addition to what Tom said, I want to point out that at the bottom of the article you link to, it says “Geneva Health & Nutrition is the maker of Levity Mood Elevating Formula”.

    That isn’t proof that the article is biased, but it does show that the writer has an incentive to exaggerate the effects on mood of a low carb diet.

    People differ greatly in their biochemistry and hence in their reactions to various diets. So it could be true that some people could be pushed into a lower mood by a low carb diet. We don’t know enough about the research mentioned in support of that article to know whether it was conducted fairly and ran long enough to determine the long-term effects of the switch to low carb (vs. the well-known short-term effects, which might be all that is actually being reported in that article).

    What we do know is that a lot of people who have switched to low carb diets, report that they feel much better than they did on their former diets. Of course, it could be that the people who feel bad on a low carb diet drop the diet and don’t participate in blog/forum feedback, so that proves only that the low carb diet improves the mood of some people. Careful research that I imagine has not been done would be needed to determine more accurately what part of the general population sees each effect.

    Good points. When some scare stories went around awhile back about low-carb diets making people sad or cranky, they were based on studies in which researchers checked subjects’ moods mere days after starting them on a low-carb diet.

    Reply
  12. Keith

    Peter: In addition to what Tom said, I want to point out that at the bottom of the article you link to, it says “Geneva Health & Nutrition is the maker of Levity Mood Elevating Formula”.

    That isn’t proof that the article is biased, but it does show that the writer has an incentive to exaggerate the effects on mood of a low carb diet.

    People differ greatly in their biochemistry and hence in their reactions to various diets. So it could be true that some people could be pushed into a lower mood by a low carb diet. We don’t know enough about the research mentioned in support of that article to know whether it was conducted fairly and ran long enough to determine the long-term effects of the switch to low carb (vs. the well-known short-term effects, which might be all that is actually being reported in that article).

    What we do know is that a lot of people who have switched to low carb diets, report that they feel much better than they did on their former diets. Of course, it could be that the people who feel bad on a low carb diet drop the diet and don’t participate in blog/forum feedback, so that proves only that the low carb diet improves the mood of some people. Careful research that I imagine has not been done would be needed to determine more accurately what part of the general population sees each effect.

    Good points. When some scare stories went around awhile back about low-carb diets making people sad or cranky, they were based on studies in which researchers checked subjects’ moods mere days after starting them on a low-carb diet.

    Reply
  13. Jim Butler

    a bit off topic (as usual 😉 ) but I’ve been thinking about my wheat intake. We all have our food “treats”…those things we find hardest to do without. For me, I have two categories. 1) Sandwiches, and 2) Chips. I’ve found low carb alternatives to bread that allow me to satisfy my sandwich cravings, that being the flax oat bran pockets that are 4 net grams each. I use them for tuna salad and chicken salad, and lately I’ve been on a BLT kick. For chip cravings, I buy the flax oat bran “lavash” rollups, cut them into triangles, and fry them in either EVO or coconut oil, and dust them with kosher salt while they’re still warm. I keep them in a zip lock, and whenever I want chips and salsa, fresh guac, or chips with a sandwich, they’ve become my “go to” alternative.
    The downside to these substitutions is that while they are pretty low carb, they both contain wheat. I’ve reduced my wheat intake to these two items, so I’d say that overall, I’ve probably cut back my wheat intake about 90%.

    Has anyone discovered other alternatives that are wheat-free?

    Jim

    You can always make your own:

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2012/10/15/too-good-bread-and-almost-paleo-bread/

    Reply
  14. Jim Butler

    a bit off topic (as usual 😉 ) but I’ve been thinking about my wheat intake. We all have our food “treats”…those things we find hardest to do without. For me, I have two categories. 1) Sandwiches, and 2) Chips. I’ve found low carb alternatives to bread that allow me to satisfy my sandwich cravings, that being the flax oat bran pockets that are 4 net grams each. I use them for tuna salad and chicken salad, and lately I’ve been on a BLT kick. For chip cravings, I buy the flax oat bran “lavash” rollups, cut them into triangles, and fry them in either EVO or coconut oil, and dust them with kosher salt while they’re still warm. I keep them in a zip lock, and whenever I want chips and salsa, fresh guac, or chips with a sandwich, they’ve become my “go to” alternative.
    The downside to these substitutions is that while they are pretty low carb, they both contain wheat. I’ve reduced my wheat intake to these two items, so I’d say that overall, I’ve probably cut back my wheat intake about 90%.

    Has anyone discovered other alternatives that are wheat-free?

    Jim

    You can always make your own:

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2012/10/15/too-good-bread-and-almost-paleo-bread/

    Reply
  15. Jim Butler

    I actually tried that when you posted the recipe…may have to give it another shot…didn’t quite do the trick at the time…seemed very custardy/eggy.

    Jim

    The lasagna was custardy? Maybe it needed to cook longer.

    Reply
  16. Jim Butler

    I actually tried that when you posted the recipe…may have to give it another shot…didn’t quite do the trick at the time…seemed very custardy/eggy.

    Jim

    The lasagna was custardy? Maybe it needed to cook longer.

    Reply
  17. Rick

    Looks good, I may have to try this. Although technically your white sauce is just a cheese filling, white sauce being flour, butter and milk. I know I am being that guy. On a side not in regards to the almost paleo bread recipe, it is difficult to find almond butter in a 16oz jar. Most major grocery stores only carry 12oz.

    We found the 16-oz jars at Costco.

    Reply
  18. Rick

    Looks good, I may have to try this. Although technically your white sauce is just a cheese filling, white sauce being flour, butter and milk. I know I am being that guy. On a side not in regards to the almost paleo bread recipe, it is difficult to find almond butter in a 16oz jar. Most major grocery stores only carry 12oz.

    We found the 16-oz jars at Costco.

    Reply
  19. Jim Butler

    No…sorry for not being more clear. The almond butter bread was custardy. The lasagne was delicious.

    It seems like you can find Low Carb bread recipes, and Paleo bread recipes, but I haven’t found any Paleo Low Carb bread recipes.

    The search continues…

    Jim

    Reply
  20. Jim Butler

    No…sorry for not being more clear. The almond butter bread was custardy. The lasagne was delicious.

    It seems like you can find Low Carb bread recipes, and Paleo bread recipes, but I haven’t found any Paleo Low Carb bread recipes.

    The search continues…

    Jim

    Reply
  21. jordan

    Tom,

    Made this tonight with 1lb ground lamb and 1lb italian sweet sausage. We didn’t have cheese so I made the white sauce with a slight modification to the seasonings (added a steak rub, some thyme and another seasoning mix), made it with 4 eggs instead of just 2, used a can of Trader Joe’s coconut cream and sprinkled in some almond flour. I also used almost two cans of TJs tomato sauce (like you said, no added sugars) and sprinkled a dusting of almond flour and flax seed on top. Baked it for about 70 minutes at 350. My wife (who cringed last night when I told her I was going to make it) ate two servings. Thanks for the great ideas!

    Jordan

    Good improvisation, and it obviously turned out well.

    Reply
  22. jordan

    Tom,

    Made this tonight with 1lb ground lamb and 1lb italian sweet sausage. We didn’t have cheese so I made the white sauce with a slight modification to the seasonings (added a steak rub, some thyme and another seasoning mix), made it with 4 eggs instead of just 2, used a can of Trader Joe’s coconut cream and sprinkled in some almond flour. I also used almost two cans of TJs tomato sauce (like you said, no added sugars) and sprinkled a dusting of almond flour and flax seed on top. Baked it for about 70 minutes at 350. My wife (who cringed last night when I told her I was going to make it) ate two servings. Thanks for the great ideas!

    Jordan

    Good improvisation, and it obviously turned out well.

    Reply
  23. Rob Thomas

    Wow. Seriously, what a great dish. I saw this a few weeks ago and made a mental note that I wanted to give it a whirl and it was so good! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  24. Rob Thomas

    Wow. Seriously, what a great dish. I saw this a few weeks ago and made a mental note that I wanted to give it a whirl and it was so good! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  25. pam

    i finally tried it. wow. best lasagna ever!

    but next time i’ll use 2 eggplants. (i love eggplant)

    thanks

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.