2/8/17

Eggplant lasagna with a creamy red pepper spread


It was nearing 5pm yesterday and I had no idea what I would make for dinner until I remembered that I had a big eggplant in the fridge from this weekend, from what I planned to make eggplant pizza but instead, I decided that I really needed real dough. 


Karel spent all afternoon moving our empty 75 gallon fish downstairs tank (our big Flowerhorn fish passed away a few months ago) upstairs to our bedroom, to swap it out for our 55 gallon tank.

Let's just say that our African Chichlid fishes (and our big Green Terror fish) got a nice house upgrade! They are already enjoying the room and redecorating by moving around the sand.



It took over 5 hours for Karel to get the tank ready as moving fish from one tank to another is not a project that can be rushed and you really can't stop once you start, so I figured Karel would be ready to eat when he was finished. I was hungry by the time dinner was ready so I yummed first and then when Karel was finish with the tank project, he enjoyed his dinner. 

So here is how the dinner creation went down.

With no clear direction on what I was going to make with the eggplant, I started to pull out ingredients from my kitchen. 


Ingredients

Red bell pepper 
1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 can northern beans (rinsed and drained)
Curry powder
Olive oil 
Salt

Eggplant
White onion
Nutritional yeast
Tomato sauce 
Kale

With all my ingredients on the counter, I started to get creative. Instead of dressing the eggplant with the beans, I decided to make a spread instead (which could also be used as a yummy dip). 


This dip was so easy that it inspired me to make more variations of this in the future. Especially on the higher volume workout days when my appetite for fibrous foods is low but a nice spread on bread would be super tasty (and nutritious). 


Red pepper spread



Small red bell pepper (sliced with top and inside seeds removed)
1/2 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1/2 can northern beans (rinsed and drained)
2-3 tsp Curry powder
1 tbsp Olive oil 
Salt

1. Place chickpeas and beans, along with entire red pepper (sliced/chopped), curry powder, olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor and blend until creamy. If needed, add a splash of water to help with mixing. You may need to use a spoon to mix if the top of the contents doesn't get mixed in. 
2. Taste the spread and add more curry and salt if needed, to your liking. 
2. Spoon into a Tupperware container. 

Now it was time to make the eggplant lasagna. 




Eggplant lasagna with a creamy red pepper spread


1 large Eggplant (sliced somewhat thinly, not too thick)
1/2 white onion (thinly sliced)
2-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1-2 cup Tomato/marinara sauce 
Kale (about 2 cups chopped, washed, stems removed)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
2. In a large glass dish, spray or use olive oil to coat the bottom. 

3. Place eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish (cover bottom - it's ok if some overlap). 
4. Smear a little of the spread on each eggplant. Now top with sliced onion, handful of chopped kale, crumbled farmers cheese and a spoonful of tomato/marinara sauce over each of the eggplant slices. Top with 1-2 tbsp of nutritional yeast all over the eggplant slices. 
5. Now repeat this process: Eggplant, kale, farmers cheese, sauce, nutritional yeast. There is no wrong way to do this so layer however you wish. 
6. Try to finish with 1 layer of eggplant slices on top, topped with spread and then a spoonful of marinara. 
7. Bake for around 30-35 minutes. 

This will make leftovers if you are only feeding 1-2 people. 

Enjoy! Don't forget to yum. 

(Note: farmers cheese doesn't have a bold taste but instead, a creamy texture. If you are feeding to cheese lovers, you may want to use a more bold cheese like Parmesan or sharp cheddar. You could also broil some cheese on top. Farmers cheese is very common in Europe, thus why Karel often buys it here in the store. Another popular brand is Friendship farmers cheese, which can be found by the cream cheese).