Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tasty Eggplant

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. It is high in fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium, and it tastes good! Since I'm a vegetarian, it's one of my staples during the warmer months since it holds up well on the grill, when I'm out grilling burgers and such for the meat eaters in my life. It is also one of only a few vegetables that my husband really does not like (along with zucchini - another personal fave). Sadly for my husband, I won't let this fly. I am constantly cooking foods I don't eat (i.e. beef and chicken), so I'm not really willing to forgo any veggies. What does this have to do with feeding my toddler, you might ask? Well, it's given me great practice in finding recipes that make certain vegetables that are unpalatable to some, quite tasty!

My husband, like Henry, loves anything with sauce and melted cheese (pizza is definitely our favorite food). So, adding cheese and sauce to eggplant was a no-brainer (this can work with lots of different veggies!). I knew it worked on my husband, so I was fairly confident that Henry would like eggplant parmesan as well. Boy was I right. Henry gobbled up his piece at dinner. On top of that, though I normally wait for Henry to be asleep before I eat, tonight I was lucky enough to have him up with me when I finally decided I couldn't wait to eat anymore at 9PM. As I ate my piece of eggplant parm, Henry eagerly sat beside me, signing for, and saying, "more", as he grabbed at my food. Remind me why I want him to like all my favorite foods again??

Anyway, here is my version of baked eggplant parmesan:

1 large eggplant, thinly sliced (I don't peel the eggplant, but make sure to avoid the skin with your toddler since it is harder to chew with limited teeth)

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

2 cups plain bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

a few turns of the black pepper grinder (cooking is not exact!)

1.5 cups tomato sauce

2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up breading station. Beat eggs and egg whites in one bowl. Mix breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, and pepper in another bowl. Dip eggplant slices in eggs and then breadcrumb mixture, and then put on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake eggplant slices for 7-10 minutes.

Then, in a 9x13 pan, pour 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then put a layer of the eggplant. Sprinkle on 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, and half of the parmesan cheese. I then put another 1/2 cup of sauce, the remaining eggplant, another 1/2 cup of sauce (I like seeing the sauce on top), and then the rest of the cheeses. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!

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