As a kid in an Italian-American family, I didn’t grow up eating mac’n’cheese from a box, we didn’t have fried chicken, or casseroles. And we never ate anything out of a can. At home, my mom cooked every night: Pasta fagioli, fritatta, meatballs, and fish on Fridays including calamari and bacalao (salted cod). We ate calves liver with sautéed onion and bacon, stuffed peppers, linguine with white clam sauce, mussels, and my favorite, eggplant parmesan.
These recipes weren’t low-fat or low calorie, but my mother made sure we had a salad on the table at every dinner. With food that tasted that fresh, and that good, I never believed people should settle for less. Even when dieting.
Here is one of my favorite Italian recipes that brings back the flavors of my mother’s kitchen, but without the fat and carbs!
Lifestyle recipe by Intelligent Gourmet
Yield: Makes 1- 1/2 sheet pan (8 to 10 persons)
- 2 large eggplant (choose ﬁrm vegetables with little or no bruising)
- 28 ounces of fresh plum tomatoes
- 2 cups of sweet onion, 1 cup chopped
- 1- cup of fresh basil chopped, 1/2 cup chopped
- 1-cup of fresh ﬂat leaf parsley, 1/2 cup chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. of ground fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon of cracked blk pepper
- 1/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper ﬂakes
- 3 tablespoons of sea salt
- 2 lb’s of ground chicken or turkey breast
- 8 ounces of low or no – fat cottage cheese
- Slice the eggplant 1/8-inch thick horizontally and lay out on sheet pans over paper towels . Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sea salt and set aside to “sweat.” This is how you achieve that great noodle-like texture, without the noodles.
- Puree fresh tomato with crushed red pepper, 1 cup- onion, 1/2 tbs of sea salt, 1/2 cup of basil, and 1/2 cup of parsley (stems removed). Bring tomato mixture to simmer on stove over medium low heat, careful not to burn the bottom, and let cook at a slow simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Brown ground poultry in a large skillet with cooking spray, add cup of chopped onion, 1/4 cup of chopped basil, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, oregano, fennel seed, 1/2 tsp of black pepper and a pinch of sea salt.
- Drain cottage cheese and mix with remaining fresh herbs and black pepper.
- Rinse all of the eggplant slices thoroughly and pat dry.
- Begin with a 2 inch deep baking pan. Coat bottom of the pan with your fresh tomato sauce, cover with eggplant, layer with drowned meat and dollop with cottage cheese mixture.
- Continue until all of the eggplant is gone. Top with additional fresh tomato basil sauce.
- The acid in the tomato sauce may eat through tin foil – to prevent this, you can cover the top layer with plastic wrap, and then cover the plastic wrap entirely with foil. The plastic won’t melt – I promise.
- Bake covered in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Un-cover completely and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
• To make this meal Vegan or comply with Ideal Protein® protocol we omit the cottage cheese.
• Average calories per 8 ounce serving: 254, 234 without the cheese, all nutritional information is calculated on the web and is accurate to the best of our ability. Full nutritional information is available on request.
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Intelligent Gourmet & catering by Amore are located at 4245 Henderson Blvd. Tampa, FL. 33629. If you would like this heated when you arrive please call ahead 813.287.2253
All content is the intellectual property of Linda Baldwin & Intelligent Gourmet © 2012