Mexican -Style Eggplant Lasagna
This was a really BIG HIT and I will make it for the whole family at a gathering or for a special occasion. I feel certain they will all like it as much as we did.
Well anyway I picked up the latest issue and a gal named Jancey Smith writes The Cooking corner and she had made Mexican Lasagna and many of the ingredients are the staples of my new diet; meat, beans, and vegetables, cottage cheese and spices. The challenges are the pasta, the cheese, and the sour cream. Low fat cottage cheese will work and I am grilling slices of eggplant to replace the noodles. I am going to compromise and use only half of the cheese and sour cream called for and go with it. After all it is not a perfect world and I am still close to compliance. A side of salad it is dinner!!
1 1/2 pound ground chuck
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 can 16 oz. re fried beans
1 can 15.5 oz. hot chili beans
1 can 14.5 oz. Mexican diced tomatoes
1 jar hot salsa
1 can 4 oz. diced green chilies
1 envelope of taco seasoning ( or I use 2 T. of my own mix)
1 t. cumin
1 1/4 C. pepper jack cheese grated
1 1/4 C. Colby jack cheese grated (omit or reduce quantity to half as desired)
3/4 C. cottage cheese
1 1/4 C. sour cream (reduce to half of the amount if desired)
1 T. cilantro
2 medium eggplants sliced 1//4 " thick, salted and drained for 30 minutes (or 9 lasagna noodles)
Heat grill pan or cast iron skillet to hot. Drizzle vegetable oil over eggplant slices and grill them until browned and softened. Set them aside.
Stir in the beans, tomatoes, salsa, chilies, and spices, (except for cilantro). Set aside.
In a medium bowl mix the shredded cheeses together and set about 1 cup aside in the refrigerator for the topping. Add the cottage cheese to the remaining cheese in the bowl. Mix in 3/4 C. sour cream and the cilantro.
Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with a layer of eggplant, then spread on 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Add another layer of meat sauce and repeat layers ending with meat sauce. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Uncover and spread or dollop sour cream on top and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and let stand 20 minutes before serving. Yield 12 servings.
This recipe is ideal for leftover lunches or serving a second time around as it reheats and freezes well.