Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cheesy Goodness

i realize that those following a strict clean diet usually stay away from cheese. i could never dream of giving up cheese altogether. i am a cheesie - i love all kinds of cheese. spreadable, stringy, crumbly, stinky, i haven't met many cheeses i haven't liked. so, of course i still use cheese when cooking. i mean it is all natural. as long as you don't get the processed cheeses, it doesn't have any processed unnecessary ingredients.

today i am cooking for my personal trainer (actually i trade services with him, i cook, he trains - great deal). i made 3 batches of eggplant parmasean. two go to the client, but one stays with me! it is such an easy recipe but so good. i use whole wheat bread crumbs, homemade marinara, and part skim mozzerella cheese. it's not an everyday meal but serve with a salad and it's certainly not bad for you. afterall, eggplant is a vegetable! i almost always double recipes like this. freeze one and you get 2 meals for the work of one.

Eggplant Parmesan
(serves 4)

2 medium eggplant (you need 12 slices)
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-2 eggs
1/4 c whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 c grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
2 c chianti marinara sauce (see marinara madness for the recipe or use prepared sauce - no added sugar!)
1 1/2 c shredded part skim mozzerella
1/3 c additional grated parmesan

preheat oven to 375.

slice eggplant into at least 12 slices (1/2" thick). place flour on one plate, mix in salt and pepper. beat eggs in a large bowl. combine bread crumbs and 1/4 c grated parmesan on a seperate plate.

dredge eggplant slices in flour, then eggs, then cheese/breadcrumb mixture.

heat olive oil in large skillet (oil should be about an inch deep). add eggplant slices several at a time making sure the skillet is not too crowded. brown breaded eggplant on both sides (approximately 2 mins per side). drain excess oil by placing cooked slices on paper towel.

spoon in enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of a 1 1/2 qt baking dish. layer enough eggplant slices to completely cover the dish (about 6 slices). sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese followed by a layer of marinara sauce. repeat layers again eggplant, marinara, cheese. sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of mozzarella cheese.

bake at 375 for 20 mins until browned and bubbly.

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