One of my favourite things to do is experiment with food. There are so many ways to transform a recipe with only a few tweaks and changes. I’ve been doing this for years, but it’s become even more of an occurrence since I cut out dairy and gluten. I wanted to continue to eat the foods I love, minus the ingredients that didn’t agree with me.
Lasagna and eggplant Parmesan have always been two of my favourite foods, but with new dietary restrictions came the inevitable moment when I realized that the cheese in both of these dishes was no longer my friend. That’s when I combined the two concepts into what I call eggplant lasagna. To be clear, I know I didn’t invent this concept, but this is my version of this creation. I like to load mine up with sautéed veggies to get an extra kick of nutrients, and I even get creative to the point where I’ll toss olives or capers in with the sauce.
This recipe is my basic go-to, but you can get creative with it! There are so many fun ways to make this recipe your own.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 jar of your favourite marinara sauce
- 2 cups of chopped spinach
- 1 container of white mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup shredded vegan cheese (I use Nafsika’s garden mozzarella shreds) or regular mozzarella
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1-2 tsp. olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Optional – 1/8 tsp. chili flakes
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut off the stem end of your eggplant and then slice the eggplant lengthwise so that the pieces resemble lasagna noodles. Each piece should be about 1/8 – ¼ inch thick.
- Place the eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Brush each piece of eggplant with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Flip each piece of eggplant and repeat the oil and seasoning process.
- Bake the eggplant for 20 minutes, flipping the pieces at the halfway mark.
- While your eggplant is cooking, heat ½ tsp. of olive oil in a medium frying pan.
- Add your sliced mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add in the chopped spinach, season the vegetables with salt, pepper, garlic and the chili flakes, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Using a 9 by 9-inch baking dish, or a loaf pan, begin to layer your lasagna.
- Start by covering the bottom of the pan with a generous amount of sauce. Add a layer of spinach and mushrooms, then the eggplant. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used. Your top layer of eggplant should be covered in a thin layer of sauce.
- Top the final layer with shredded mozzarella or dairy-free mozzarella shreds.
- Bake in the over for 30-35 minutes until your sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
- Serve and enjoy!
You can pair the dish with a small side salad, some gluten free pasta or a nice glass of wine to round out the meal, or, enjoy it completely on it’s own.