Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cooking Creations: Aubergine Dream

Last week, R. sent me a Weight Watcher friendly recipe for eggplant rollatini, which sounded to die for. Unfortunately, yours truly can't keep up with ingredients, so after a quick trip to Kroger, I found myself in possession of one fabulous looking eggplant, some shredded skim mozzerella, and jarred tomato sauce. A few more looks around my pantry, and I came up with a makeshift recipe for eggplant parm. What separates this one from the stuff that you get at Olive Garden is that it's made with healthy ingredients, and there is no deep frying required!!

Heart Healthy Eggplant Parm
1 eggplant, washed and cut width-wise into half inch wide disks
1/2 cup of Egg Beaters
3/4 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1 cup of mozzerella
1/2 jar of tomato sauce (I used about 12 oz. of a 24 oz. jar of Bertolli Vineyard Marinara)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

I put a half cup of egg beaters in a small shallow bowl, and about a 3/4 cup of Italian bread crumbs in another bowl. First I dunked the eggplant in the egg beaters, and then lightly coated them with the bread crumbs on each side. (By lightly, I mean that you can probably still see the eggplant through the coating of crumbs.) Chances are, you are not going to use all the egg beaters or the bread crumbs. Place them in rows on the cookie sheet. Bake on one side for 8-10 minutes, then flip them. Bake for another 8-10 minutes. At this point, the eggplant should be tender, and yet have a crisp coating.

Lower the temperature of your oven to 375 degrees.

Spray Pam onto casserole dish (I used a round 1.5 quart one). Put a bit of sauce on the bottom of the dish and swish it around to "line" the pan. Then, start layering the eggplant into the dish. Before adding another layer, pour some sauce on top and sprinkle some mozzerella. Continue doing this until all the baked eggplant are in the casserole dish. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

I estimate that this meal can serve 2-3 people, based on their appetites as well as the size of your eggplant. I used a normal sized eggplant (about a foot long, pretty thick around the middle) and was able to get three servings out of it. At this rate, each serving is about 5 WW points. And it definitely quenched my craving for eggplant parm :)

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