Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where's the Beef? Not in Eggplant Lasagna

One of the biggest dilemmas I continually experience while eating inexpensively is how to also eat healthy. I mean, it’s easy to load up on pasta and grains for little money. And cheaper cuts of meat tend to contain more fat than the more expensive cuts. But if you stick to just those things, you are missing quite a bit of vital nutrition. I finally realized that the way to kill two birds with one stone is to create some (sort of) vegetarian meals.

Now, I have nothing against vegetarians. If you’ve got reasons to be vegetarian or vegan, more power to you. I grew up in the Midwest where every meal was meat and potatoes – and ‘vegetarian’ was a derogatory term. Needless to say, it’s taken a little effort to get over that negative stigma of meatless dishes. For me, the one thing a vegetarian dish has to have is enough body to be satisfying. I’ve just never been a ‘salad-for-dinner’ kind of guy.

Because of that, most of my vegetarian dinners are take-offs of my favorite meaty dishes. This dish takes it one step farther – not only do I use eggplant instead of ground beef, but the eggplant planks take the place of the pasta as well. So this Eggplant Lasagna is so freaking healthy that it ought to come with a prescription. But, like I said, who cares if it’s healthy when it tastes like the lawn? Well, there’s the beauty of this one – it still tastes thick and rich - like the pasta and sausage laden version. Don’t believe me? Then try it for yourself.

Huh. Who knew that you didn’t need cows and pigs to make a great meal?

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