Sunday, January 12, 2014

Eggplant Rollatini

I love Sundays.  This Sunday is a little bittersweet though.  On Friday, after school, I drove straight up to Wisconsin to visit one of my best friends, Tamara.  Tamara is also a teacher and we became besties while in college together.  I truly think we're soul-mates.  We met because when asked to draw a picture of something that represented who we are, we both drew cupcakes.  Seriously.  So it was just wonderful to be able to spend the weekend with her.

She is a basketball coach and so I got to see a bunch of games this weekend.  It was really neat to see her school and her teams playing and it was also relaxing since I got to just sit around and chill out!  I met some of the teachers she works with and it was just nice to see what she has been up to.  On Saturday, we had a great night catching up over some homemade butternut squash risotto, bruschetta, and wine.  We watched movies and had some quality girl time.  I couldn't believe how much I missed those nights from college and it made me nostalgic.  However, it also made me so grateful how close she still is and how easy it was to pop in for a visit.  Friends like this are one in a million and I am so thankful for her and this great weekend.

This is why I am feeling slightly bittersweet on this Sunday.  I had to say goodbye.  But, then I went home to my family, went for a run outside (since its incredibly above freezing today!) and got to spend some time hanging out and just catching up on schoolwork for the coming week.  Finals start Thursday, and so I am organizing my review materials, reviewing the finals, and getting ready for the new semester!  I can't believe second semester is basically here!  This year is flying by!

Anyways, besides that risotto recipe that I linked to (definitely try it!) I have a new recipe to share! THis is going to be consistent with my attempt to eat healthy and lose a little bit of weight.  It is a recipe for baked Eggplant Rollatini.  This looks like lasagna roll-ups, but instead of noodles, you use eggplant!  The extra veggies combined with the delicious cheese and spinach filling is just amazing!  If you are looking for a great meal that is healthy and can feed a crowd (or give you tons of leftovers) this is a great one to try!

Baked Eggplant Rollatini
(adapted from Skinnytaste)

2 eggplant sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
salt and pepper
your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 cup light ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Romano
shredded light mozzarella
10 oz frozen spinach, cooked and drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced

1. Place sliced eggplant on paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt.  Let sit for 15 minutes and then pat dry.
2. Preheat oven to 400 and place eggplant slices on a lightly greased pan.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes or until eggplant slices are slightly softened.  Pat dry again with a paper towel.   
3. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, cooked spinach, egg, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper. 
4.  Pour some sauce into a 13 by 9 inch pan and spread it out to cover the bottom.  Take each eggplant slice and spread some of the cheese mixture down the middle.  Roll up the slice as tightly as you can.  Place into the pan.  Repeat with all of the eggplant slices.  Pour some sauce over the top of the eggplant rolls and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.  
5.  Bake for 60 minutes or until eggplant is very soft and cheese has completely melted.  

Enjoy :)  

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