Eggplant Lasagna

This recipe has a secret ingredient: tofu. Substitute half the ricotta cheese typically used in lasagna with soft tofu. It's low in fat, high in protein, iron-rich and affordable. You can also blend it into soups or stews for a creamy, velvety texture.

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 35 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
 
YIELD: 10 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise 1/3-inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 7 ounces soft tofu, drained
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray three baking sheets with cooking spray.

Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on the prepared sheet trays. Brush the eggplant on both sides with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until soft, about 25 minutes.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the turkey and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the basil.

Combine the ricotta, tofu, egg and 1/4 cup Parmesan in a medium bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all the liquid you can. Add to the bowl and mix until incorporated.

Ladle one-quarter of the sauce into the bottom of a 9-x-13-inch baking dish.

Place 6 pieces of eggplant on top of the sauce. It's okay if they overlap. Spread half of the tofu-cheese mixture over the eggplant and top with another one-quarter of the sauce. Sprinkle with one-third of the mozzarella. Repeat the layers. Add a final layer of sauce and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan. Bake until bubbling and golden on top, about 35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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