taught someone else how to cook! Don’t believe me? It’s true. At
work, we’ve been having a “Biggest Loser” competition for the past 12
weeks. I probably should have entered. I could
lose the extra pounds on my midsection. And I’ve posted a few times
before how we’re trying to eat a lot healthier (as a family and
individually).Well, I finally got to put my good experience to
use! One of the women who competed in the competition (and won) asked
me to show her how to cook a few of her favorite meals. She is like a
lot of other people who act amazed when I say
I love cooking contests and cooking; she lacks confidence.
To help this along, she came over for our first
“lesson” which was a lightened-up version of eggplant parmesan. There
were a few mishaps; like using the full container of ricotta when it was
instructed to just use half. But those were
small in comparison to the things we learned. I made homemade
breadcrumbs and homemade spaghetti sauce which added to the complexity
of the meal. By the time we were done (and starving), we ate and she
savored every bite, knowing that she mainly cooked it
all by herself. I enjoyed making dinner for someone else for a change,
besides just myself.
Lightened-Up Eggplant Parm (adapted from Cooking Light)
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
8 ounces ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups spaghetti sauce
4 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced
Slice the eggplant into thin slices. Salt the
eggplant and place in a colander over a bowl. Let the eggplant drain
for about 1 hour (I did this before work so I placed it in the fridge
for 8 hours and came out great!).
When ready, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine egg and milk in a small bowl. Place the breadcrumbs on a large
plate. Dip the eggplant into the egg mixture and then into the
breadcrumbs. Place on a non-greased cookie sheet and
repeat until all the eggplant has been coated thoroughly. Bake for 12
minutes, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from
the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta, egg, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
Begin to make the eggplant parmesan. In a large
casserole dish, put down 1/2 cup of sauce. Top with eggplant forming a
single layer. Spread one half of the ricotta mixture over it. Top with
1/2 cup of sauce. Add eggplant in a single
layer. Spread remaining ricotta mixture over it. Top with 1/2 of the
mozzarella cheese. Add eggplant in final layer. Top with remaining
spaghetti sauce, and remaining mozzarella slices. Bake for 25-35
minutes, until fully heated through. Let rest for
about 3-5 minutes before serving.
Until the next time my oven is on…