Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eggplant and Meat Sauce Lasagna

It's summer, and while I want to enjoy veggies, I also am trying to avoid having too many starches in a day... so I decided to make an Eggplant and Meat Sauce lasagna... the Eggplant served as the noodles in place of pasta. I think it's very yummy so I'm passing on my recipe to you.

Eggplant and Meat Sauce Lasagna
1 Eggplant (mine was 1.25 lbs) sliced thin - think lasagna noodles
1 1lb lean ground meat (I used ground sirloin)
1 onion, chopped
1 28oz can chopped or diced tomatoes
1 6oz can of tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Bay Leaf
2-3 garlic cloves
pinch of red pepper flakes
15 oz part-skim or fat free ricotta
16 oz reduced fat or fat-free mozzarella cheese
2 eggs

Slice eggplant and soak it in cold salted water to draw out the bitterness of the vegetable. (We also read to boil it for 5 mins in salted water after this and we did so, but shouldn't have... the noodles will hold up better and taste just fine after being soaked for about an hour)

Meanwhile, make the meat sauce. (*Note - you can sub your own meat sauce that you like) Brown the beef in a skillet over medium-high heat, cook - stirring to crumble until meat is no longer pink. Toss in the chopped onion and garlic and saute. Add in the spices (basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper to taste), then add the tomato paste and mix in. Add in the tomatoes and bay leaf and allow to simmer for about 25-30 mins. Add in 1/4 chopped fresh parsley towards the end of the 30 mins.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, 1 clove of garlic, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.

In a lasagna pan - or deep pan of your choosing, layer the eggplant then ricotta mixture, then meat mixture(take the bay leaf out) then half the cheese and repeat.

Bake at 375 for 40-45 mins.

Enjoy! I know I did :-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beef Lombardi

I tried this recipe a few weeks ago... it has been raved about by many people I know, and I have to agree that it was quite tasty. Sorry it's taken me a while to post it - I couldn't figure out how to make it post correctly--computer illiterate, perhaps???

Beef Lombardi
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey breast
1 - 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 - 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles(ROTEL)
1 tsp Splenda
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 6-oz pkg of Whole Wheat noodles
6 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup - whites and greens)
1 cup sour cream (fat free)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (fat free)
1 cup shredded mozzarella (fat free)

Cook ground beef in large skillet over medium high heat for about 5 to 6 mins, stirring to crumble and cook till no longer pink. Drain.

Stir in chopped tomatoes, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Add tomato paste, and bay leaf and simmer for 30 mins.

Meanwhile, cook whole wheat noodles according to pkg directions, and drain.

Stir together noodles, chopped green onions and sour cream until blended.

Place noodle mixture in the bottom of a sprayed or greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with beef mixture. Sprinkle with cheeses.

Bake covered with foil at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover casserole and bake 5 more minutes to ensure cheese is melted.

****Casserole can freeze for up to 1 month if desired. You would freeze at the point after you put everything in the pan, but before baking. Thaw in fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Tilapia with Spicy Olive Tomato Sauce

I made this recipe for dinner this week. I made all the sauce on Sunday night and I'm cooking fresh tilapia each evening and reheating the sauce with it. It's a very good recipe and one I will definitely try again!!!!

Tilapia with Spicy Olive Tomato Sauce
- inspired by Bon Apetit cookbook
1.5 lbs Tilapia
6 tsp EVOO
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (I used one cup and 1 can of diced tomatoes)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives

Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Heat Oil over medium heat, add half fish and cook for 3 mins on each side or until white and flaky - repeat with other half of fish. Remove fish to a reserved platter.

Add in parsley and red pepper to pan, heat for about 30 seconds. Add in all remaining ingredients and saute until tomatoes start to give off some of their juice and are heated through.

Top fish with the sauce and serve.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fiesta Rotini with Tofu

Long story short... I was going to make pasta with chicken... we ran out of our grocery budget to buy the chicken... there was a recipe on the side of the pasta box, I had some tofu... so, this is what you get, and it's pretty good if I do say so myself.

Fiesta Rotini with Tofu
1 box Rotini WW pasta
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved (you could use more - I think it needed more - the original recipe called for canned tomatoes)
1 can diced green chiles (the original recipe actually called for Rotel - I didn't have any, but did have green chiles so this is what you got)
2 TBSP Chili Powder
1/2 cup sliced/chopped black olives (I bought the chopped - don't do it - they're little)
1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu, cubed and sauteed until lightly brown on all sides

Cook pasta according to directions...
While pasta is cooking, heat oil over med-high heat and saute onions and garlic for a few mins. Add the zucchini and cook for about 5 mins until veggies are tender. Add tomatoes, chilies(or just a can of Rotel), and chili powder -- simmer uncovered for 10 mins... Remove veggie mixture from pan. Saute tofu and add the sauce back to the tofu and let heat through.

Add the olives in and toss with the pasta.

Add cilantro at the end prior to serving.

Top with FF Mozzarella or Parm if desired.

NOTE: You could use any kind of meat or add extra veggies... the meats you could use would be chicken, beef, pork, etc... or even beans. The veggies that would be nice would be squash, corn, bell pepper, etc...