If you do a search for dinner ideas on Google or Pinterest, chances are you’ll come across a recipe for lasagna rollups – a take on the traditional lasagna, these rollups use the same ingredients but roll them into a lasagna noodle. I love a good noodle just as much as the next girl, but for many reasons I try to limit my simple carbohydrates as much as possible. I often make “fake-out” recipes with tofu or spinach ‘noodles’ or strips of zucchini in place of the real thing, but in this recipe I’ve used eggplant and I have to say, it’s one of the better no-pasta recipes I have.
These eggplant rollups are extremely delicious, fairly easy to make (though the grilling of the eggplant, depending on how you do it, can take a bit of time), and don’t require a strict recipe. Improvisation works really well here, depending on your tastes.
In the past, I’ve made the eggplant by thinly slicing it and then, a few pieces at a time, grilling it in a frying pan on the stove. This time, I decided to cover my barbecue grill in tin foil (since I only use it for meat and this is a dairy recipe) and barbecue it instead (well, technically Jay did the actual barbecuing, since I don’t even know how to turn the thing on and I plan on keeping it that way!). This was WAY faster and just as delicious, so I would definitely recommend doing this. If you’re going to use tin foil, be sure to spray it well with cooking spray (or better yet, PAM grilling spray) first.
I dedicate this recipe to my good friend Lisa, lover of all things eggplant and tomato sauce related, because this recipe was SO made for you.
2 medium or 1 very large eggplant, washed and sliced (about 1/8 inch thick)
2 small or one large containers light/low fat ricotta cheese
1 tbsp minced garlic
2-3 tbsp light grated parmesan
1-2 tbsp liquid egg whites
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp italiano or salad seasoning
1-2 cans of pasta sauce (depending on how saucy you like things – I used a little more than one can)
shredded mozzarella cheese for top (use as much or as little as you like)
- Wash, slice and then grill the eggplant, until soft and slightly browned on both sides, but still firm enough to stay in one piece. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, garlic, parmesan, egg whites (more or less depending on how dry the ricotta is), italiano seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray, and cover bottom of dish generously with tomato sauce.
- Once eggplant is cool enough to touch, lay a piece in front of you vertically on a cutting board, and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto the edge nearest to you. Then, roll the eggplant away from you until the entire piece is rolled around the cheese. Place with bottom down into the tomato sauce covered baking dish. Repeat until you run out of cheese and/or eggplant.
- Spoon a little tomato sauce over top of each piece of eggplant, and then sprinkle shredded mozzarella over top. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.