Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mangia! Spinach & Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan. You've all seen it on the menu.  Eggplant on its own is healthy, and has very few calories.  However this ninja veg soaks up EVERYTHING, which has given it a bad rep in the world of italian food. Not to mention, that it is often fried. Fact: the Eggplant Parmesan at Romano’s Macaroni Grill weighs in at 1,240 calories and 64 grams of fat, 36 of which are saturated.  If you eat this, you should probably schedule a visit with a cardiologist STAT.  There's a better way. 

So what's the deal with eggplant, you ask? It's a "brain food," in that the skin of the eggplant contains nasunin. Nasunin is a highly potent antioxidant that research suggests protects cell membranes/lipids from damage.  The cell membrane is composed of lipids, and are responsible for letting in nutrients and letting waste out, protecting the cells from free radicals, and receiving instructions that instruct the cells what to do. 

Didn't know you were going to get a science lesson, did you? Oh well, let's get to the good stuff.

Spinach & Eggplant Parmesan

1 baby eggplant (or just a small eggplant)
1 cup finely shredded baby spinach
1/3 c part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg white
1/3 c part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T parmesan, grated
1 c canned tomato sauce
2 t extra virgin olive oil
3 t italian seasoning
glove of garlic
pinch of crushed red pepper

Turn on broiler.  Slice eggplant into thin 1/2 inch slices. I ended up with about 12ish slices in the end. Place them on a baking sheet (sprayed with cooking spray), and brush 1/2 olive oil on the slices.  Bake for about 5 minutes, turn, brush with the remaining olive oil. Bake for another 5ish minutes. Be careful not to burn!! Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, heat up the tomato sauce.  Add 2 t of the italian seasoning, garlic, crushed red pepper, and pepper. Stir.

Place ricotta cheese, egg white, and 1 T parmesan cheese in a bowl and mix until smooth.  Add 1 t of italian seasoning to mix. 

Pour about 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a small round (or square, whatever you have) dish.  Layer about 6 or so slices on top of the sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded spinach on top of eggplant.

Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture on top of eggplant layers.  Pour another 1/3 of the sauce on top.

Repeat 1 more time (2 layers of eggplant/spinach). Finish with sauce, top with mozzarella cheese & remaining 1 T of parmesan.

Cook at 375 for 25-35 minutes, until bubbly.

Now, mangia!!! (literally means EAT!)

Serving Suggestion: Eat as is, or serve over some whole wheat pasta & a salad on the side.

Serves 2, or 1 really hungry person.

WW: 6p+ each, if serving 2
12p+ if you eat the whole thing!

Inspired by Hungry Girl's No Harm Eggplant Parm

No comments:

Post a Comment