For a while now I’ve been wanting to start a weekly vegetarian feature. Basically, a play on “meatless mondays” because so many people are adapting this simple dietary change into their lifestyle.
I’ve also been thinking about starting a weekly blog hop. Blog hops are a fun way to find new recipes and great food blogs to follow. It’s an easy way to share some link love with the bloggy community. And there’s pictures!
I’ve been thinking about doing both of these things and yet I am a procrastinator with a capital “P”. Then it dawned on me, quit procrastinating two things at once and make it a meatless Monday blog hop. Duh!
The Moosewood Collective is my all-time favorite collection of recipes, vegetarian or otherwise. I’ve yet to make a recipe out of any of these books that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. At one time I wanted to take a year and cook a different Moosewood recipe each night, Julie and Julia style, but then I remembered I have a family. A veggie-loathing family. Ugh.
Moosewood Monday will have to suffice, and it will give me an excuse to try at least 52 more recipes from these books each year. The most difficult part is deciding which ones.
Aside from appearance, graffiti eggplant isn’t much different from your regular garden-variety eggplant. They seem like they may have less seeds, but that also depends on the size. I saw these beauties at the local grocery store and snapped them up. Good thing, because I haven’t seen them since. When life gives you gorgeous graffiti eggplant, you have to make eggplant Parmesan. Obviously.
Traditional eggplant parm is a major pain in the ass. Pardon my French (Italian?). Frying up all that eggplant makes a big greasy mess. I’m not opposed to pan-frying when it’s essential to a recipe but eggplant parm is different. It takes, like, a million batches to get all the slices fried. And an entire roll of paper towels to sop up all the grease. We won’t talk about the hours of hot yoga needed to burn it all off later.
This was the first Moosewood recipe I’ve tried that I was worried about. I thought it would be way too dry. It wasn’t. The only changes I made were to cut the recipe in half and use an 8×8 pan (since I can’t eat an entire 8×12 pan myself and no one else was going to touch it!). I did keep the amount of ricotta cheese the same, which was perfect. If you’re making a full recipe I would have to suggest doubling the ricotta.
- 2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds) cut crosswise into ½-inch slices
- 4 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 3½ cups Tomato Wine Sauce (another Moosewood recipe or use your favorite marinara. I suggest extra for serving)
- 1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)
- 2 cups grated low-fat mozzarella cheese (again, part-skim)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray (you might need 2).
- Lightly beat egg whites with salt in a large shallow bowl.
- In another large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil.
- Dip the eggplant slices in the egg whites, then coat them evenly with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Place the breaded slices on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the eggplant for about 20 minutes on each side, until coating is crisp and eggplant slices are tender.
- Spread about half of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12-inch glass baking dish.
- Layer half of the eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Spread all of the ricotta cheese evenly on the eggplant and top with 1½ cups of the mozzarella.
- Create a second layer with the remaining eggplant slices and cover them with the remaining sauce.
- Sprinkle the top with the last ½ cup of mozzarella and bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with additional sauce of desired.
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites.
Now, since this is my first blog hop I’ll be honest, I have no idea how to make it work. I’ve put some html-y stuff below and hopefully you can add your recipes and thumbnails. Let me know if it doesn’t work and I’ll
fix it get someone to fix it. Also, I’m not going to be the Link Police, but a link back from your blog post to here would be greatly appreciated.