Friends, this is more than just a movie about a mouse who can cook. This is a delightful meal that hopefully will become a weekly staple in our home. I’m blown away by it!!! So we went back to our Annie’s box of Organics last week. At some point in November, I had cancelled my subscription. I had some issues with the box.

The cons:
1. we get berries but never enough for the size of my family so the one box of blueberries goes the first day we get the box.
2. the box can sometimes get repetitive and we get the same vegetable a couple of weeks in a row (i.e. potatoes…and we really don’t eat potatoes, so that gets annoying)
3. some of the items in the box doesn’t have to be organic so we’re paying organic prices for some veggies we really can get cheaper elsewhere (i.e. avocados)
4. we don’t get to choose what we get.

We thought we had gotten to a place where we had explored most of what the box was going to give us and really we were veggie-savvy enough to go to Whole foods, or Publix or any other market and get whatever vegetables and fruits we wanted for the week without having someone else pick it for us.

RESULTS… The variety declined. Even though we would only get one little box of berries every other week, at least we were getting a box. We’d go to Whole Foods every week and rarely can we find organic berries. At least at our store. They’re simply not available. So we’d end up not eating berries at all instead of our one little box that we all enjoy thoroughly!
And then we started falling back on the most comfortable dishes…our cabbage soup, our salmon with cauliflower and asparagus, our veggie tray…but week after week we were eating the same meals and I even found myself going back to my blog to re-discover some of our own recipes because I didn’t know what to buy at the store.


January 7th we went back to our box. I went online and found that in the 2 little months I had strayed they had started a new box that they call the Paleo box. (Note: we are not on a Paleo diet but what I like about the Paleo box is that it excludes potatoes, which we rarely eat and don’t care to get in our box). So that was a good solution to one of our box complaints. And I also realized I could tweek my box however I wanted. If I want to add berries, I can pay a little more for that. If I’ve gotten one veggie too many weeks in a row, I can email them and ask them to substitute it with another item for the following week. There are options, I was just not exploring them. Of course I still have to go to the store and buy certain staples that didn’t come in my box. But I just simply love having my refrigerator stocked with veggies and fruits week after week and once I have them at the house, we eat them. Whereas for the last couple of months, I was buying fruits and vegetables of course because that is the main source of our diet, but I was actually being more repetitive when I was choosing them for myself, getting less variety (meaning less sources of nutrients) and always trying to remember what we would get in the first place. I feel like I have reconnected with my greens again and it feels wonderful!

But best of all… I discovered that I love having vegetables in my home that I did not choose at the store. WHY??? Because it forces us to use that vegetable before it spoils, and therefore look for recipes around that vegetable. That has proved easier for us than choosing a recipe and buying vegetables for that recipe. With 2 kids, 1 on the way, and work…we don’t have time to sit in front of a computer and browse through random recipes. But what is easier is googling – “eggplant recipes” and finding something that fits with our lifestyle.

And that is where our Ratatouille was born!! Ratatouille is basically a baked dish of layered vegetables. Yesterday we had an eggplant sitting in the fridge from our box last week (one of the only remaining vegetables in the fridge) and I told Orlando we had to use it. He browsed some recipes and decided to make the Ratatouille. Luckily we also had Shitake mushrooms from the last box and got heirloom tomatoes in the new box…ingredients that go into ratatouille. As usual, Orlando took what he liked from different recipes and came up with this…

Here is the recipe:

1 large Onion (sliced)
1 large eggplant (skin-on and in 1/2 inch cubes)
2 or 3 large tomatoes (thinly sliced)
2 cups mushrooms (sliced)
2 or 3 zuchinni (evenly sliced in rounds)
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
olive oil
parmesan cheese
1/2 large red bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 large green bell pepper (chopped)

– Preheat the oven to 375
– Chop and slice the veggies
– Saute the onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers in little olive oil adding salt and pepper
Make sure to not saute for too long. We are just trying to cook them down a bit, we don’t want them caramelized. I’d say 5 min max. Then set aside in a bowl.
– Now saute the eggplant in olive oil for about 8 minutes. The eggplant tends to soak in the oil, but don’t go over-board with olive oil either. Then when the 8 minutes are up, add the fresh garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper while cooking!
-In a baking dish arrange just over half of the eggplant mixture
covering the bottom
-now layer the zuchinni slices on top like you are making a lasagna
-lightly oil and salt the zuchinni
-Now do the same with the tomato slices. Layer them on top of the zuchinni slices covering the top like you are making a lasagna. Add Salt and pepper to the tomatoes.
-Now layer the onion, mushroom, and pepper mixture on top of the tomatoes.
– Add a nice bit of parmesan atop the mixture
– layer remaining eggplant
– layer remaining zuchinni
– layer remaining tomatoes
– layer remaining onion mixture
– Add parmesan
– Place foil on top and bake for 45 minutes

We served this on whole wheat cous cous, but I think that quinoa or millet would be great too. The texture of the cous cous was awesome with the veggies.The cooking time on this dish is 45 minutes, which is a long time…but Orlando says that its not a labor intensive meal because there aren’t that many ingredients. I would suggest, if you are pressed for time, preparing it on a Sunday night so that you only have to put it in the oven the next day. I loved it so much I can’t wait to have it for lunch today and give it to the boys for dinner!

We hope you can enjoy it as much as we did!

This veggie recipe deserves its very own post!

I’ve mentioned this veggie recipe in two different posts but it is such a good and simple recipe that I don’t want it to get lost or ignored in the other posts. PLUS, Orlando has added a new ingredient and it must be shared!!!!!

Its simple.

Asparagus, Leeks and Onions

  • chop 1/2 bunch of asparagus into 1 inch pieces. (to avoid the stringiness of the asparagus, break off the bottom portion of the asparagus)
  • 2 small Leeks or 1 large Leek, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 an onion chopped into small pieces
  • Sautee with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 7 minutes in a pan at high heat (maybe an 8)
  • The bottom of the pan will start to crust up. Then drizzle a little bit of marsala wine (about 2 ounces or less) on to the pan. Then you deglaze the vegetables (mix in the vegetables and wine with the crust for a delicious flavor)

But last week, Orlando added Brussel Sprouts to the mix. WOW! Delicious.

Brussel Sprouts were NEVER on our grocery list. But of course they came in our Annie’s box one day and we were forced to try it. My first impression was…they’re ok…but I wasn’t inlove. That soon changed. The more often Orlando cooked them, the more I liked them. They are now a staple in our home. If you’ve never had Brussel Sprouts and are hesitant to taste them, I suggest making them in this recipe for your first try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!!!!

So the recipe remains the same except that I have incorporated the brussel sprouts in it:

  • 1/2 a portion of brussel sprouts, cut off the bottom part, and cut in quarters.
  • chop 1/2 bunch of asparagus into 1 inch pieces. (to avoid the stringiness of the asparagus, break off the bottom portion of the asparagus)
  • 2 small Leeks or 1 large Leek, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 an onion chopped into small pieces
  • Sautee with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 7 minutes in a pan at high heat (maybe an 8)
  • The bottom of the pan will start to crust up. Then drizzle a little bit of marsala wine (about 2 ounces or less) on to the pan. Then you deglaze the vegetables (mix in the vegetables and wine with the crust for a delicious flavor)
  • Last step is to put a lid on the pan for about 2 minutes. Then take off the heat and VOILA! (the reason we add this step is because those last 2 minutes steam the brussel sprouts and soften them to perfection!!)

Not only is the recipe delicious, but you are now incorporating 4 vegetables as your side dish to your plate. This means vitamins, minerals, fiber, folate, antioxidants…health!!!!!

We hope you enjoy it!!! Let us know in the comments section if you made this recipe and what you thought about it! Also, don’t forget we will be answering questions once a week so don’t be afraid to ask!!!!!!


Spicy Quinoa Kimchi Fried Rice

healthy alternative to fried rice

healthy alternative to fried rice

What we used:

  • 3 cups Quinoa
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables (stir fry mix) chopped
  • 1 fried egg per serving
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 3/4 of a bottle of kimchi
  • (reserve some of the liquid from the kimchi)
  • 1/2 onion
  • Sauce – 2tbsp liquid aminos, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, dash of red pepper flake – mix well (add to taste, we probably used 1/4 of what we made)

I’m reading a new fascinating book “The Body Ecology Diet” and I’ve discovered the benefits of cultured vegetables. Cultured vegetables are vegetables that are left to “ferment” in an air tight container for several days allowing healthy bacteria to form. During this fermentation period, the friendly bacteria reproduces and converts sugars and starches to lactic acid.

They become rich in lactobacilli (what we know as “probiotics”) and enzyme, vitamins A, B, and C and turn into an alkaline-forming food. In English, this basically means it is a food for health and longevity!!!!!

Among the benefits listed for cultured vegetables are:

  • Help re-establish a healthy inner ecosystem.
  • Great for weight loss
  • Improve digestion
  • Help eliminate sugar cravings!!!!!
  • Help cleanse your system
  • Great for your skin.

The Body Ecology has some basic recipes for making your own cultured vegetables, and if you make them in batches and eat it everyday, it is a much cheaper alternative than taking probiotic supplements. We plan to make them at home, but haven’t gotten around to it yet…so I went to Whole Foods looking for some ready-made cultured vegetables that I could try in the meantime.

What I found was Kimchi. Its a Korean condiment -basically fermented cabbage and other vegetables, with a mix of salt, vinegar and other spices. It was the only cultured vegetable food I found in the store. I bought it, brought it home and a little scared, tried it! I actually liked it and since I bought have used it in my scrambled eggs in the morning, in my salads for lunch, and in the quinoa fried rice Orlando made.

I posted this video of Orlando making the quinoa mainly because it was his first time making it. I thought it would be great for you to see how he creates his meals. He’s always trying new things and changing his mind and sometimes the meal isn’t working out and he figures out how to save it! I think its pretty cool to see his process…and at the end he always comes through.

So for now, Kimchi is a big star in our home but stay tuned….we will be making our own cultured vegetables very soon!!!!!


Afraid my veggies will go bad Soup- a pleasant surprise.

Talking to my cousin Stephanie the other day, she told me about some crazy concoction she invented the other day for fear that all the veggies she bought from Whole Foods would go bad. I was then reading an interesting book “The Body Ecology Diet” and it discusses the many benefits of soups and suggests getting creative with veggies that are about to spoil. What struck me the most was that the book suggests that making soup is fool-proof, meaning you don’t have to know how to cook to pull it off. Since everyone knows I can’t cook for the life of me, I had to try this.

So on Sunday, considering we were in this fake hurricane mode and I was stuck at home anyway, I gave it a shot and tried the following:

I started off by chopping up a ton of celery which was already wilting, ginger, garlic and onions and sauteeing them over some coconut oil. Then I poured in organic chicken broth that I had at home, some left over vegetable broth in the fridge that was about to go bad, carrots, cabbage, rainbow chard, squash, zucchini, and cauliflower. Its pretty much everything I had in the fridge, including leftover veggies from a vegetable tray we served at a get together we had. Instead of tossing the leftovers, I put them in the soup! I added about 5 cayenne pepper liquid drops, a little sazon completo, turmeric powder, and celtic sea salt.

I brought the soup to a boil, then simmered for 20 minutes (until the carrots were tender) and voila! I made the very first soup concoction of my own!!!!! I wanted the soup to be spicy because this pregnancy is stuffing up my sinuses, but when I tasted it I realized the cayenne pepper hadn’t spiced it up much, so I added about 5 more drops to my own personal soup and it made it spicier.

The verdict… I was pleasantly surprised!!! Orlando expected garbage and found it to be bland at first but after a few sips, he actually liked it. The next day I tried another variety and wasn’t quite as successful, it was totally bland…but that’s only because i’m learning to play with seasonings and really am an amateur!

Let’s face it, it can’t compare to the meals my husband makes and it can definitely use a lot of work, but the point is I’m proud to say my kids loved it; it was pretty good; and most importantly it was a bowl of health!!!!!

So the next time your veggies are about to spoil, think twice before you toss and try making your own soup at home. And if your kids are not old enough to drink soups yet, you can puree the leftovers and give it to them that way.

Good luck!!!! Please reply and let us know of any inventions you think are worth sharing.

Papaya Smoothie

Yesterday I made a great smoothie in the morning for all of us.


1 Papaya cut up in chunks
1/2 cup of leftover greens*
2 leaves collard greens
Juice from a freshly squeezed Orange*
a little extra water

This smoothie was the product of those last food items we didn’t want to go bad!

* I always buy Organic Girl Greens for our salads. I use super greens, 50/50 mix, spring mix, spinach, whatever I find. The last time I made a salad there were some greens left over that just didn’t fit in our salads and I didn’t want to throw them away. So I put them back in the fridge for the next smoothie. They made it into this one! I try my best to avoid wasting food.

* I only had 1 orange left in the fridge. Its easy to get the juice out. I bought this little cheap manual juicer at Target and its great for squeezing lemons and oranges. So I squeezed the orange I had and tossed in the juice for the base. There wasn’t that much juice so I had to add a little water to the smoothie to make it blend better.

The kids loved the smoothie.

Health Benefits of Papaya:

  • Papayas have antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and fiber. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer.
  • In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is used like bromelain, a similar enzyme found in pineapple, to treat sports injuries, other causes of trauma, and allergies.
  • Women need about 400-800 mcg of folate per day if they are trying to get pregnant and during their pregnancy. 1 medium papaya has about 116mcg folate in it.


Easy, homemade Vinaigrette

By now, we pretty much all know that pouring salad dressing on top of a salad albeit delicious is terrible for us!!!! Salad dressings are usually loaded with preservatives and sugar.

To eliminate this problem, we have kept it simple for a long time.

We have either:

Drizzled Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar in our salad;


Sprinkled lemon

I’ve come to love my salads with as little “dressing” (if you consider these two options dressing) as possible. These two methods are great ways to make sure you’re getting the benefit of a good, healthy salad. And i’m definitely a believer in adding good fats to my foods (olive oil) without altering its properties with heat.

I typically make salads for lunch but last night we had parent teacher night at my son’s school and were pressed for time. So I made a delicious salad with tuna for both of us and just to keep it fun, Orlando made us a homemade vinaigrette. We were shocked at how easy and quick it was to make and how delicious it tasted. Here’s the recipe:


1/4 cup balsamic
3/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbs honey
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbs minced garlic
1/2 to 1 tbs grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper

Put all ingredients in a spill proof container and shake really well before serving.

NOTE: Although this recipe is very easy…it is crucial that you really shake it well and not stir. That will give it the nice consistency to pour over your salad.

A word on Honey:

I’ve done some homework on Honey and there is a lot of debate on whether it can be considered healthier than regular sugar or not. What i’ve deciphered from my research is the following:

  1. if you are going to consume honey, you should buy the darkest honey possible. The darker honeys seem to be higher in bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity
  2. Honey has small amounts of minerals, amino acids, and vitamins
  3. studies show that honey results in smaller glucose blood spikes than other forms or fructose, glucose, and sucrose.

(found in Mark’s Daily Apple)

This being said, even though honey is a little healthier than sugar and is considered a whole food, it is not something you want to consume in large quantities, or use daily. Moderation is key, but honey really should be considered a treat.

As you can see, this recipe calls for 1 1/2 tbs and it makes a pretty decent portion of vinaigrette. Even with a homemade dressing like this, I am pretty conservative with using it on my salad. I do not soak the salad in dressing. I simply add maybe 2 or 3 tbsp for flavor and texture. Orlando adds more dressing than I do so you have to find what works for you.

We hope you enjoy your salad!!!!


Fearless Friday Meatloaf

By Orlando:

Thank God its Friday!!! And you guys know what that means…another Fearless Friday suggestion for a minor weekend cheat. Today’s recipe is one of my favorite meals. I don’t make it as often as I used to because I don’t find it healthy enough to eat every week. However, weekends are another story, and it is still an extremely health take on a home-cooked classic: meatloaf.

Instead of ground beef I use ground turkey. Use a 93/7 blend or 93% fat-free. If you use a “fat free” or 99% fat free turkey it will be extremely tough. The lack of fat will result in it turning into a rock. If you get the turkey any fattier than 93% it will be too fattening and you might as well use ground beef.

Instead of regular bread-crumbs, I toast 2 slices of Ezekiel bread and grind in a blender or food processor, thus making my own home-made, unprocessed bread crumbs. The full recipe is below.

I like to make the meatloaf with traditional sides made in an untraditional fashion. Nothing goes with meatloaf like mashed potatoes. But instead of potatoes, I make a cauliflower mash, which is much healthier and tastes really good. You get some of the texture of a mashed potato with a fraction of the carbs. I also posted the recipe for the Cauliflower mash below.

Finally, you want to have a vegetable dish. I like green beans with my meatloaf and mash. Obviously you can make any veggie you want, but I find it to be a traditional side that matches very well.

Turkey Meatloaf

  1. 1 pound ground turkey (93/7)
  2. 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (try toasting Ezekiel bread and blending/processing them)
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/4 cup of chopped Italian parsley
  5. 2 tbs milk
  6. 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (Grate your own! don’t be lazy and buy that powdered garbage in a container they sell off as Romano!!!!!)
  7. 1/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes (you can buy them in oil or normal, but I like to save the calories and don’t buy the ones in oil)
  8. salt and pepper to taste. I also add “Sason Completo”
  9. 6 or 7 asparagus chopped (did you really think I wouldn’t sneak in a veggie???)
  10. Whatever glaze you choose (more on that below)

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Mix all the ingredients EXCEPT the turkey in a large bowl. This should make a nice wet “paste-like” consistency. Now add the turkey and combine well with clean hands (yes, with your hands). Remember that the seasoning is in the paste, so mix it well. Pat the mixture into a meatloaf shape and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Before placing in the oven, I like to put a sauce on top. Some people put ketchup, but I like Asian glazes like General Tso’s sauce, Thai Chili sauce, or even a Hoisin sauce. I know that these sauces have a lot of sugar, but remember two things: 1. most of the sauce slides off the meatloaf…only a fraction of it actually forms a crust and 2. it is Fearless Friday for God’s sakes!!! Live a little!!! Place the meatloaf in the oven and remove when it reaches an internal temperature of 160-165 (about 40 minutes).

What’s that you say? Did you just ask me how you would know the internal temperature? You mean you don’t own a food thermometer? Get off my website! Ok, wait, don’t get off the website, we could really use the page-views!!! Just buy an internal thermometer please!!!!

Cauliflower Mash

  1. 2 heads of cauliflower chopped
  2. 2 tbs organic butter
  3. about 1/2 cup of grass-fed milk (in the alternative, you can try organic)
  4. salt and pepper

Boil the cauliflower in water until tender. Place in blender with other ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste it and add salt and pepper to your liking. I don’t measure the amount of milk I put in. I go by sight, so the 1/2 cup is an estimate. Start with 1/4 and add until you reach your desired texture.

Green Beans

Get a bag of green beans and snip the edges off the beans. You can buy them already snipped…makes life much easier. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. (sound familiar? I love this method). Place in the oven for about 25 minutes. Taste one, and if you think it needs more time, leave it longer. They should have nice color and lose its waxyness.



Is Chocolate more than a guilty pleasure?

Cacao is the highest antioxidant food in the world, which was not known even 10 years ago. It is now known to be the number one longevity food in the world, with 15 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries. It is also the number one food for your heart; is the highest natural source of magnesium, the highest natural source of iron, manganese, and chromium of any major food group. It is also a tremendous source of phosphorus, zinc, and copper.

THE PROBLEM IS: the kind of chocolate that people eat is processed chocolate loaded with sugar, corn syrup, milk and anything else to sweeten it up.

Raw cacao is actually bitter. We’ve encouraged friends to try 85% percent chocolate bars and have a square for dessert after dinner each night. We started with 72% chocolate bars, worked our way up to 85% and now Orlando is into the 90% Lindt squares.

Another great way to get the anti-aging benefits of chocolate is to make a chocolate shake for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

Try this recipe:

  • 1-2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, goat milk, coconut milk
  • Raw cocoa powder 1-2 scoops (can be found at whole foods or online)
  • Stevia (nunaturals liquid alcohol)
  • Ice
  • Pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 1-2 drop of cayenne extract
  • cinnamon
  • a dab of coconut oil

If you’re interested in Chocolate and its origins, see David Wolfe (expert in raw superfoods) below:

Lentil Soup

You may have noticed…we’re big fans of Soup!! This is not a coincidence. Soups give you such an opportunity to Pile on the Greens and add goodness to your meal. It also allows us to make large portions which gives us leftovers for the kids and lunches.

I have to confess that before we started this journey I only ate 2 kinds of soup. Campbell’s cream of chicken and my mom’s chicken soup when I was sick. I didn’t even think I was a soup person. But all that has changed!!!!!

Now we have soup probably twice a week. Cabbage Soup is a weekly staple, and then one week we’ll make beet soup, and another week we’ll make lentil soup, so on and so forth.

We took this lentil soup from ALTON BROWN and Orlando put his spin on it. He’s actually tried several different variations, but each time he tries to pile on more greens!! This is his latest and in my opinion, most delicious, twist.
*Every item marked is an Orlando addition or substitution.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • I finely chopped leek*
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon freshly ground Turmeric*
  • 1 cup of mushrooms*
  • 2 handfuls of spinach*
  • Chicken andouille sausage*


Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, leek and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes,mushrooms, broth, coriander, cumin and turmeric and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 50 to 55 minutes. 3 minutes before the timer ends, throw in the Spinach. It will wilt in 3 minutes so you really want to avoid putting it in until the end. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately. Add cooked chicken andouille slices to the served plate.

A NOTE ON BLENDING: Consistency is a personal choice. Some people like the texture of the lentils, others like it thicker like a puree. I like the lentils, orlando likes the puree…therefore, we compromise. He puts half of the soup in our blender, blends and pours back into the dutch oven. That gives a little bit of both textures and it is DELICIOUS! But this is all a matter of personal preference.

Chicken Andouille: We slice the sausage down the middle and grill on our griddle. Then we slice it into small pieces and add to the meal. The soup can be eaten sans the sausage. We like it because it adds a spiciness to the soup that we enjoy and makes the soup more fillings. This too is a matter of personal preference.




Fearless Friday… Carb-free lasagna

By Caroline:

We all know that at the end of a long week sometimes we just want comfort food. And we definitely want to treat ourselves to something delicious… But at the same time we’re afraid of totally going off the rails. So we thought about the concept of fearless Fridays. Giving you a recipe from time to time thats a healthier alternative to comfort food. It doesn’t have to be the healthiest meal in the world, but we are striving to make better choices. So here’s our first attempt at a healthier weekend meal. It takes some time to make so it’s perfect for Fridays or Saturdays with friends.

By Orlando:

Eggplant lasagna.

It was as good a lasagna as any I’ve ever had. I know it is hard to believe, but I swear it’s true. In place of pasta sheets, we use eggplant sliced in 1/4 inch slices length-wise. A mandolin is ideal in order to get even slices, but you can eye-ball it with a knife. This is a take on a recipe I found online.

The meat in the lasagna is ground turkey and chicken. You can use one or both, but I wanted the depth of flavor that the combination would provide. You can use turkey or chicken sausage as well if you want. A quick note on ground turkey: always check the fat % on the package. Turkey that is 85/15 (15% fat) is as bad as eating ground beef. A 99% or “fat-free” turkey is ideal, but it is super dry. I usually use a 93/7 blend which is still healthy and reasonable.

This is NOT one of our weekly go-to dishes mainly because I use a good deal of cheese (even though they are all fat-free or 2% milk cheese). Also, it is not as packed with vegetables as I normally like. But the true genius of this dish is that you don’t use any spaghetti sauce. The sauce is comprised of all ground turkey/chicken and a combination of red wine, tomato paste, and a small can of Rottela. In other words, you are saving the 100-plus grams of sugar contained on Prego or Ragu. Add to that the absence of any pasta, and you have a relatively healthy, very low-carb lasagna that you can make as a “weekend cheat” dish. As I always do, I will eventually find a way to add a lot of veggies to this dish and make it even healthier, but I didn’t want to go crazy on my first attempt and risk watering-down the lasagna. One of the keys to a good lasagna is that it can stand on its own after plating. This lasagna did so in large part because it was not overly-sauced, but it still had an awesome saucy taste inside of the ground meats.

Mock Noodles

  • 2 large eggplants, peeled, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch noodle-like strips
  • cooking spray (olive oil spray is best)
  • salt and pepper

Meat Sauce

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin or 1 lb ground turkey breast and 1 lb ground chicken (or 2 pounds of your favorite)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning (or mix of oregano, basil and thyme)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you dare!) (optional)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 small can of Rotelle tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (for less sugar, 3 chopped tomatoes)

Cheese Mixture


  1. 1
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. 2
    Spray cookie sheet, arrange eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper.
  3. 3
    Cook slices 5 minutes on each side.
  4. 4
    Lower oven temp to 375.
  5. 5
    Brown meat, season with salt, pepper, and Italian Seasonings and place in a bowl.
  6. 6
    Add red pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in olive oil until cooked (don’t forget to season).
  7. 7
    Add spinach, season, and cook for 5-10 minutes. Please DRAIN any excess liquids!!!!!
  8. 8
    Add the meat to the mixture and add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and red wine. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Blend ricotta, egg and onion mixture in a bowl. Spray cooking spray in bottom of 9” x 13” glass pan. You can use a smaller pan for a taller lasagna.
  10. 10
    Layer ½ eggplant slices, ricotta, meat, mozzarella and parmesan.
  11. 11
  12. 12
    Add last layer of sauce, then mozzarella and parmesan on top.
  13. 13
    Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
  14. 14
    Remove foil and bake or broil another 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned.
  15. 15
    Let it rest 10 minutes before slicing, if you can wait that long!