I thought about making a healthier version of lasagna with vegetables instead of pasta and thought of using eggplant instead of the lasagna noodles to come up with "Moussagna" (Moussaka and Lasagna combined). I've eliminated the bechamel sauce to cut back on the fat and used the tomato based sauce from the lasagna recipe to make it low fat. I also used low fat cottage cheese instead of the full ricotta cheese.
Portion size8 servings
1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Wash eggplants and trim stems. Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Brush slices with the olive oil. On 2 large cookie trays, brush lightly with leftover olive oil from the brush just to give it a light oily surface and place slices in. Bake for 45 minutes turning over to bake on the side halfway through and switching trays from top to bottom shelf of oven. 2. While the eggplant is baking, chop onions and mince garlic. 3. In large non-stick skillet or Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until browned, breaking the beef with wooden spoon. Pour off all of the fat reserving about 1 tbsp. left in the pot. Add onions and garlic: cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. 4. Add spaghetti sauce, oregano, cinnamon, thyme and basil; bring to boil as if you're making a nice big pot of spaghetti meat sauce. Check on eggplant slices and when soft and browned, leave aside to cool. 5. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until mixture thickened to sauce consistency. Season with pepper to taste. If too acidic add 1 tsp. granulated sugar to sauce. 6. Combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, egg and half of parmesan. Cover bottom of 13 inch by 9 inch baking dish sparingly with some of the tomato sauce, top with layer of lasagna noodles. Cover with half of the cheese mixture. Repeat with remaining layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. 7. Combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, egg and half of parmesan in a separate bowl. 8. To assemble the Moussagna, ladle bottom of 13 inch by 9 inch baking dish with some of the meat sauce, top with layer of eggplant. Cover with half of the cheese mixture. Repeat with remaining layer of meat sauce then the eggplant. Repeat layering until you have the top layer as the meat sauce. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. 9. Bake uncovered in 350 F oven for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. If top is browning too fast, cover with aluminum foil and remove for last 10 minutes of baking. Remove Moussaga from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.