Olive Studded Greek Lasagna

26 08 2011

Do you like lasagna? I do, but when you’re making meals for one, it doesn’t really make sense to make a whole pan of it.

But, I knew my boyfriend would be in town this week, so it was a perfect excuse to make some. And, if I made it at the beginning of the week, it meant that we’d have meals for the remainder of the week, and we could spend our time together doing things other than cooking…like watching lots and lots of Dexter, my new favorite show.

On one of his other visits, we made a vegetarian lasagna,

but I wanted to put a little twist on it this time. I was thinking something Greek inspired, since I had some fresh eggplant from my CSA box and I made some of Mama Pea’s Mediterranean Lentil Meatballs from her new cookbook. By the way, Mama Pea’s cookbook is AMAZING! I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but she has some absolutely outstanding recipes in it, the lentil meatballs being one! I would HIGHLY recommend getting the book, or at least checking out her blog!

I built upon the “Mediterranean” theme by swapping feta cheese for the mozzarella and parmesan, and I threw in some chopped kalamata olives and sun dried tomatoes. This lasagna turned out even better than the original! If you’ve got a craving for some lasagna, make this instead of your traditional Italian lasagna! you will not be disappointed!

Olive Studded Greek Lasagna

Ingredients:

2 small-medium eggplants
1 bag of spinach
3-4 (or more) of Mama Pea’s Mediterranean Lentil Meatballs
1/4 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 jar of tomato sauce (I used half homemade sauce and half canned)
1/2 lb uncooked lasagna noodles (1 box)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil

How to:

Slice the eggplant into 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick slices. Lay out on paper towels, sprinkle salt on top, and allow them to dehydrate for 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and cook the pasta noodles, following the instructions on the box.

After the eggplant has been out for about 30 minutes, pat the slices dry, and cook. You can drizzle olive oil on them and bake it in the oven at 400º for about 15 minutes, or lay them on the grill for a few minutes each side. (I did a combination of both to save time.)

While the eggplant is cooking, make the cheese mixture, stirring together the eggs and about 3/4 cup feta cheese. Set aside.

When the eggplant is done cooking and the noodles are all boiled, you can assemble your lasagna.

In a lasagna pan, pour a few table spoons of sauce. Then put one layer of noodles. Next, pour on a layer of the cheese mixture, spinach, eggplant, olives, sun dried tomatoes, crumbled meatballs, and then more sauce. Add a layer of noodles and repeat the layers of filling.

Top the lasagna with the remaining sauce, cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup of feta cheese.

Turn down the oven to 350°. Cover the lasagna in foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover, and let it sit for 10 minutes before eating.

ENJOY!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite Greek/Mediterranean meal?





Feta Makes It Betta!

12 08 2011

You all had some crazy fainting stories! Thanks for sharing!

Though I don’t have a fainting story to share, I will share the recipe for the yummy dip I took to Blush N Brush.

I found the recipe for an Eggplant, Yogurt, and Feta spread on the foil lid from my Oikos Greek yogurt a few months ago. I immediately saved it, knowing that I’d love it. Feta cheese? Greek Yogurt? Yes, please!

I’ve received some beautiful purple eggplants in my CSA box for the past few weeks, and I had just about everything else I needed, so I decided it was time to make the dip!

These are from the market, but mine were just as pretty!

I stopped at the store to pick up some mint and feta cheese, and I was ready to go! I roasted the eggplant, prepped the rest of the dip, and stirred it all together once the eggplant had cooled. Pretty easy! This was perfect finger food to nibble on before we started our painting, and would be great at a party, served with some soft pita wedges. I hope you enjoy!

Eggplant, Yogurt and Feta Spread

by Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt

Ingredients:

2 medium sized eggplants, peeled and chopped
1 cup Plain Yogurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (15.5 oz can)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

How to:

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and chop the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. In a bowl, toss eggplant with a few tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 tbs olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add roasted eggplant, chickpeas, feta cheese and mint. Stir to combine.

Enjoy with some pita bread!