Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Yum yum in your tum tum. Lower in fat but not in flavor, there’s no denying this baked eggplant parmesan will knock your socks off. Great as a side to your next Italian-themed meal, or even as a meal in itself. Delicisoso!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 1 1/2 Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat mozzarella
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan
  • Dried oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic powder (measurements to follow)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  2. In one bowl mix the breadcrumbs with about 1 tsp of salt and 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 tsp thyme, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
  3. In another bowl whisk two eggs.
  4. Dredge the eggplant slices in the egg mixture, and then dip them in the breadcrumbs until they are completely covered.
  5. Place the eggplant slices on one or two baking sheets coated with cooking spray and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. The breadcrumbs should be slightly browned.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the tomato sauce with 1 tbsp oregano, 1 1/2 tbsp basil, 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp thyme.
  7. Pour about 1 cup or so of the tomato sauce into a 9 x 13 inch pan that is coated with cooking spray , so that the bottom of the pan is completed covered.
  8. When the eggplant is done baking, place the slices in an even layer in the 9 x 13 inch pan.
  9. Pour the remaining sauce over the eggplant, then sprinkle with the cheeses.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes and you’re good to go!

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1-2 eggplant slices
  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 5g
  • –Saturated: 2g
  • –Polyunsaturated: 0.5g
  • –Monounsaturated: 1g
  • –Trans: 0g
  • Sodium: 700mg
  • Potassium: 480mg
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Vitamin A: 11%
  • Vitamin C: 13%
  • Calcium: 18%
  • Iron: 7%

* This recipe was adapted from Gimme Some Oven, at http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/baked-eggplant-parmesan-recipe/.

Sweet Potato Turkey Skillet

This is comfort food at its finest. Once again, Vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes are the star of the show. With some added lean protein and spices, you have yourself an incredibly simple one-pot wonder. Throw a simple green salad on the side for a well-balanced meal that will nourish both your body and soul!

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the turkey is no longer pink.
  3. Stir in the onions and cook until they are golden brown.
  4. Add the sweet potato, spices, and the water. Cover and cook until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
  5. When the potatoes are done, sprinkle with mozzarella.
  6. Remove from heat and cover, until the cheese is melted and you can’t wait another minute to dig in!

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 heaping cup
  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 16g
  • –Saturated: 5g
  • –Polyunsaturated: 0.5g
  • –Monounsaturated: 4g
  • –Trans: 0g
  • Sodium: 515mg
  • Potassium: 250mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Vitamin A: 190%
  • Vitamin C: 9%
  • Calcium: 16%
  • Iron: 9%

* This recipe was adapted from Primavera Kitchen, at http://www.primaverakitchen.com/ground-turkey-sweet-potato-skillet/.

Tangy Mac’n Cheese

Mac’n cheese: the ultimate comfort food. Typically, it’s absolutely delicious but not so nutritious. Lucky for you, this recipe happens to be both delicious and nutritious. How? Subbing greek yogurt for butter and cream saves tons of unnecessary fat and calories, so now you can enjoy mac’n cheese without feeling guilty about it!  This recipe also happens to be quicker and easier than most. It’s a little more difficult than the stuff from the box, but much better! This is great served with roasted broccoli, too!

 

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup cheese of choice (I like reduced-fat sharp cheddar)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs, for topping

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Whisk in the flour to form a roux, constantly stirring for about 1 minute. Add the milk slowly and contine to constantly stir.
  5. When the sauce is smooth whisk in the salt, pepper, and 3/4 cups of cheese.
  6. Remove this mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the Greek yogurt.
  7. Next add the pasta and an additional 1/2 cup of cheese and stir well to combine.
  8. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.
  9. Bake for 10 mintues, until the cheese is melted. Yum!

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 12g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Potassium: 40mg
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 14g

*Recipe adapted from A Dash of Soul, at http://adashofsoul.com/2014/04/08/greek-yogurt-macaroni-cheese/.

Veggie Spiral

An impressive yet simple side that will impress your friends and family. Bring to a potluck or prepare for an elegant dinner, this is easy and delicious! Plus it’s fun to make. Who doesn’t like making art with food? So bring out your creative side and make this wonderful masterpiece!

 

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced in rounds
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in rounds
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced in rounds
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, sliced in rounds
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dried thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté for about 8 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  4. Spread the onions and garlic in an even layer into the bottom of a greased, round baking dish.
  5. Alternating vegetables, layer them in a spiral in the dish.
  6. Sprinkle the seasonings and drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil over the top.
  7. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 35 minutes.
  8. Uncover the dish, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake for 25-30 more minutes, until browned. Voilà!

Nutriton Information

  • Calories: 105
  • Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Potassium: 415mg
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g

*Recipe adapted from For the Love of Cooking, at http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2009/02/vegetable-tian.html.

Cheesy Penne Pasta Bake

Since we are moving, lately I have been trying to use up what we have in our pantry. In this case it happened to be some penne pasta and herb seasoned stuffing, among other random ingredients. Luckily, my creative juices were flowing pretty good yesterday and I ended up coming up what I would call a Mac’n Cheese Masterpiece. If you’re not aware, I really like Mac’n Cheese. If you don’t believe me, check out my Pinterest board entitled “Mac’n Cheese Excitement”–here’s the link: http://www.pinterest.com/cd_bean/macn-cheese-excitement/. Anywho, I hope you give this recipe a try. It was really flavorful and delicious, I promise.

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Cheesy Penne Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup broth (you could use chicken, vegetable, beef…)
  • 1 cup milk
  • pepper and nutmeg, to taste (trust me, the nutmeg worked)
  • 1 container plain greek yogurt (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice (I used German gouda and a Mexican cheese blend, like I said, random ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup herb seasoned stuffing

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions, undercooking it a tiny bit.
  3. Melt the butter in a large pot. Saute the garlic for about 1 minute, then slowly whisk in the flour. Next, slowly whisk in the milk and the chicken broth. Add the pepper and nutmeg. Then add the cheese, and stir until smooth. Finally, stir in the pasta and transfer to a greased, large casserole dish.
  4. Top with the stuffing and bake 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Mexican Lasagna with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

How do you feel about meat? When I told my brother there was not going to be any meat for dinner, he was rather upset.. he prefers to eat meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I like meat too. However, I have a couple friends who are vegetarians, and I think it’s great. The future dietitian in me wants to make sure, however, that anyone who doesn’t eat meat is not only getting enough protein, but also iron and vitamin B12… Anyhow, reducing meat consumption can be better for the environment, the animals, and can even save money… At one point even I decided to go on a vegetarian kick for about 2 months, but I ended up resorting back to my old meat-eating ways rather easily. However, I think making at least one day out of the week “meatless” is reasonable, even if you’re a meat-lover. To my surprise, my brother even told me after dinner, “For something cheesy and vegetable-y and without any meat, it wasn’t too bad I guess.” If you knew my brother, you would understand why I took that as a compliment. Especially since he doesn’t like cheese (why I’ll never know–I don’t think I’ve ever met a person besides my brother with such a strong aversion to cheese).

Anyways, I hope you give this a shot. I was most impressed by how the enchilada sauce turned out–it was quick, easy, and flavorful–well worth the small extra effort.

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Mexican Lasagna with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 large red pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Enchilada sauce (see recipe below)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place red pepper, zucchini, corn, and onion in a roasting pan. Coat the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 30-40 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F when the vegetables are removed from the oven.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine roasted vegetables, black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the greased baking pan (I used a deep, 8×8 inch pan). Then layer like so…
  • 3 tortillas
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Half of the vegetable mixture
  • Enchilada sauce
  • 2/3 cup cheese
  • 3 tortillas
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Half of the vegetable mixture
  • Enchilada sauce
  • 2/3 cup cheese
  • 3 tortillas
  • Enchilada sauce
  • 2/3 cup cheese

For each tortilla layer, I split two tortillas in half and placed the flat edge of each half along the sides of the pan, and then placed one tortilla in the middle. Also, you can use as much enchilada sauce as you see fit, but I used about 1/4 cup for each layer. You will most likely have quite a bit leftover.

  1. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the lasagna is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

*This recipe was adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod “Roasted Vegetable Stacked Enchiladas”—the link found here: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/stacked-roasted-vegetable-enchiladas/ 

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat, then whisk in flour until well combined.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, then bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has slightly thickened. This should take about 10 minutes.
  4. The recipe yields about 4 cups and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

*This recipe was adapted from Damn Delicious, the link found here: http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/17/homemade-enchilada-sauce/