by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CD
Pastelón (Casserole) is a layered or Lasagna-like dish that is most commonly made with sweet plantains. But, pastelón can also be made with yucca root or eggplant. One of the benefits of using eggplant in place of plantains or pasta, is that the overall carbohydrate content is reduced, which can help control blood glucose —sugars—levels, particularly important for individuals suffering from Diabetes.
Type: main course
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Prep time: 25 minutes
Yields: About 9
1 lb. lean ground beef (Look for 93-95% lean)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 4oz. tomato sauce (not paste)
½ cup water
1 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 medium size eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Sal and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven at 375F°
Season ground beef with salt, pepper and cumin.
In a large skillet or medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add meat and cook until slightly brown and liquid has evaporated.
Add onions, cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
Add tomato sauce, basil, oregano and water.
Lower the heat and cook uncovered until sauce has thickened (About 10 minutes). Remove from heat and reserve.
Line up a single layer of sliced eggplant on a previously oiled rectangular ceramic or ovenproof dish.
Cover eggplant uniformly with meat. Sprinkle shredded cheese. Continue layering with the rest of the eggplant, sauce and cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.
Remove foil and cook under broiler until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden brown.
Serving suggestion: serve with a light tossed salad.
Suellen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in the Rochester, NY area. Connect with her at suellenpinedaRDN@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram at @Suellen_Pineda