Stacks on Deck

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I wish that title meant that I had $$$ on deck… but rather, its for these great eggplant stacks which are definitely as exciting as talking about money. I wish I could use the eggplant emoji here, it would really take this post to another level.  Well since I can’t, I’ll just talk about how eggplant is good for you and how you should be cooking with it more often- good enough? 

Eggplants are best between August and October… I’d say that was pretty good timing on my part to go and pick some up from Kroger on Sunday. Like all the other veggies you can consume, eggplant has a lot of vitamins and minerals along with being low in calories. They’re also petty versatile too, hint hint- Baba ghanoush, eggplant rollatini, grilled eggplant, etc. 

photo 4 (4) At one of my favorite restaurants back home, I decided to order their eggplant parmesan with their homemade blush sauce one time, and man do I not regret that. It was such a good combination, and since I don’t totally love regular marinara it was a tasty change up to a classic italian dish.  Since I liked it so much, I decided to make a healthier-homemade version of it myself this week. 

photo 5 (3) Eggplant stacks with vodka sauce and zucchini noodles is my version of an eggplant parmesan.  Eggplant stacks are the new thing in eggplant parm world.  You take eggplant coated in egg and breadcrumbs and bake it until cooked- then stack ’em up by putting sauce and cheese in between pieces until you get a little tower of eggplant piza that you can bake until all melty and gooey from the cheese. I decided to make some zucchini noodles instead of regular noodles too- 1. because I have an issue with portion size and I can eat a lot of these without feeling guilty and 2. because zucchini is going out of season so I want to get as much before its gone.

photo 3 (7) This recipe was actually really simple, didn’t take too long, and ended up being as tasty as I was hoping.  It does not use a lot of ingredients which is nice if on a budget and doesn’t take a lot of culinary skills to master.  Check out my version of this eggplant parm below:

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Eggplant Stacks with Vodka Sauce and Zucchini Noodles: [2 Servings]

  • 1 Eggplant, sliced 1/2 Inch Thick
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • 1/4 Jar Vodka Sauce (I did store bought)
  • 6 Slices Thinly Sliced Provolone or Mozzarella
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Zucchinis, Medium Size
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Water

For the eggplant:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the eggplant 1/2 inch thick.   Salt each piece and use a paper towel to pat dry some of the moisture from each.
  2. Put the eggs in 2 a bowl and beat together then put a cup of the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Take a slice of eggplant at a time and dip both sides in the egg then press both sides into the  breadcrumbs until well coated.  Once done, put on a cooling rack on a baking sheet.  Repeat with the other pieces. 
  3. When done with step two, spray the tops of each eggplant with cooking spray.  Bake in the oven for 8 minutes.
  4. Once done, flip sides, spray again and put in the oven for 9 minutes. 
  5. When that side is done, take out and turn oven down to 350. Line a new baking sheet with parchment paper.  
  6. Take a slice of eggplant, top with a generous amount of vodka sauce, and place a piece of your thinly sliced cheese.  Add this combination 2x more onto that to make an eggplant stack. Sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan cheese to the top.  I had enough eggplant to make one more, but do this for however many slices you have.
  7. Put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. 

For the Zucchini Noodles:

  1. While your eggplants are baking in the oven, spiralize your zucchini.
  2. Once your eggplant is on step 7 (baking the stacks), heat your oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Put the zucchini in the pan and saute in the oil for about a minute.
  3. After the minute, add about 1/4 of water to your pan and cook your noodles until they soften a little- about 6 minutes.
  4. Once done, I drained some of the water and then added a good amount of the vodka sauce to mix it all together.

I plated the zucchini noodles and sauce first and then put one stack of my eggplants over to serve.

Adapted From: Allrecipes

Here’s a tip: If you don’t have a cooling rack, twist up some pieces of aluminum foil and put them across your baking sheet- works as a good substitute.

Start eating those veggies before they go out of season or use them in a dish like this!

Have a sweet day!

-Kelcie

You Wont Believe Your Fries

photo 1Last week, in the mail, I received one of the greatest Groupon purchases I will probably ever decide to buy: a spiralizer. This invention is God’s gift to vegetable lovers.  I immediately started looking up recipes that I could make this week using it and found so many- theres an abundance of spiralizer fanatics out there.  My roommates and I found some contenders for part of our Monday night dinner and decided that homemade sweet potato curly fries would be a good first recipe to try out on the new contraption.

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I found a recipe from ­­­­The Housewife in Training for spiralized sweet potato fries and a chipotle-lime Greek yogurt sauce.  For the main part of our meal, we thought a sandwich would go well with these fries so we paired them with Sonoma chicken salad sandwiches on croissants.  My roommate Sam prepared the chicken salad from the blog Cooking Classy before we got home from work, and the sweet potatoes we baked right before serving.photo 3

The chicken salad was awesome.  We substituted Greek yogurt for the mayo and chose to have them on croissants that we bought from the store.  I would have loved to had it paired with these onion rolls from Kroger, but they were out after I ripped the last bag in the store…saving that for next time. Also, even with three of us eating the chicken salad there was still plenty left- great for work lunches or even leftover dinners.photo 4

The fries also turned out pretty good.  Recommendation: if you make these, make sure they are patted plenty dry before putting in the oven.  Also, constantly be checking on them and moving them around on the baking sheets so that they cook evenly (this is also good to do when making homemade potato chips).  AND to top it off, we added a little extra chipotles to the Greek yogurt dip, because: the spicier the better.

 

Follow the links below to find the recipes we used:

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2012/05/sonoma-chicken-salad-sandwiches/

http://thehousewifeintrainingfiles.com/sweet-potato-curly-fries-chipotle-lime-aioli/

 

Be on the lookout for many more spiralizer recipes in the future.

Have a sweet day!

-Kelcie