Eggplant and Bulgur Lasagna w/ Nutritional Yeast “Gratin”

A couple months ago, I devised a moderate cleanse meant to reset your eating habits and remind you how good you can feel when you eat clean, simple, real food. At the time one of my readers asked how they could incorporate nutritional yeast into the program. Say what? That was the first I’d heard of such a thing but I’m so grateful she brought it to my attention. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and an excellent source of  B-complex vitamins, including B-12. It’s naturally low-fat and low-sodium. Best of all, this “Hippie Dust” gives recipes a creamy, nutty and cheesy flavor without sugar, dairy, or gluten. Vegans and the gluten-intolerant rejoice! So if you don’t know, now ya know.

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Knowing how good this stuff is for you, I wanted to come up with a recipe that would be so good it would convince you that something with a name like ‘nutritional yeast’ is actually delicious. Thus, Eggplant and Bulgur Lasagna w/ Nutritional Yeast “Gratin” was born. Okay, so it’s not really lasagna, nor is it topped with a true gratin, but it is a layered, warm, hearty meal with a tasty cheesy topping. Onto the recipe!

For starters, my HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE (which can be used in many things):

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 large fresh tomatoes, diced (skin on)
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cane sugar (optional)*
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

How to Make It:

  1.  Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add your chopped onion (with a pinch of salt) and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and sauté another few minutes until fragrant. Pour in your dry white wine (it should bubble and hiss) and deglaze the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10-15 min. At the end add your parsley and turn off the heat. (You could also add fresh basil and/or oregano here if you’re a fan).

Now that you have that step out of the way, here’s what you’ll need for the rest of the “lasagna” fixings…

ROASTED EGGPLANT:

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil

How to Make It:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Cut your eggplant lengthwise into six 1/4″ slices.
  3. Generously salt both sides of each piece and set aside for 10-15 min. This will help remove excess moisture and any bitterness.
  4. Rinse eggplant and pat dry.
  5. Using a nonstick baking sheet, distribute your eggplant in a single layer. Lightly salt and oil the pieces on both sides.
  6. Bake for 1o min, remove and set aside.

MAKING BULGUR:

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 2 cups water

How to Make It:

  1. Bring 1 cup of bulgur and 2 cups of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 min.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside.

ASSEMBLING THE WHOLE SHEBANG

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In a large (9″ x 13″) baking dish, start with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Then add half of your cooked bulgur. Top the bulgur with three slices of roasted eggplant.

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Repeat, ending with whatever is left of your tomato sauce.

Finish with la pièce de résistance, the “Gratin” topping:

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

How to Make It:

  1. Mix nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Sprinkle evenly over the top of your lasagna.
  3. Dust the “gratin” with paprika for a bright finishing touch.
  4. Cover the pan with tin foil and place in your oven (pre-heated to 350°F this time) for 30 min. Uncover and cook an additional 10 min. Let cool for at least 10 min before serving.

Top each serving with 2 tbs of fresh, chopped parsley for an added hit of flavor. This will keep in your fridge for up to a week and can also be frozen for up to a month. Enjoy!

*One of my brilliant fellow yogis who shares my passion for finding healthy alternatives to traditional meals suggested the following: “instead of cane sugar just add a whole carrot then remove it when you are done. It add sweetness to the sauce and cuts the acidity of the tomatoes just like sugar.”

1 Comment

  1. One of my brilliant fellow yogis with my shared passion for finding healthy alternatives to traditional meals suggested the following: “instead of cane sugar just add a whole carrot then remove it when you are done. It add sweetness to the sauce and cuts the acidity of the tomatoes just like sugar.”