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Eggplant Lasagna, a lighter version of a favorite

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A lighter take on traditional lasagna, eggplant lasagna is a vegetarian dish substituting lasagna noodles with fresh eggplant, layered with meat sauce and cheese. Eggplant lasagna is easy to make and good for your waist line. This is real comfort food.

I used fresh spaghetti sauce in this recipe but any good sauce is great in this recipe. It serves four people and can be made ahead and stored in the freezer.

INGREDIENTS

1 large fresh eggplant
1 jar fresh tomato sauce* or favorite jar
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
½ lb lean ground beef
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tomato
1 onion

¼ cup fresh parsley
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

PREPARATION

In a skillet, heat olive oil and place ground beef, salt and pepper in pan and sauté. Chop onion, tomato, parsley, garlic and add to pan. Saute for three minutes. Add tomato sauce and heat for another three minutes.

In a separate pan, heat vegetable oil. Peel eggplant and slice into 6-8 medium size slices, depending on size of eggplant. Cut slices in half so they are easier to fry. You can, if you prefer, work with the larger slices.

Lightly fry each slice of eggplant and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Shred mozzarella cheese.

Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with bread crumbs and a ladle of meat sauce. Place a layer of eggplant in the dish; top with a layer of meat sauce and then a layer of mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process until the dish is full. Meat sauce should be your top layer. Finish with a layer of bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Serve with salad and bread.

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