Eggplant Casserole

I have adapted this recipe from Gluten-free Goddess. My mother-in-law, Mrs. Vicki, made this at one of her parties recently and it was delicious, so I decided to give it a try. The original recipe says it serves 4, but with my modifications below, it would serve 6 - 8. It was a large casserole. You could serve this with a green salad or a huge glass of red wine, like me. :-)

Italian-Style Paleo: Eggplant with Crumbled Beef, Sausage, Tomatoes and Mint



2 medium eggplant
Sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper (I added this since I had it on hand)
Mushrooms (I add mushrooms to everything!)
1 pound ground grass-fed beef
1 pound sausage of your choice (I added this since I had it.)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram and/or basil
1 teaspoon thyme
garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup light broth or pure plain tomato juice, as needed. I used a bit of red wine.
2-3 fresh mint sprigs. I also threw in oregano and parsley.
Mozzarella cheese


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Weep the eggplant to remove the bitterness. Salt slices of eggplant and toss them into a colander. Allow them to "weep" moisture for 20 minutes. Press with a spatula to squeeze any last remaining liquid. Rinse in cold water briefly; drain. Pat dry with a clean tea towel.

Lay the slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly on both sides with a little olive oil. Roast the slices in the oven till fork tender and a bit crispy around the edges. This takes maybe 20 to 30 minutes or so depending upon your oven, altitude and the thickness of your eggplant.

In the meantime heat a deep sided skillet on medium-high heat and cook the onions for five minutes or so, till softened; add and cook the ground beef and sausage, breaking it apart and stirring a bit here and there until nicely browned.

Add the chopped red bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, marjoram and thyme. Stir and cook a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, balsamic and broth (or wine); stir and bring to a simmer. Season with sea salt, to taste. Reduce heat and cover, keeping it on a steady slow simmer.

Cook for about 15 minutes- till the beef is thoroughly cooked. If you need a small amount of liquid at this point, add a splash of broth or wine. Remove from heat.

Lightly oil a single shallow baking dish such as an 9 x 12-inch baking dish.

When the eggplant is done remove the baking sheet from the oven and reset your oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Layer the cooked eggplant into a single baking dish. Top with the cooked beef and tomato mixture and sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350ºF moderate oven till heated through- about 15 to 20 minutes.

We thought this was quite yummy and it reminded us of lasagna!

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