Eggplant Parmesan

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

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!



  • 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


  • 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


  • 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



Broccoli and Ricotta Manicotti

February 07, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Broccoli and Ricotta Manicotti

Nothing says comfort food more than a plate of pasta that’s steaming hot and right out of the oven. This broccoli and ricotta stuffed manicotti is kicked up a notch by a flavorful, yet oh so easy to make, homemade tomato sauce. The filling is so creamy that it’s hard to believe that it’s made with skim milk and fat-free ricotta.

Broccoli and Ricotta Manicotti
adapted from The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 dried manicotti (or cannelloni) tubes, 3 inches long
4 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups panko (or breadcrumbs)
2/3 cup skim milk
4 Tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 cup no-fat ricotta cheese
pinch of grated nutmeg
6 Tablespoons Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds (or pine nuts)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 28oz can organic crushed tomatoes with basil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons black olives, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking. Cook 8-9 minutes until pasta is completely cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking and set aside. (When working on the rest of the steps, check to make sure the pasta isn’t drying out. Brush a little water on the pasta if it is…)

While pasta is cooking, steam the broccoli for 10 minutes until tender (not mushy).  After steaming the broccoli let it cool a bit, then put into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine panko and milk and oil. Stir until the panko is softened. Add the ricotta, broccoli, nutmeg and 4 Tablespoons for the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, black olives and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.

Spoon the broccoli and cheese mixture into a pastry bag or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped. (A tip – an easy method for spooning the mixture in the bag is to  put the bag in a wide mouthed container and fold the top over the sides. This will hold the bag open.) Open the pasta tubes and squeeze the mixture into each. Make sure to not overfill the pasta.

Pour the simmered sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking pan. Place the filled pasta tubes into the baking pan. Brush the tops of the pasta with a little olive oil. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese and almonds on top.

Place in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes – until golden.

Artichoke Lasagna Rolls

November 30, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Have guests coming over later in the week? Make these lasagna rolls a few days ahead, throw them into the refrigerator and then pop them into the oven about 45 minutes before you are going to eat. Your hands do get a little bit gloppy when rolling up the lasagna noodles. But, it’s worth it.

Artichoke Lasagna Rolls
adapted from the 1994 edition of “New Vegetarian Cuisine

5 wheat lasagna noodles
2 cups spaghetti sauce (see note)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional: see note)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional: see note)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup coarsely chopped artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Meanwhile, in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, simmer the spaghetti sauce, basil, tomatoes, and oregano for 5 minutes. Set aside. (Note: Or, use a pasta sauce with the flavors desired. I used an organic tomato and porcini mushroom sauce from Middle Earth Organics with plenty of flavorings and herbs. I simply heated it up for a few minutes in the microwave. And, it saved some chopping of herbs.)

In a large no-stick frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the mushrooms and onions; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the ricotta, artichokes, peppers, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan; mix well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of an 8″ by 8″ baking dish. (Note: Skip this step if making the rolls ahead of time.) Lay the noodles flat on a work surface.

With a small spatula, spread about 1 tablespon of the tomato sauce along the length of each noodle. Spread each with equal amounts of the ricotta mixture. Roll up the noodles to enclose the filling. (You may assemble the rolls ahead and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake them.)

Place, seam side down, in the baking dish.

Top evenly with the remaining tomato sauce and the mozzarella.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. (Note: If you are about to bake them after storing them in the refrigerator, cook for about 40-45 minutes, or until bubbly.)

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