Posted in Bake, Casserole, Main Courses, Sauces, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

Make Ahead Meals – Day 1


 Make ahead meals will be the focus for the next couple of weeks.  With our crazy schedule of camp and football practice, there is just no time to make dinner right before it’s time to eat.  Most of you probably have the same situation, with work and activities, making a meal right before dinner time just isn’t possible.  So the next few weeks are recipes that work really well for reheating or cooking those last few minutes in the oven for the least amount of time and stress. 

 You can still make delicious and light home cooked dinners even with a busy schedule.  Don’t give in to the take out!  Enjoy home cooked delicious and light meals instead.

 

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Tips for Cooking in Advance:

  1. You can cook this for 45 minutes in the morning, keep it covered and leave it out on the counter.  For the last 15 minutes of cooking, re heat oven to 375o and bake for the last 15 minutes uncovered.  The dish will be warmed and the cheese should be browned and melted.
  2. You can cook the recipe for the first 45 minutes in the morning or the night before and refrigerate it.  Take it out an hour before, have it come to room temperature then reheat in the oven at 375o and cook for about 30 minutes (15 minutes covered and 15 uncovered).
  3. You can cook the entire recipe in the morning or the night before and refrigerate it, cut into individual sized pieces and microwave it for 2 – 4 minutes.

Serves 12

Preheat oven 375o

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 4 grams                          Points: 4

Eggplant Ingredients:

3 small or 2 large eggplants – skinned and sliced ¼” thin

Salt

Olive oil cooking spray

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 to 2 ½ cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

2 cups egg substitute

Directions:

  1. Place sliced eggplant in layers between paper towels adding salt between each layer.  Cover with paper towels and allow eggplant to sit on counter and “sweat” for about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove eggplant from paper towels and rinse thoroughly.  Throw away paper towels.
  3. In one bowl, combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and in a separate bowl, pour in egg substitute.
  4. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and spray with olive oil cooking spray.
  5. Working in batches, dip each eggplant slice in the egg then press into the bread crumbs on both sides.  Add eggplant to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until the bread crumbs have browned.
  6. Remove cooked eggplant slices (try not to eat and cook or you will run out of eggplant) and set onto a large plate until ready to assemble.
  7. Continue to work in batches until all of the eggplant is cooked.

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

Olive oil cooking spray

1 onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic – minced

½ cup red wine

2 cans crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

  1. Heat a large sauce pan on medium heat and spray generously with cooking spray.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. 
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Increase the heat to medium high and add wine.  Let wine cook for about 3 minutes, scraping any pieces off the bottom of the pan. 
  3. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and oregano and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Filling Ingredients:

1 container (15 ounces) fat free ricotta cheese

¼ cup egg substitute

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 ¼ cup low fat grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg substitute, onion powder, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese.
  2. To Assemble: Spray a 10’X13”X 2 ½” deep baking pan with cooking spray and add a little tomato sauce on the bottom.  Place a layer of eggplant on top and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the eggplant.  Sprinkle 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese on top of that layer. 
  3. Continue to layer with sauce, eggplant, ricotta and mozzarella, ending with mozzarella cheese on top.
  4. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and browned.