Eggplant Parmesan

December 29, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe

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Eggplant Parmesean
Golden baked eggplant layered between four different types of cheese is not necessarily a diet dish but it’s comfort food at its finest. (To be honest, I did use a low-fat ricotta but its benefits were immediately cancelled out by the rest of the cheese.)

I made a roasted garlic pasta sauce the night before I made this. I’m glad I used it as it added a more homey flavor.

This eggplant parmesan was also much appreciated as lunch leftovers the next day.

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

Summary: Served with a homemade tomato sauce, this eggplant parmesan was divine!

Ingredients

Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Cooking spray

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce (or use my roasted garlic pasta sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese

Instructions

  • To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish.
  • Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish.
  • Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess.
  • Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesean

  • To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).
  • To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce.
  • Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  • Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina.

Eggplant Parmesean

  • Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina.
  • Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

 

 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving: A Feast Fit for Everyone

November 24, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Recipe

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Vegetarian ThanksgivingSee that picture above? First, I’ll apologize for it being a little blurry. You see, I had to take it quickly because I had a line of hungry people behind me. But, I wanted to show you, my dear Veggin’ readers, the spread of food that we had where everything was vegetarian for Thanksgiving…except for the turkey. We managed to please all the omnivores, carnivores, flexitarians, 10-year-old picky eaters and vegetarians in the bunch. (We didn’t have any vegans, but I know with a few quick and easy switches, they would have left the table full and satisfied!)

This feast was accomplished with some quick planning and a few simple switches such as using vegetable broth instead of a meat based broth. Checking to make sure the stuffing didn’t have any meat products in it. And, cooking a variety of flavor profiles and interesting combinations such as a vinegary celery root salad and a creamy green bean casserole. (Because it’s not Thanksgiving until you’ve eaten half a container of fried onions…) And, having a vegetarian gravy option available. (It also helped having the 10-year-olds pitch in with some of the cooking so they were more interested in trying the final product.)

Also, I tried for the first time Gardein breaded turk’y cutlets. It comes with a vegetarian gravy that had a nice peppery flavor. I sauteed the cutlets in some olive oil. I’d have to say it’s a winner hands-down over Tofurky. While I usually don’t need a meat substitute, this was a good substitute for turkey.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Vegetarian recipes featured above:

And, here are some previous columns you can peruse providing even more vegetarian Thanksgiving tips, tricks, ideas and recipes.

Other Thanksgiving posts featured on Veggin':

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

November 18, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Recipe

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9761946096_a047e2b893_oThe balsamic vinegar and hot sauce in this recipe told me that I had to try it. I was going to make an eggplant parmesean later in the week and wanted a homemade sauce to go with it. I let this sauce simmer on the stove one night, popped it in the fridge and it was still perfect the next day.

What’s not to like about a recipe that lets you squish tomatoes…with your hands? When you do it, though, hold your hand way down in the pot, otherwise you’ll have tomato juice on your stove, on your counters, on your floors, on your walls and on yourself. Don’t ask me how I know…

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

Summary: A flavorful and versatile pasta sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion (large, chopped)
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsps salt
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper (crushed)
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 56 ozs italian plum tomatoes (whole, with liquid)
  • 3 whole roasted garlic (heads, cloves removed from peels)

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat until soft and golden – about 6 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, salt balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil and cook for 1 minute.

Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

  • Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you place them in the pan with their juices. Stir to combine well and bring to a boil.

Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

  • Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine.

Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

  • Continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes longer until the flavors have come together.
  • Serve over your choice of pasta.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Slow Cooker Broccoli Risotto

November 02, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe, Side Dishes

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I’ve said it before here on Veggin’, risotto isn’t that hard to make. But, this recipe makes it ridiculously easy to make. Sure, you have to chop up some broccoli and throw it in a food processor, but other than that, you just toss everything in the cooker and let it cook away…

(Also, the bonus with this recipe is chopping the bejeezus out of the broccoli in the blender or food processor. I think I had way too much fun with that.)

Recipe: Slow Cooker Broccoli Risotto

Summary: An easy risotto that you can walk away from while it is cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • parmesean cheese, grated for garnish

Instructions

  • Shred broccoli florets in food processor.
  • Turn slow cooker on high. Add olive oil into slow cooker.
  • Add risotto rice and onion flakes and mix around in the oil.
  • Add garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper.
  • Stir in broccoli and vegetable broth.
  • Add butter on top.

  • Cover and cook for 2 hours. Check on it every 30 to 45 minutes. Add more liquid as necessary until rice is tender.

  • Stir in Greek yogurt and mozzarella.
  • Serve with parmesean cheese on top.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


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