I’m always trying to find new ways to get my family to eat vegetables. Usually… I fail miserably. Visions of summer squash casseroles with Quiona and tofu have flown out of my mind. This week, I decided to make a dish using things I know my family likes, but add something new. This weeks mission: introduce my family to eggplant. Mainly, this was my mission because eggplant was on sale for $0.88!! Not only did I succeed in convincing my family that eggplant is good, but I think I have a new favorite meal! I can’t take 100% of the credit for this idea. I based this idea loosely from a recipe I read in a Weight Watchers cookbook but I made changes to make it more realistic for my family and to give it more flavor.
The first step is to prepare the eggplant.
- Peel the skin of one eggplant using a vegetable peeler. Chop off the top and the bottom and then slice the eggplant vertically into 8 slices.
- Lay the slices on a baking sheet lined with foil sprayed with cooking spray.
- Spray the eggplant with the cooking spray and sprinkle the slices with a little salt and pepper.
- Broil the eggplant until it’s a dark, golden-brown (about 4 minutes) just one one side.
- Set the eggplant aside to cool.
Now for the filling! In a skillet, heat 1T of olive oil and cook:
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 cloves pressed garlic
Cook this until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
Set this aside and in a small bowl, combine:
- 15 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1/2 t oregano
- 1/2 t pepper
- 2T fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 t salt
Add the sauteed vegetables to the ricotta mixture and mix well.
Now it’s time to assemble!
- First spread about 1/3 C marinara sauce from a 24-ounce jar on the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish.
- Put about 1/4 C of the ricotta/vegetable mixture in the middle of the cooked eggplant
- Roll the eggplant around the mixture and place it seam-side down in the baking dish.
- Do this with the remaining eggplant pieces and ricotta mixture.
- Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the eggplant and top with 1C Italian shredded cheese blend.
- Bake this a 350 degrees for about 30 minutes of until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
In the meantime:
- Cook 10 ounces (dry) of pasta. We used vegetable blend rotini.
- Put 1/4 of the pasta on a plate and top with 2 eggplant rolls and sauce for each serving.