Cooking with Nutrition With Annie: A new and better way


I have had several requests for this recipe so I thought I would share it. It has become an all time favorite for me and my family. I always take a copy of the recipe when I make it for family and friends gatherings because I know that people will want to know how to make it. It is bursting with flavor and has all the ingredients of maintaining excellent health and weight loss maintenance which is what you are going for when you are creating a healthy lifestyle. This recipe has turned the skeptic heart from "I don't really eat eggplant but I love this recipe, how do you make it?!" Enjoy and write me and tell me about it!

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

1 6 oz. can of no added salt tomato paste

1 tablespoon of dry oregano

1 tablespoon of dry basil

1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese

1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 ½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of brown sugar (use just enough to give a hint of sweetness to your sauce-depending on how much you are making, you might not use the entire tablespoon)

¼ cup of orange juice (gives your tomato paste a fresh tomato flavor)

3-4 medium size cloves of garlic, chopped. Peel by crushing with the blade of knife-be careful not to cut yourself

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons of olive oil (one for the sauce and one to sauté the chopped vegetables)

3-4 greens onions (scallions), chopped

½ of a large red onion, chopped (adds a strong punch of flavor to the dish)

3-4 slices of Swiss cheese (cut diagonally)

3 eggplants (if you are using baby eggplants, use about 2 if they are large, sliced (about ½ inch thickness)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Making the sauce:

Mix together in a bowl: The tomato paste, oregano, basil, parmesan cheese, onion and garlic powder, brown sugar, olive oil and orange juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add water to the sauce to thin the paste. Your goal is to have it not too thick but not too thin. Set aside.

For the chopped ingredients

Heat up your cooking pan on medium heat. Place a tablespoon of olive oil in the heated pan. Add the chopped ingredients and red pepper flakes. Add a dash of salt and black pepper to taste. Even though I have already added fresh garlic and onions, I still add about ½ teaspoons of garlic and onion powder to the chopped ingredients. Sauté these ingredients until they begin to caramelize (the sugar is cooking out of them and they begin to have a rich looking gloss). Set aside and let cool while you are slicing the eggplant.

For the Eggplant

Preheat oven 400 degrees

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Place your eggplant in the dish and season with a sprinkle (very, very, very lightly) of sea salt, basil, oregano and parmesan cheese. Next place part of your sautéed vegetables, and arrange 3 slices of Swiss cheese as your next layer. Top with your sauce. Repeat this process until you are done. I usually end up with the tomato sauce on the last layer. This recipe yields two layers of eggplant.

Bake in a 400 degree oven about 40 minutes. The sugar in the tomato sauce might brown a bit but that just adds to the richness of the dish.

Tip: Have fun serving this dish! And remember portion control-all things in moderation even when it’s healthy eating. Pair this dish up with al dente spaghetti and you will think you were dining at a fine Italian restaurant! This dish is so good and has lots of flavor! It eats very well on toasted Italian bread. I like to use 100% whole wheat Italian bread or sprouted grain bread. The sprouted grain bread toast up with a nice crunch to it.


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