Healthy Eggplant “Parmagiana” with minced Lamb

For the last week or so the temperature has dropped a little bit, especially in the morning and in the evening. I am happily turning off the A/Cs at home and be nicer to Mr. Earth. The market is now filled with fall produce. Root vegetables (with is great for our body in this time of the year in ayurvedic sense), squash, and eggplants.

Eggplant is not a easy vegetable to deal with, as it doesn’t have much flavour. Also to make it soft traditionally (and most restaurants would still take this practice) would deep fry the eggplant before they cook them so the texture would become soft. Alternative way is to steam them however the “meat” will turn dark and a lot of moisture would come out and it will make the eggplant too soggy. I want to keep a slightly meaty texture to the eggplant.

One of my favourite dishes at my favourite joints in Hong Kong – Posto Pubblico is Eggplant Parmigiana. However I know they deep- fry the eggplant before cooking and also they put in a lot of mozzarella (which I LOVE!!!) but at home I tend to try to make a healthier version. So I substitute with Greek Yogurt. I have also tried with plain cottage cheese and it works pretty well. Alternatively you can stick with the original recipe by using mozzarella or even goat cheese. Goat cheese is amazing as you can add just a little bit but already add a lot of flavours without worrying packing up too much fat.

Healthy Eggplant “Parmagiana” with Minced Lamb

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zuchhini
  • 200g of minced beef or lamb
  • 100g spinach
  • 5 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 beef tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Herbs for seasoning like cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper
  • 100g of Greek Yogurt or cottage cheese (or you can use mozzarella, goat cheese or any cheese you like)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice the zucchini and eggplant length wise.
  2. Roast or grill the zucchini and eggplant until they are half cooked. Leave it to cool.
  3. Cut up tomatoes. Add a little bit of salt, pepper and basil and blend it in a blender. Alternatively you can also use canned tomato sauce but watch out for salt and sugar content.
  4. Stir fry your favourite vegetables. Spinach and mushrooms are awesome choice for layering.
  5. Cook the meat. In this recipe I use minced lamb. You can use grounded lean beef in this recipe, but I use lamb instead as I think they have a more distinctive flavor. Also traditionally Chinese people believe lamb warms up the body, more so than beef or any other meat. That’s why in Northern China Lamb Stew or Lamb Hotpot is so popular. You can add some herbs while cooking.  In this recipe I used cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper.
  6. Put zucchini slices on the bottom, then layer with the sauce. Add some yogurt, cottage cheese, mozzarella or even goat cheese and. Then add the vegetables, minced lamb, then repeat the layers with eggplant, alternating the directions of the zucchini. Repeat for 3 to 4 layers and bake for about 30 minutes. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.

Filling, juicy, and super yummy.

This dish takes a while for preparation, but definitely worth the time. It is low carb, high protein, and packed with vegetables.  I promise you will not feel shabby after this low carb dinner. And it taste even better the next day so it makes a wonderful packed lunch as well.

P.S. Here is a similar recipe.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-noodle-zucchini-lasagna/

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