I love having friends over. Not only to socialise and catch up but because it gives me a chance to try another recipe from my massive and ever-growing ‘to try’ list. I make new recipes for the two of us all the time but having a few people means you can go all out. This recipe isn’t really an all-out example but it makes a great light lunch or dinner and is pretty simple to make. It’s a Michelle Bridges recipe so it’s also low in calories and packed full of vegetable goodness.
There are lots of veges in this lasagna. You’ll definitely be getting your daily dose.
I met with a few little disasters during this recipe unfortunately. The first step is to steam all the vegetables individually until they soften. I don’t have a steamer big enough for everything so I came up with the genius idea of placing my plastic colander over a pot of boiling water and covering it. I have done it several times with success but never over the big burner. After a few minutes there was a chemical smell lingering in the kitchen which I discovered was the poor colander melting. After reading an article on the dangers of plastic I had to throw all the eggplant out. Better to leave it out than poison us.
I steamed the rest of the vegetables in my rice cooker in the microwave. When the spinach is soft, chop it up roughly. I would probably use baby spinach for this next time for two reasons. Firstly, you don’t have to chop it up and less effort = happy Claire. Secondly, my green grocer only sold big spinach in bundles of 3 bunches which was way more than I needed or cared to consume.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, herbs, half the parmesan, garlic and spinach until they are reasonably smooth.
You can use a real lasagna dish but I took the lazy route because I had a tin dish in the cupboard. Make sure you use the proper size though. I didn’t really pay attention to the measurement and mine was way too small. It was actually a good thing I couldn’t use the eggplant as it wouldn’t have fitted. Spread the bottom of the dish with 1/4 of the ricotta mixture.
Top the ricotta mixture with lasagna sheets and then cover the lasagna sheet with half of the vegetables then cover that with another lasagna sheet and another 1/4 of the ricotta mixture and the rest of the vegetables. Finish it off with the last lasagna sheet and the rest of the ricotta mixture. I used dry sheets for mine but the recipe used fresh sheets. I think fresh would probably be better.
Gently pour the stock over the dish. I poured it down the side of a corner so it didn’t wash away the ricotta. Sprinkle the lasagna with parmesan.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 190C fan-forced oven for 30 minutes or until a knife easily goes through the lasagna to the base (don’t pierce the bottom if you’re using a foil tin!).
I sprinkled a little more cheese on the lasagna then returned it to the oven, with the grill turned on, for another 5 minutes until it was brown on top.
Serve the lasagna with whatever you like. I was very exciting (note the sarcasm) and served it with some fresh rocket leaves. Enjoy!
Zucchini and eggplant lasagna – low calorie recipe recipe from Michelle Bridges’ ‘Crunch time cookbook’
serves 6, 229 calories per serve
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 3cm cubes
- 3 medium zucchini, cut into large cubes
- 1 bunch of English Spinach, trimmed (could also use baby spinach)
- 2 cups low-fat ricotta
- 1 cup, freshly chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil (you could use dried herbs just use about 1tbsp to a cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used garlic from a jar)
- 50g grated parmesan
- 100g mushrooms
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large fresh lasagna sheets (I used 6 dried sheets)
- 1/2 cup salt-reduced chicken stock
- salad leaves to serve
Preheat the oven to 190C fan-forced.
Lightly grease a 32cm x 20cm baking dish or use a disposable foil dish.
Steam the eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach individually until they are all tender. This is easiest in the microwave.
Chop the spinach up roughly.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, herbs, spinach, garlic and half of the grated parmesan and season it to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread 1/4 of this mixture in the bottom of the baking dish then place a lasagna sheet over the top of it.
Cover the lasagna sheet with half of the vegetables then cover that with another lasagna sheet and another 1/4 of the ricotta mixture and the rest of the vegetables. Finish it off with the last lasagna sheet and the rest of the ricotta mixture.
Pour the stock over the top of the lasagna and sprinkle it with the rest of the parmesan cheese.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake it for 30 minutes or until a knife goes through the lasagna easily.
Sprinkle the lasagna with a little extra cheese if you wish and place the uncovered lasagna under the grill for a few minutes until the top browns.
Serve the lasagna with salad leaves.