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Roasted Eggplant served over Spaghetti Squash

From Rita:

Just looking at this dish sitting in a roasting pan ready to go in the oven will make your mouth water.  All fresh veggies and a little Feta cheese makes this a special one.  I totally enjoyed it and hope you all do as well.

(Because I am  trying to not eat many white carbs these days, I opted to use spaghetti squash as the base and freely topped it with the finished product.)

I must say, this recipe  began as needing to use up some very ripe tomatoes and an eggplant.  I had to use it or loose it!  What a lovely combination of flavors  that I will not soon forget.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large eggplant, cubed, skin left on (or two medium eggplants)
  • 1 large Vidalia onion,  thinly sliced
  • 4 very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl except the Feta cheese.  Toss well and place in a 9″x13″ roasting pan.  Sprinkle with Feta and bake at 375′ for about 45-50 minutes.  
 
Spaghetti squash: 
 
This can be cooked in the microwave.  Depending on the size,  it could take up to 30 minutes. I generally poke  a hole with a sharp knife in the squash so it does not explode!  Cut it open very carefully, lengthwise.  
 
It is steaming hot so use oven mitts in this step.  Remove the seeds with a spoon, or fork, trying not to drag the strings of squash with them.  Once it is void of seeds you can then use the tines of a fork to scratch the squash out of the skin.
 
 
 
Serve the roasted veggies right over the speghetti (squash).
 
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Vegetarian Moussaka

From Krisann:

This moussaka is a meatless version of the classic Greek dish.  The bulgar is a nice subsitiute for the ground meat.  This is a new recipe for me, but I have to say that I really do love it.  I like to double the recipe so that I can enjoy it as a leftover (It acutally tastes better the longer the flavors mesh together).  I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I did.  Let me know what you think.  Stay tuned for the classic version.

Ingredients:

  • 3 peeled eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 TBLS extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked bulgar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 TBLS butter
  • 2 TBLS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk (I used skim)
  • 2 TBLS finely grated fresh Romano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat broiler to high.

Brush eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon oil.  Place half of eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned.  Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.  Set eggplent aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add chopped onion to pan; saute 8 minutes.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute.  Add bulgar; cook 3 minutes or until bulgar is lightly toasted, stirring frequently.  Add ground allspice, cinnamon , and cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in vegatable broth, oregano, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium -low, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.  Stir in cheese and salt.  Remove fro heat, and cook slightly.  Add egg, stirring well with a whisk.

Preheat oven to 350.

Arrange half of eggplant in an 11 x 7 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread the bulgar mixture evenly over eggplant; arrange remaining eggplant over bulgar mixture.  Top with milk mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, and remove from oven.  Increase oven temperature to 475.  Return dish to oven for 4 minutes or until the top is browned.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 4 servings.  (Note I doulbled the recipe)

Baked Italian Picnic Sandwich

From Krisann:

This bake and take crowd pleaser comes directly from my sister Kim’s kitchen.  It seems like this time of year I am always looking to bring a sandwich on the boat, to the beach, or to a friend’s house.  I really like making my sandwiches on a long loaf of bread and then slicing to enjoy with lots of friends.   Not to worry if you are going to a location that you won’t have access to an oven.  You can either bake the sandwich at home and then wrap it in foil or even skip the baking part and enjoy it as a cold sandwich.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb each hot capricola, mortadella, black pepper ham and salami
  • Pesto (prepared or homemade, see my pesto pasta salad recipe for homemade pesto recipe)
  • fresh basil (wash and dry basil leaves)
  • Roasted Red Pepper (I used the one in a jar, blot the pepper on paper towel so they are not so wet.  If you are using whole peppers break them into strips to place into sandwich)
  • 1 small thinly sliced Vidalia onion
  • 1 eggplant (remove skin, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • Fresh mozzarella ball (thinly sliced)
  • Loaf of bread (I usually use some sort of unsliced italian loaf)
  • Balsamic glaze (this comes prepared and can be purchased at most grocery stores)

 

Preheat the broiler to high.  Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with crazy salt and pepper.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from the heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned.  Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.  Set eggplant aside.

Cut the bread lengthwise.  Spread the pesto on the bottom half of the loaf.  Layer your eggplant, onion slices, roasted red peppers, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.  Take the top half of the bread and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.  Add the meats and carefully place the top half of the sandwich on the bottom half.  Place the sandwich on a baking sheet and cook in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked.  Sandwich can be sliced and enjoyed.

Eggplant Lasagna

From Natalie:

I am always looking for low-carb alternatives to my favorite foods and this is a great one.  It is really delicious and almost guilt free!

Ingredients:

  • One medium size Eggplant
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Jane’s Crazy Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Tomato Sauce ( you will need about 2 quarts.  I make my own…a recipe for another time.)
  • One 15 oz. container of Part-skim Ricotta cheese.
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Slice the eggplant thin, about 1/8 inch slices.  Pour olive oil on the bottom of a large frying pan.  As it is heating, dredge the eggplant in a mixture of 1 egg, 1/2 cup of milk and Crazy Salt and pepper.  Turn over eggplant in mixture and put into the hot oil.  Turn over frequently, just until golden brown and tender.

Put a piece of paper towel at the bottom of a plate.  When the eggplant is brown put them on the paper towel to absorb the oil.  Continue in this fashion, layering the eggplant and paper towel until the whole eggplant is browned.

Mix the Ricotta cheese with one egg, Crazy Salt and pepper and fresh grated Parmesan cheese (to taste).

I used an aluminum pan that was 8.5 inches X 8.5 inches.

Put a little of the tomato sauce at the bottom of the pan so it is lightly covered.  Put a layer of eggplant over this sauce.  Dollop the Ricotta over the eggplant.  Put some of the shredded Mozzarella over the Ricotta.  Put about 1 cup of sauce over the cheese layer.  Do the next layer of eggplant, then cheese, then sauce.  You should have enough for 3 layers.  After the third layer of eggplant, don’t put Ricotta on it.  Just top with sauce and then Mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Serve hot!

Enjoy…would love to hear how you like it!

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