Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spicy Eggplant Parmesan

Last night, I was on a mission to cook something from scratch. In our efforts to save time and money by not going to the grocery store last week (the theory was that we had enough food in the house already), we ended up going out just about every day. This is my twist on eggplant parmesan, and it only required buying one ingredient we didn't have in the house- a green bell pepper. Using lemon basil makes it especially fragrant, and the cinnamon and red pepper flakes give the sauce an unusual flavor. Plus, it's only 7 WW points per serving. I used up a bunch of leftovers, which you will see reflected in the ingredient list. One seven point serving of this won't fill me up if I'm hungry, but add a salad or some steamed vegetables and you're good to go. While I was making this, I also cooked a mix of brown & wild rice and lentils that I picked up in the bulk section of a vegetarian market and turned it into a 3-point salad, recipe below.

Spicy Eggplant Parmesan (serves 4, 7 points a serving)(makes a lot of extra sauce too)

2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick slices
3 egg whites
a little water
2/3 cup whole wheat panko
1 fresh heirloom tomato, chopped
about a cup of leftover strained tomato sauce
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
approximately: 2 tbsp italian seasonings, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, lots of salt and pepper
a handful of chopped lemon basil
a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup leftover romesco sauce (see previous post)
1 cup grated parmesan

In a saucepan, heat olive oil and sautee garlic, shallots, and bell pepper until just cooked. Add tomatoes in all their forms, and spices, seasoning, and sugar. Stir, and when things start bubbling, turn it down to a simmer and leave it alone. You can break up the whole tomatoes with the end of a spatula as you go along (or you can just use diced tomatoes).

Preheat oven to 400. On a plate, combine panko, 1/4 cup parmesan, and add salt & pepper. In a bowl, whisk together egg whites with a little water. Prepare two cookie sheets by covering them with parchment paper. Then, dip each eggplant slice in the egg whites and press it into the panko mixture on both sides. It won't become completely coated but that's okay. Place the eggplant slices on the cookie sheets and when the oven is done preheating, pop 'em in. After 15 minutes, flip them, and bake another 15 minutes. When you take them out they should be crisped up and fully cooked through.

At this point, your sauce will have been simmering for at least half an hour, or more like forty minutes. Get a small square lasagna plan, and add a couple of ladlefuls to the bottom. Add a layer of eggplant, ladle on some more sauce, sprinkle half the remaining parmesan, and repeat. Pop it in the oven for another ten minutes, and then you're ready to eat!

Lentil, Rice and Fruit Salad

per serving -- double or triple as you wish

1/2 cup mixed lentils & brown and wild rice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 apple, chopped
several large grapes, chopped
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Combine, and eat at room temperature.

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