In the Oven

My good friend, Jeannine, passed this recipe along to me. It’s from the August 2008 issue of Cooking Light. Since the deer tore my fence down and ate my garden, I had to make a trip to the city market this morning to buy the zucchini and eggplant. It’s in the oven baking as I type and it smells great! Mr. SP is not a big fan of eggplant, so this dish might be all mine.

**I would recommend jazzing up the sauce with more herbs. I might even add a can of tomato paste to give it a little more body. Mr. SP and I both had to add salt to this dish.**

Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna

This recipe makes use of summer-fresh produce in a meatless entrée.

1 large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
Cooking spray
1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 15 minutes.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, oregano, red pepper, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Combine basil, ricotta, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over tomato mixture; top with half of eggplant and half of zucchini. Spread ricotta mixture over vegetables; cover with 4 noodles. Spread 1 cup tomato mixture over noodles; layer with remaining eggplant and zucchini slices. Arrange remaining 4 noodles over vegetables, and spread remaining tomato mixture over noodles. Top evenly with mozzarella. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until browned. Cool for 5 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings

CALORIES 216 (32% from fat); FAT 7.7g (sat 4.2g,mono 2g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 21mg; CALCIUM 247mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.7g; SODIUM 393mg; PROTEIN 12.7g; FIBER 4.2g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2008

The other night I made “Broccoli Rice Combo” for dinner. This would make a great side dish for a large meal. We had it as our main course and Mr. SP told me several times to “keep this recipe.”

Broccoli Rice Combo

1 6 oz pkg long-grain and wild rice mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz pkg frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed
1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c sliced celery
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c milk
1 (2 oz) jar sliced pimiento, drained

1. Cook rice according to pkg directions, using 2 cups water. (I use a rice cooker.)

2. Combine rice and next 8 ingredients, stirring well.

3. Spoon into a lightly greased 2 qt casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

**My Notes**
~I doubled the recipe.
~I sauteed the celery and onion before combining them with the other ingredients.
~I added salt, pepper, cumin, and curry powder.


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