Confession: I love eggplant. Can’t get enough. It’s always been one of my mom’s favorite vegetables, and though I never ate it much as a kid, apparently that preference still got passed down to me somehow — but I’m not complaining!
I was craving some sort of Italian something, so I decided to take what was in my fridge and throw it together to make what ended up being a gorgeous layered eggplant “lasagna” — no gluten, no dairy, no nuts, seeds, or grains. Just vegetables and a little bit of homemade meat sauce, but you can omit the meat for a vegan/vegetarian option. Serious perfection.
Healthy Grain-Free Eggplant Vegetable Lasagna Bake
grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, soy-free, sugar-free, Paleo
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 whole head garlic (~15 cloves), minced
- 1 lb. grass fed ground beef (omit or replace for a vegetarian option)
- 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- olive oil for pan
- 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/2″ thick
- 2-4 giant collard green leaves, stems removed (alternately you can use spinach leaves, kale, or any other kind of greens here. Just be sure you have enough to cover two 9×13″ layers)
- 1 14-oz jar artichoke hearts
- 1/2 lb button mushrooms, sliced
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
1. To make the meat sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic, cooking for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Crumble the ground beef into the pan and cook until slightly browned, about 3 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to low. Pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and herbs, and stir into the ground beef mixture. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. You can also make this in advance and refrigerate it until ready to use.
3. To assemble the lasagna, first preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13″ pan with olive oil.
4. Lightly brush eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on each side. Place in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.
5. Layer collard green leaves (or other greens) over the eggplant slices.
6. Divide the meat sauce mixture in half and spoon over the collard greens.
7. Top with half of the mushroom slices and artichoke hearts.
8. Repeat: eggplant, collard greens, meat sauce, mushrooms & artichoke hearts.
9. Top the final layer with eggplant slices.
10. Bake for 20 minutes, until eggplant is thoroughly cooked. Let cool, slice and enjoy!
This made quite a few servings, and I took the leftovers with me to work for lunch in the three days following. It’s also just as good cold! What’s your favorite way to enjoy eggplant? Let me know below!
This recipe is part of Whole Food Fridays