Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

What’s for dinner?

How many times a week do we hear or ask this? On a tight budget but need to fill your family’s bellies with nutritious AND delicious food? Tired of the same dishes and need to awaken your taste buds? Sometimes this is such a tall order. First of all, eggplant is not only a versatile fruit, and yes, I said fruit (not vegetable), it has so many health benefits.

Eggplant contains many nutrients that are essential for our health and it’s low in fat and cholesterol. It is a great source of Vitamins B1, B3 and B6, potassium, manganese, copper, folate, magnesium and tryptophan.

Just a cup of cooked eggplant contains about 30 calories. Eggplants also contain phytochemicals that strengthen health.

Eggplant Parmesan provides a healthy dose of vitamin A, approximately 25 to 29 percent of the daily requirements needed. This vitamin provides a variety of eye benefits and helps us to make antibodies that strengthen our immune systems. We recieve up to 17 percent of the daily recommended intake of calcium and 10 to 13 percent of the vitamin C needed daily as well. One of my favorite things about eggplant is that is is filling and provides satiety.  Or as my Grandma used to say, food that sticks to your ribs😍!

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe:
What you will need🍆🍴

2-3 medium size eggplants
2 eggs
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of flour
Seasonings & herbs: salt, black pepper, paprika, granulated or garlic powder, dried oregano and dried parsley
3 cups of your favorite homemade or store bought spaghetti sauce
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese (1/2 c to decrease fat and calories)

Sunflower or olive oil

Directions:

▶Make a dry batter for the eggplant by adding the cornmeal, flour, about 1/3 teaspoons of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of all other seasonings (black pepper, granulated or garlic powder, oregano, paprika and parsley. Tweek to your taste buds keeping in mind that you will also season the eggplant pieces as well.

▶Wash and dry your eggplants thoroughly.

I enjoy the fiber and nutrients received from the skin of the eggplant so your choice to peel or leave it as is.

▶Slice the eggplant (about 1/4 inch in thickness) then cut the circularly sliced pieces in 1/2 and place in a large bowl.

▶Season to taste with the above seasonings, making sure not to oversalt (I suggest sprinkling lightly with each seasoning listed above).

▶Crack 2 eggs and beat them in a small bowl.  Pour the beaten eggs over the seasoned eggplant slices and thoroughly coat each piece by mixing with your hands.

▶Ok OLD SCHOOLERS, get a large and clean disposable sack or large freezer bag/paper sack and place dry batter in it. Next place your eggplant pieces. It’s great to include your children in this part of the process. Close the bag by holding the opening firmly and just shake like crazy 😆until you see all eggplant pieces are coated thoroughly with egg and dry batter.

▶Bake the pieces in a few large baking pans that are generously oiled with sunflower/olive oil, making sure also to lay the pieces flat and add oil on top of them as well to help them to cook more crispy and not mushy. Bake 25-30 minutes at 175 °C /375°or so F and take them out to turn them over. Return to bake another 20 minutes or so (oven cooking times may vary).

▶Take a medium size baking pan and lightly coat it with cooking oil (olive/sunflower)

▶Now place a thin layer of your spaghetti sauce followed by a layer of eggplant pieces then a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

Continue to layer in this order (usually makes about 4 layers).

The last layer should be topped with a generous layer of sauce on top of the eggplant followed by all of the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings and dried herbs again except for salt.

▶Bake at the above temperature until cheeses are melted (about 20 minutes). Remove and let sit about 10 minutes and serve. I hope you enjoy my version of this tasty dish!


Please give feedback on this recipe and your version of this dish. Follow👫Like👍Comment💬 and of course share🙌!

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The Cantaloupe

This fruit is so easy to start growing, even in my small window garden.  The seeds did not take long to sprout (about 5 days) and before I knew it, I had plants about 4 inches high.  I am not actually expecting for my plants to yield fruit while just growing them in my small window garden, but I just love to experiment with gardening and it is more of a hobby for me until I get some land to actually expand.

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These delicious and nutritious melons are usually oblong in shape, measure 4.5- 6.5 inches in diameter and weigh 450 – 850 gm. Its flesh ranges in color from orange-yellow to salmon and has a soft consistency.  Like most fruits, the riper it is the sweeter it is.   There are seeds in its hollow center that are off-white in color and surrounded by a network of stringy fibrous-like strands.

So, why have I decided to write about this melon…..well, for one it was on sale for a great price at the store and it is in season.  Usually the season starts in April and ends in August for cantaloupe.  I find that if you go with the flow and eat what is in season, you can reap more benefits from the fruit because it will be at its best, therefore, more nutritional benefits for us.  Being from America, I was used to having just about all kinds of produce available almost all year round.  It was not until I came to Israel that I realized that oranges are primarily harvested in the Winter! What!  Imagine the benefit we receive in the vitamin C boost going into the cold and flu season.

Reason number two that I purchased the cantaloupe melon is because of the many nutrients it contains and the health benefits:

  • Its very filling and therefore in my opinion helps to tame my appetite and only 34 calories per 100 grams
  • Cantaloupe is an excellent source of Vitamin A (100 g yields 3382 IU or about 112% of recommended daily levels).  Vitamin A is an excellent anti-oxidant and great for eye mucus membrane and skin health.
  • Due to the beta-carotene content, it may also be good protection against certain cancers (colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers).
  • As a moderate source of potassium (a very important electrolyte) it is important for cell and body fluids and helps control blood pressure and heart rate.  It may help to protect against stroke and coronary heart disease.  It provides 267 mg of potassium in a 100 gram serving.
  • If that is not enough, cantaloupe contains a good portion of B-complex vitamins.  Niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin C plus other minerals like manganese take us right back to free radical fighters and antioxidant properties.
  • I have found that if I am feeling really weighed down, it really gives me a boost of energy to get me to the next meal and rehydrates me.  It is such a versatile fruit that you can cut it into cubes and eat it cold as a snack, with breakfast or as a dessert.

So, what are you waiting for…….can you give the cantaloupe a chance?  Let me know how you feel about it.  Don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe!

Reference:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cantaloupe.html