Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sometimes I'm a Vegetarian

Today I got this interesting Living Social offer for a restaurant in Madison that has only vegetarian food! I thought this was a fascinating concept and I considered purchasing the deal (I love coupons).  Also, my boyfriend is a vegetarian so I thought this might be a nice place to take him for dinner when he visits! All this sounds good and is probably making you think that I snatched up that coupon right then and there...but I didn't because I really don't have money right now...I guess I will have to cook up some great vegetarian food instead!

Being someone who loves to cook can be pretty frustrating when considering the dietary habits of the people I love to cook for.  I am NOT all.  Seriously, I am willing to try almost any kind of food.  Therefore, it is slightly frustrating when people can't or won't try my food!  I love to cook with Brian, but I have to get a little creative because he is a veggie.

One of our first dishes that we created together and found that we both loved was Eggplant Parmesan.  Since then we have tried different variations, but I think we have settled on a favorite.  Martha Stewart's Baked Eggplant Parmesan is AMAZING.  It's so good and it's baked so it's good for you!  Also, it's pretty easy to make!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Olive oil spray for baking sheets
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggplants (2.5 pounds) peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (tip: get firm/plump eggplants)
48 oz chunky tomato sauce (or more if you are cooking for Brian who is obsessed with tomatoes)
about 1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with olive oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
2. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets.  (You might need more egg or breadcrumb mixture depending on the size of your eggplant). Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
  3. Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
4. Serve over pasta (we made green beans too!)
Enjoy :)
Our Dinner!

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