One of the things that I realized this fall was that I really need to find ways to satisfy cravings without giving myself a "cheat day" or something. There's no cheating in Crazy's World of Fitness. Cheating leads to my ass expanding, because first it only happens at one meal, and then one day, and then the next thing you know you've eaten fast food three days in a row.
But I digress. Let me give you the following AWESOME recipe, that is easy (though somewhat time-consuming) and totally satisfies the lasagna craving.
Dr. Crazy's No-Noodle Lasagna
- 15 oz. lowfat ricotta
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded cheese (the bag of "Italian Cheese" works fine, or you can use some combination of mozzarella, provalone, etc. - whatever you prefer)
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 large-ish yellow squash (not like the size of your head or something, but big enough that you can slice them reasonably. Try to make sure the eggplants are about the same size as each other, and the same for the squash. You can substitute zucchini or use it in addition, too. Whatever.)
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce. Whatever kind you prefer.
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casings (optional, though I really would never make this without it because it adds so much flavor-wise, but I'd never make regular lasagna without sausage either).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. If you are using sausage, cook it until you can crumble it easily. Drain fat on paper towels.
- Slice eggplant into fairly thin strips, lengthwise, so that the eggplant resembles a lasagna noodle in width and breadth. These shouldn't be paper thin, but they should be thin enough that it makes sense to layer them. What matters more than getting them super-duper thinly sliced is to make sure that the slices are uniform so that they cook consistently.
- Repeat step 3, only with the squash.
- Once you've sliced the veggies, mix ricotta, eggs, and salt/pepper with a wire whisk until the consistency is creamy and easy to spread. This is what binds the layers together and makes lasagna taste like lasagna.
- Now it's time to assemble. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the casserole. Now, layer eggplant strips just as you would layer lasagna noodles. Spread a layer of ricotta on top of that, then sauce, then sausage, then mixed cheeses. Repeat until you've used up your ingredients, alternating eggplant with squash.
- Stick it in the oven for 45 minutes, then increase the temperature to 425 degrees for 15 minutes. This is a good time to throw some garlic bread in the oven if you're going to have that.
- Remove from the oven, and, using a turkey baster, remove excess liquid. (Vegetables get a little liquidy, but as long as they don't sit in a pool of their juices the "lasagna" won't get soggy.) I removed about 1 cup or so. Put individual servings on plates with slotted spatula. You will notice it actually holds together better when you remove the first slice than normal lasagna does, even if you don't wait for it to "set." Congratulate yourself for being ridiculously virtuous and yet inventive enough to satisfy your craving for lasagna-tasting goodness.