Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Ricotta Lasagna

Boy, do I have an amazing lasagna recipe for you!

This is sure to please vegetarians and omnivores alike. You could even make it gluten-free if you choose gluten-free lasagna sheets. Wow, how versatile šŸ˜‰

I baked this last weekend and it lasted my husband and me the entire week. I love these kinds of recipes because you make it over the weekend, and you have leftovers for quick lunches or dinners.

It takes a bit of time to prepare on the first day, but it is so worth it. After that, you just need to throw the leftovers in the microwave for about two minutes.

This is actually the THIRD time I’ve made this recipe–obviously a keeper, and a big hit in our household.

I have not tried this, but my sources say…If you want a make-ahead meal, you can follow all the steps as they are listed until you get to the part where you bake the assembled lasagna. Be sure all the components are cooled completely before storing the un-baked lasagna in the refrigerator or freezer. Bring to room temperature before baking, covered in foil, at 325 degrees F, 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

*Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the cherry tomatoes on a large baking sheet along with the thyme, oregano, garlic cloves (still in the skin), two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.

Roast until the tomatoes burst, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Brush the inner sides of the eggplant with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and season the outsides of the eggplant the same way.

Then roast eggplant next to tomatoes until soft, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your eggplant.

While those are in the oven, make sure to soak your lasagna noodles. After about 5 minutes, strain out the water and place the sheets of pasta on paper towels to dry. This keeps them from sticking to each other.

Let the tomatoes cool slightly. Remove the skins from the garlic and pureeĀ them in a food processor with the tomatoes and basil until you reach your desired consistency–I like my sauce just a tiny bit chunky. TransferĀ the sauce to a bowl and clean your food processor as you will need it for the eggplant ricotta mixture next.

When the eggplant has cooled, spoon out the flesh and add it into the food processor along with the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg yolks, salt and pepper. (If you want to add a spicy kick, add some cayenne or red pepper flakes here as well.)

Puree the mixture until smooth and season with more salt and pepper.

Ladle one-third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Layer pasta sheets on top, followed by one-half of the eggplant, more pasta sheets, tomato sauce and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta sheets, followed by the remaining eggplant, more pasta sheets and the remaining tomato sauce. Top the lasagna with the remaining mozzarella.

Bake about 40 minutes, to one hour at 400 degrees F.

Let cool 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

Happy Eating! šŸ™‚

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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Ricotta Lasagna

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 5 pints cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1-2 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 6-9 cloves garlic in skins (depending on how much you like garlic!)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 medium/ large firm eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
  • Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (I like Barilla)
  • 2 pints ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes on a large baking sheet along with the thyme, oregano, garlic cloves (still in the skin), two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until the tomatoes burst, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  3. Brush the inner sides of the eggplant with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and season the outsides of the eggplant the same way. Then roast eggplant next to tomatoes until soft, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your eggplant.
  4. While those are in the oven, make sure to soak your lasagna noodles. After about 5 minutes, strain out the water and place the sheets of pasta on paper towels to dry. This keeps them from sticking to each other.
  5. Let the tomatoes cool slightly. Remove the skins from the garlic and pureeĀ them in a food processor with the tomatoes and basil until you reach your desired consistency–I like my sauce just a tiny bit chunky. TransferĀ the sauce to a bowl and clean your food processor as you will need it for the eggplant ricotta mixture next.
  6. When the eggplant has cooled, spoon out the flesh and add it into the food processor along with the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg yolks, salt and pepper. (If you want to add a spicy kick, add some cayenne or red pepper flakes here as well.) Puree the mixture until smooth and season with more salt and pepper.
  7. To Assemble: Ladle one-third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Layer pasta sheets on top, followed by one-half of the eggplant, more pasta sheets, tomato sauce and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta sheets, followed by the remaining eggplant, more pasta sheets and the remaining tomato sauce. Top the lasagna with the remaining mozzarella.
  8. Bake about 40 minutes, to one hour at 400 degrees F.
  9. Let cool 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

Blackened Chicken Breasts with Avocado

Sometimes chicken is boring and I hate eating the same thing over and over again, so this is sure to spiceĀ up your meal rotation.

I’ve made thisĀ recipe a few times now, and it has become a household favorite, so give it a try. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Blackened Chicken Breasts with Avocado

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1Ā teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • .75 – 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 cutlets at my local store)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, blend yogurt, avocado, lemon juice, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, honey and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Taste and adjust to your liking. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix paprika, cumin, cayenne, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Rub the seasoning on each chicken breast.
  4. Over medium-high heat, cook chicken in a pan coated with a thin layer of olive oil. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side. (depending on the size of your chicken, you may need to adjust the time–fully-cooked is 165 degrees F).
  5. To serve, divide avocado sauce on top of chicken breast.

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Gnocchi with Marsala Cream Sauce {PLUS Giveaway}

Who doesn’t love mushrooms and Marsala? Well that’s exactly what I was craving and this meal fit the bill! Trying to still stay healthy, I added some other veggies that added color and a variety of flavors, and used half and half instead of a full fat heavy cream. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

*Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to learn more about the giveaway I am hosting.

Gnocchi with Marsala Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8 ozĀ Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2-3 clovesĀ garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup sundried tomatoes,Ā julienne cut (drained if using the canned variety. I prefer the dried bag, smoked flavor)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 package of gnocchi (16 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup half and half

Directions:

  1. Coat a medium sized saute pan with olive oil and heat to medium/medium high.
  2. Add mushrooms.
  3. Once the mushrooms begin turning brown, add in the bell pepper andĀ garlic.
  4. When the bell peppers have softened a bit, add sundried tomatoes.
  5. Season with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  6. Once all the liquid has been soaked by the veggies, add MarsalaĀ wine.
  7. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil.
  8. Cook gnocchi according to the package’s directions.
  9. Let the the wine reduce by about half. Then add the half and half.
  10. Once the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn the heat off and add in the cooked gnocchi.
  11. Coat the gnocchi and you’re ready to serve!

Serves 2-3.

Many of you might be here solely for this, so without further ado: Welcome to my first giveaway, where you can win this awesome kitchen scale.

All you needĀ to do isĀ leave a comment suggesting a fun, creative fitness or diet challenge. You have only one week to enter!

*This giveaway is sponsored by SlimKicker–a calorie tracker that turns your diet/fitness goals into a game! You gain points by tracking healthy calories as well as completing challenges (ex: quitting soda for one week). They also have recipes for certainĀ diets such as Dukan Diet. I highly recommend you check them out, and enter this awesome giveaway!

Have a great weekend everyone and stay healthy šŸ™‚