Monday, April 11, 2011

Eggplant Veggie Extravaganza

First things First....the last picture that I took with both my kids I used on this blog....and it was from almost 2 years ago! How sad is that??!!! I need to get a new picture up there. We all look much cuter now

It was a beauty of a day here in NJ. Nice and warm and finally sunny at the same time. It was meatless Monday in our house and it was actually Monday....since sometimes it gets pushed back into the weeks rotation. I visited Trader Joe's for the first time yesterday. It was pretty cool, but I could see spending a small fortune on total impulse buys. I was reading labels like crazy and making sure only healthy things made its way into my cart. I also had done my menu planning and had my grocery list with me so if I could get what I needed for cheaper then that was great too. So far I really like the Cat Cookies and tonight I used my breaded frozen eggplant patties. I will be going back so far just for these 2 things. I also got many more recommendations of things too look for so maybe I can manage a monthly pilgrimage without doing too much damage.

As I said I got eggplant at Joes. I am obsessed with eggplant. I love it SO MUCH. But I can not make it myself. It never comes out good. To salt, or not to salt? The breading...what a time consuming mess. When I really want it, I will get some yummy take out and enjoy someone else's hard work. UNTIL......tonight!!! With Trader Joe's help I created such a yummy and healthy meal I could barely contain myself from eating 1/2 of the baking dish.
Eggplant Veggie Extravaganza
a Juliann Easy Eats Original
6 servings
***7 WW Points Plus***

(If you chose to divide by 4 servings it comes out to 10 points per serving, I didnt figure out the points before I cooked and ate so I divided by 6---but now I realize I could have eaten more :) )

1 box of Trader Joe's Breaded Eggplant Patties--or any lb. of breaded eggplant (but it might change point totals)
2 cups cubed zucchini
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 large carrots shredded
1-14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
1- 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 package frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained of all liquid
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. reduced fat parmesan cheese
1 cup + 1/2 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese

*Place frozen eggplant on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until browned and crispy

*Heat a non-stick large skillet on medium heat, add the olive oil

*Put garlic directly into the oil, then add the zucchini

*saute until zucchini is softened, about 6-8 minutes, then add shredded carrots

*continue to cook for another 3 minutes and then add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt & Italian Seasonings. Let simmer for 5 minutes on low heat, then remove from heat

*In a small bowl, mix ricotta with 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, then combine with drained spinach

*Spray 2 Quart Baking Dish with Cooking spray and place 1/2 of eggplant in the bottom of the dish

*Spoon 1/2 of the spinach mixture onto the eggplant slices

*Cover with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, and top with 1/2 of Veggie Mixture

*Repeat with remaining Eggplant, Spinach Mixture, 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, and Veggie Mixture.

* Top with remaining 1/4 cup of Mozzarella Cheese and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese

*Bake at 400 Degrees for 20 Minutes or until Bubbly, let rest for 10 minutes and then cut and serve....AND EAT!!!

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