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Monday, January 26, 2015

What's Cookin' in the Country?

I mentioned a few weeks ago about Aldi's Grocery store opening up in our area soon.  Well, the opening day was last week, and I was so excited about the great produce I found there!  I got cabbage, blueberries, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, pineapple, lemons aaaaand, eggplant!  Now, the truth is, I had never fixed eggplant, but because it was so reasonable, and because  I was more than tired of peas, beans and corn, I decided I could try it out!

I went on SkinnyTaste's site and found a great looking recipe for a lightened up version of Eggplant Parmesan.  This is usually breaded and fried before adding tomato sauce and cheese, but this recipe roasts the eggplant in the oven instead, making it much healthier!  It was DELICIOUS!  I made up the whole recipe on Saturday night, then popped it into the oven on Sunday morning and set the timer to bake it 30 minutes before we'd arrive home. 

I was afraid it might be a little bitter, but it wasn't! It was creamy, delicious and a lovely change from our normal Sunday dinner!

If you can snag an eggplant at a great price, you need to try this recipe and maybe, like me, give eggplant a chance!  It's good stuff!

Lighter Eggplant Parmesan
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 servings • Time: 60 minutes • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 265.3 • Fat: 12.4 g • Protein: 14.1 g • Carb: 35.4 g • Fiber: 4.4 g

1 large eggplant (2 lbs)
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz fat free ricotta
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium egg
2 cups reduced fat mozzarella (I used Sargento)
3 cups homemade tomato sauce

Start by making the sauce if you don't have any already made. While the sauce simmers, slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lightly salt the slices and put in a colander to release excess moisture for about 1/2 hour. Lay on paper towels to soak up any extra moisture.

Preheat oven to 450°. Brush eggplant lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning half way through until eggplant is golden brown.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, parsley and 1/4 cup of grated cheese.

In a 9x12 baking dish, put a little sauce on the bottom of the dish and put a layer of eggplant to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese and sauce. Add another layer of eggplant and repeat the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and sauce until everything is used up. Top with sauce and the mozzarella cheese and the remaining grated cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until cheese is melted and everything is bubbling, about 30 minutes at 400°. Remove foil and bake an additional 8-10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

Have you tried eggplant?  How do you prepare it?

With love from my country kitchen,


Dianne said...

I love eggplant parmesan but have only made it once. I need to give it another try!

Denise said...

This is a great recipe to do so!

M said...

I love eggplant parm, but spouse doesn't like it. I have made it a few times, but not for years. I sometimes order it when we eat out because I take that chance to have it.

Denise said...

I'm a fan now, too!