thoroughly

No Noodles Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna | thumb in plum

Pick your battles.

That's something my Mom tells me all the time. Today was full of errands, little disappointments, and a lot of crazy mess to clean up. Today felt like a battle for me. So when it came to dinner I really didn't feel like dawning the armor to battle the prep work, dirty dishes, and kitchen heat. I looked at my tiny-arse kitchen and decided not today. Today I needed simple. Today I needed something easy to throw together.

May I make a suggestion to you if you have a sink that's unhindered by dishes? After slicing and salting your eggplant keep them in a strainer in the sink, that way you don't have to wash an extra bowl (woohoo!). Ultimately you end up rinsing your knife, cutting board, and strainer and only having to wash your mixing spoon and one bowl. (Sweetly suggest that your husband, or whoever else participated in eating the meal, wash the pan and plates)

We ate it up, thoroughly enjoying it. It's not a traditional lasagna. It's not even your traditional layers of meat and cheese because today was about reducing the work load. Cooking the meat before layering? Get the math out! Dump it in, slather it on, and layer, baby, layer.

No Noodles Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna | thumb in plum

Sans Noodles Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna
Ingredients

  • 3 long eggplant
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 24 oz jar tomato sauce
  • 4 lbs fresh ground lean beef
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan + a sprinkling for the top

Directions
  1. Slice the eggplant into thin rounds. Salt generously and set aside for 20 minutes (this will remove the bitter flavor). After 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly and drain
  2. Preheat oven to 400F
  3. Cut the zucchini in half and slice thin strips length-wise. 
  4. In a large bowl mix the ground beef, celery and garlic salts, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, and tomato sauce together. 
  5. In a 9 x 13" baking dish make your layers. Lay a layer of zucchini first, spread a layer of the meat and cheese mixture evenly over the top of it, then lay a layer of eggplant over that. Continue alternating layers, ending with a layer of either zucchini or eggplant, until there's no room left in the pan or you've run out of ingredients (if you have extra meat you can store this in your leftover tomato sauce jar to use later). Sprinkle some parm over the last layer
  6. Cover with foil and bake in the oven till the meat is cooked (about 20 mintues). Take the foil off and bake another 10 minutes, till vegetables are tender
Tender vegetables and savory meat means happy bellies. Easy prep and clean? Means a happier cook.




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