As you can tell, the hubs and I really like Italian food. It’s been showing up on the blog and on our dinner table quite a bit recently. Since Italian is often relatively heavy (at least the more Americanized version is) I’ve been trying to lighten us some of these and up the veggie content too. One way I decided to do that was making an eggplant casserole (eggplant – lots of veggies!) and sub in a little plain greek yogurt for some of the ricotta (yes, I know I have something of a greek yogurt fixation… it’s just tasty and super healthy, I have trouble resisting it).
Now, to be honest this is still not a particularly light dish. Even subbing in lower fat options, it’s still chock full of cheese and pretty high in fat. Plus, if I’m being honest we served this over noodles, which kind of negates the benefit of doing eggplant in place of noodles. But, all that said, it was seriously delicious and the hubs and I both enjoyed it.
Italian Eggplant Casserole
1 Tbs olive oil
2/3 sweet onion, minced
2/3 box of tomato sauce
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 c fresh basil
¼ c roasted garlic
1 c shredded parmesan
1 c low fat ricotta
5 oz plain greek yogurt
1 c mozzarella
1 Eggplant, thinly sliced
Pre-heat oven to 400ᵒ.
In a medium sauce pan, sauté onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and lemon juice and simmer while you assemble the other parts.
In a food processor, pulse the basil, garlic and ricotta until smooth. Remove from food processor and fold in the parmesan.
Grab your casserole dish and spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce across the bottom (to keep things from sticking). Lay down a layer of the sliced eggplant, spread some of the ricotta mixture, top with mozzarella and some of the tomato sauce. Continue layering, gently pressing down the eggplant layer as you go, to make sure everything is packed down. Top the finished casserole with tomato sauce and mozzarella.
Bake for 55-65 minutes (if you’re anything like me, then your casserole dish is almost overflowing, so put some foil under the dish when you bake to catch drips!).
Serve as a stand-alone or over pasta.
5 Servings: 1 serving (no pasta, estimated) – 341 Calories, 16g Fat, 26g Carbs, 7g Fiber, 24g Protein