As some of you will already know - I've tried being vegetarian before. There was a span of several years, actually, when I didn't eat any meat. What I did eat was 7-layer burritos from Taco Bell and potato chips. That was okay (well, no it really wasn't) when I was a single gal with no kiddies. But, when the family came along I needed to provide meals that were slightly more nutritious than that. But, I still really don't like eating meat. My problem is I don't think eating tofu 7 days a week is much healthier than eating burritos and chips and I've never been a big fan of beans. So, what I'm going to try this time is to just make at least one good veggie meal a week and, then, once I have a fair number of them I'll be able to give it another shot - but be healthier about it this time.
So, this is "Meatless Monday" and my recipe for the week is "Eggplant Lasagna with Garlic Bechamel". This recipe was taken from the book "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". I don't really have time to type out all the instructions right now (baby-one just isn't likely to give me that much time on the computer), but if you want them let me know and I'll try to get them up here. Basically you roast your eggplant and layer it between layers of instant lasagna noodles, cheese, and your garlic bechamel. To make the sauce you heat 2 1/2 cups of milk on the stove with 3 smashed garlic cloves. In another pot you melt 4 tbsp. of butter and mix in 1/4 cup flour. Then you combine the two (straining out the garlic cloves) and add 1/2 a cup of cream and salt and pepper to taste. The lasagna is cooked in a 8x10 inch baking dish at 400 degrees (or 350-375 on my wacky oven) for 25-30 minutes.
I should mention that I tried to make this dish three times. The first time I just didn't get around to doing it before the eggplant got mushy (that happens fast!). The second time I burnt the eggplant instead of roasting it (remember...I have a wacky oven). But, the third time everything turned out great. The lasagna was delicious. Even Dave (Meat-Eater-Man) said it was "very" good. However, I kind of think...well, no wonder it is good! It is milk and cream and cheese and a bit of eggplant! No calorie count was given with the recipe. Probably a good thing.
I'd say this is a good, and filling, side dish. Serve it beside a great, big, healthy salad so you don't feel so guilty eating it.
From now on I'll try to find recipes that are a bit healthier and ones that get their protein from leaner sources than, say, cream and cheese.