There’s food in our kitchen again! Summer definitely kicked my love of cooking out the door for awhile, but I have been slowly meal-planning again, looking forward to spending time in the kitchen chopping, combining flavors, and looking forward to something delicious.
I’ve also been trying to create meals that are both comforting and healthy. As I round the bend to the final stretch of NYC Marathon training, I am feeling exhausted, and I could just chow on fries for all meals. Add in some coffee and maybe a little cake, and I would be all set.
Thankfully, there are lots of great blogs to inspire me. I’ve been loving the Detoxinista, and recently I made an eggplant-based lasagna based on her eggplant and goat cheese lasagna.
The cheese filling in this lasagna, a goat cheese and cauliflower puree, is the creamy, delicious highlight, sneaking in nutrients and fiber without taking away any scrumptiousness.
I started by prepping my eggplant. I cut it into thin slices (they should have been thinner), and marinating them in balsamic vinegar.
Next up, I prepped my “meat”, chopped mushrooms sautéed with garlic and onions with a bit of pepper and salt.
Then came the goat cheese and steamed cauliflower, which I mixed with oregano, basil, and garlic. Then I had a big spoonful before adding two eggs to bind the mixture together. I think these would make a great pancake appetizer with the eggs or a great veggie side dish on their own.
When all of the pieces were ready, I started to layer, first some Bobby D.’s Angry Sauce (which was not at all spicy, sad), then eggplant, cauliflower cheese, mushrooms, sauce, repeat. I baked the whole dish at 425 degrees for about 50 minutes, keeping an eye on it until the sauce was bubbling nicely. The final layer of cheese on the top should be nicely browned; if not a few minutes under the broiler can help.
A side note about the above sauce: after getting soaked on a bad run, freezing to death in the air-conditioned grocery store, and ruining my phone and a paycheck in the downpour, I was walking home with this sauce and it crashed through my grocery bag and hit the ground.
Thankfully it didn’t break; the bottom cracked and the lid was crushed. The worst part? The college kids walking behind me laughed at me! The day of this dinner didn’t start very well, but luckily it ended with a cozy dinner.
This lasagna is definitely something I will be making again. Even though it was noodle-free, the cheese and mushrooms really made it satisfying and filling.
How are you warming up your kitchen on these first days of Autumn?