So this weekend, Brandon and I are trying 2 new recipes, one of them being a completely new food to us. I’ve always known what eggplant looks like (thanks to an old video game I used to play that had it as an “energy food”), but when asked if I liked it, I’d probably answer with a “Nope!” And really, I’d only say no because I had no idea, but the idea of trying something purple, called eggplant, just didn’t sound like a great idea to me! With Weightwatchers we do challenges every week, occassionally it’s to try something we’ve never had before. When we had this challenge about a month ago, I tried 2 new fruits. Since then I’ve also tried zucchini (and no in bread), and tonight it was eggplant.

Last week at bowling I was discussing recipes with an older lady I bowl with and she had mentioned eggplant, or I did, I don’t remember anymore. But she said she had a recipe for eggplant that involved a lot of cheese and some spaghetti sauce. Sounded good to me, and I was informed eggplant is a lot like portabella mushrooms. I love mushrooms, Brandon loves mushrooms, so well we decided to try this out. So here is what we call “Eggplant Parmesan!”

First off we chopped everything up so everything would be smoother. You’ll need eggplant (obviously)

An onion…

2 small tomatoes…

And we cut up some mushrooms, but forgot the picture. Then I also got the other ingredients ready in a bowl too. Some grated parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella cheese.

Really we did all of this because Angela was baking a cake, so the oven was occupied. But then the cake was done, and we could move on! So you place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and brush them with olive oil and sprink some garlic powder over them.

After that, you throw those in oven for ten minutes. While they are baking sautee the rest of the chopped veggies, garlic and spinache in a pan with some olive oil. Just long enough for them to be aromatic and the tomatoes to let their juices out.

That should finish about the same time as the eggplant. You’ll then transfer the eggplant to a 9×13 pan and then spread the spinache mixture over it.

Then sprinkle part of the cheese mixture over the spinache mixture.

Lastly you spread the spaghetti sauce over it and then sprinkle the remaining cheese and Italian seasonings over the top. Bake, and enjoy!

This is the finished product. I think we put it in for too long, maybe only 20 minutes next time, and possibly add some chicken or other protein. Everything was kind of mushy, so the texture was off, but it tasted really good.

***CAUTION*** Items that are taken directly out of the oven and put on a plate to eat are extremely hot!!! If you choose to dig right in and take a bite before it has cooled down you may make a face similar to the following:

Ingredients

 
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
1 tablespoon garlic powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup tomato pasta sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Directions

 
1.)Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Brush eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides, and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle garlic powder over the top. Bake for 10 minutes.

2.)Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and spinach. Cook and stir for a few minutes until fragrant, and the tomatoes have released their juices. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

3.)Place the eggplant slices in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with the spinach mixture. Spoon the cheese mixture over the spinach, and spread into a thin layer. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through and the eggplant is easily pierced with a fork.

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