Roasted Eggplant Lazagna




I am a Meatless Monday kind of person. 
I first heard of Meatless Monday years ago when I learned that 
Sir Paul McCartney is a vegetarian. 
His initiative is called Meat Free Monday and his argument is compelling. 



He didn't invent the Meatless Monday movement though.
Seems it all began in WWI when the USFDA urged the US to skip meat one day a week to reduce the usage of key staples to aid the war effort.
Seems that wheat was an issue as well . . . early Keto?
The effort was revived in WWII along with the Victory Garden movement as well.


Now I know that I could never go full vegetarian.  
I just don't love vegetables enough.  
It's that mid-west upbringing.  
Wisconsin butter and cheese curds.
Winter pot roasts, spring ham, summer BBQ,
and autumn bratwurst and sour kraut.
But one day a week? 
Si se puede!
Full disclosure, I don't make a full vegetarian meal every Monday evening. 
Sometimes, I just bake a sweet potato and that's din-din. 
Or it is the leftover side dish from Sunday grilled rib-eye.
And Mr. Moonlight?  He doesn't play along at all, often sneaking off to 
In-N-Out for a Double-Double.
Ahem, you know I can see the packaging in the trash, don't you?

So this week I am embracing the cooler weather here and this is on the menu 

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's recipe

I have scaled mine down in size and ingredients.
This will serve four but since it is just us two, I can freeze half and find it at the bottom of the freezer drawer and wonder if it is still safe to eat.

    1 small eggplant, or as I love to say with my rediculous French accent, Aubergine
    Olive Oil
    Dried Oregano or Italian Seasoning
    Kosher salt
    Eight lasagna noodles, I used American Beauty as it was in my pantry
    4 oz fresh Ricotta
    1  large egg, scrambled
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    Freshly ground pepper
    1 jar Rao's Marinara Sauce, the best sauce on the grocery shelf By. Far.
    Mozzarella cheese, measurement of "That Looks Good Enough or TLGE"

Set oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and place on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and brush to evenly coat then add a sprinkle of salt and turn over.  Drizzle, brush, and sprinkle this side too.  Don't you just love the dance, "Drizzle, Brush, & Sprinkle"?  Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until cooked through. Remove to cool and reduce oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl, generous enough to accommodate the lasagna noodles with hot-hot water (from the tap or I heat up enough water in the microwave).  Place noodles one by one into the bowl making sure they don't stick to one another.  Check on them and turn them over as they soften.  You will just pull the noodles one by one as you assemble the lasagna. 
In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and pepper (measured by TLGE.  Mix to combine well.
In the bottom of your lasagna dish, pour enough marinara sauce to lightly cover.  Add half the eggplant, four lasagna noodles (cut to fit), TLGE portion of mozzarella, and then spread a layer of the ricotta/parmesan mix.  Repeat.  Finally, generously sprinkle the top with mozzarella and parmesan.  
Bake for around 60 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  
I serve with a light tossed salad of Trader Joe's Mixed baby Greens and a vinaigrette.
This is a warm and comforting dinner where you will not miss the meat in the sauce.  

I hope to share more of my Meatless Monday Meals throughout the year. 
Old favorites and newly found yums 
that will inspire you to join us as we save the climate one day at a time.

xxoo - holly

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