Thursday, June 28, 2012

Experimental Kitchen

I'm pretty good about eating lots of fruits and vegetables, but I'm trying to cook on my own and pump out some really balanced meals that mix in carbs and lean protein to keep me full (because snacks=$$). My first experiment was relatively basic, some penne pasta with mushroom tomato sauce, corn, and chicken breast. Tasty, but like i said, basic. So I decided to get a little more creative with my next try and go for something loaded with veggies and had that home-cooked lasagna taste I've always loved...eggplant casserole is born!

*Eggplant Casserole*
1 whole eggplant, unpeeled (because that's where the vitamins are!)
2 cups ricotta cheese (I used fat-free)
salt to taste
1 cup mushroom spaghetti sauce
1 cup instant brown rice

1. Cut the eggplant into slices that are about 1cm thick and roast them up in a skillet. Make sure to leave it uncovered so it can lose some of the water that will end up giving you a runny casserole. 
2. Cook the instant rice until its almost cooked, but still a little crunchy. Drain the excess water and stir in half the spaghetti sauce. Put all this mixture as the bottom layer in your 9x9 pan
3. Lay your roasted eggplant on top of the rice. 
4. Mix in some salt to your ricotta, then layer all that goodness down on top of the eggplant, and top with the remaining spaghetti sauce. 
5. Cook for 20 minutes in the oven at 300 degrees! voila!
Makes 3 servings, 314 calories each

What's great about this dish? EGGPLANT=BRAINFOOD
Eggplants contain a lot of the phytonutrient nasunin that is like antioxidants that help hunt down free radicals that damage cells in your noggin. Finals period must have? i think so

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