Friday, October 21, 2011

A new love affair....

.... with eggplant!!! 

I've known people for years that claim to love eggplant.... But I had never had it!  Not surprising - I used to be a very picky eater, and I probably wouldn't have tried it anyways! BUT for some reason I recently got it in my head that I wanted to try it. Yesterday I was picking up some groceries, but the eggplant there didn't look all that appetizing, so I didn't buy one.  On the way to my boyfriends house, though, I decided to stop by a little roadside produce market (locally grown of course!) that I've been wanting to go into anyways - this sweet little old lady working there helped me pick one out, and I couldn't wait to cook it! 

I still wasn't exactly sure how to cook it.  I did some looking around online at different recipes, and finally decided to just go with this -- simple & delicious.  I can't wait to have it again!  I'm thinking I'm going to have to start cooking this like once a week.   YUM!!!

1 eggplant, pretty thinly sliced - and peeled.
spaghetti sauce (whatever variety you like)
Shredded cheese - all we had on hand was the mexican variety but it worked well!
cooking spray (I used Smart Balance)
Emeril's Original Essence (or whatever seasoning you like) 

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray aluminum foil (already on baking sheet) with cooking spray. Spray each side of the eggplant slices - sprinkle some seasoning on each side as well.  Place on baking sheet - you may need more than one baking sheet depending on how large your eggplant is, or how much you're making.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  I sprayed the eggplant slices with a little more cooking spray about half way through.... remove from oven, top with a little bit of spaghetti sauce, and a little bit of cheese (almost look like mini pizzas) and bake for a few more minutes (just to melt cheese).  Remove from oven & ENJOY!
 I had my eggplant on a bed of pasta - I used Barilla Piccolini Farfalle Pasta (carrots & squash) -- I like to use whole wheat pasta, but I like this pasta too because it has a full serving of vegetables in each serving!  Score!  

You can add a little more spaghetti sauce if you like for the pasta.... and it's a delicious healthy meal!  My boyfriend, who is kind of a picky eater, and who also had not had eggplant and was not thrilled when I said I wanted to make it, said it was good too! :)

You could also make this as a side dish to go with chicken or pork.

*Nutrition info just for eggplant as prepared above*
140 Calories
4.5g Fat
23g Carbs
10g Fiber
275mg Sodium
5g Protein

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