Looking for a delicious, nutritionally-packed, vegetarian entree? I found some beautiful eggplants on sale so I went searching for some new recipes. This one is a keeper—we all liked it. However, the day I made it, something came up in the morning and I didn’t get it into the crockpot in time. So, I decided to make it in a 13x9 pan and bake it in the oven. I followed the basic recipe below, using cottage cheese with 2 eggs stirred in (this thickens the cheese and keeps it from getting watery) as well as some garlic and basil. I made one other little change: I had 4 lonely lasagna noodles leftover from another meal, so I included them, too. I just put them in dry, in a middle layer, and I’m glad I did. I think they helped absorbed some of the moisture from the raw vegetables. I covered my pan with foil and baked for 1 hour, then removed the foil, sprinkled with parmesan, and baked for 15 more minutes. It turned out perfectly! Next time—there will definitely be a next time--I’ll try it in the crockpot.
From Stephanie at crockpot365.blogspot.com
--1 26 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
--15 oz container of ricotta cheese (or 16oz cottage cheese)
--8 slices of mozzarella cheese
--1-2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix
--1 large eggplant
--3 summer squash/zucchini
--1 pound of mushrooms, sliced
--9 oz bag of baby spinach
--2 T warm water
I used a 6 quart Smart Pot for this dish and it was the correct size pot to use. If you have a smaller crock-pot, you will need to scale back a bit.
Wash all of the vegetables. Slice the squash and the eggplant in long, slices, about 1/4 inch thick. These are going to be your noodles! I did not peel the squash or the eggplant. In the bottom of your crockpot, pour about 1/4 cup of pasta sauce. Layer in a few pieces of squash and eggplant. Smear some ricotta cheese on top. Add a handful of baby spinach and mushrooms, and a few slices of mozzarella cheese. Pour in some more pasta sauce. Continue layering the ingredients until your crockpot is full, and you have run out of ingredients. Top with the end of the pasta sauce and the shredded cheese. Put 2 tablespoons of warm water into the empty pasta sauce jar, cover, and shake. Pour the remaining sauce on top of everything. Cover your crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This is done when the vegetables have reached their desired tenderness and the cheese is melty.