Tag Archive | fresh veggies

Baked Eggplant parmesan

My weekend is kind of wasted without much progress on the activities that I was supposed to finish. *sob**sob* ..I did bit of gardening, followed by an experiment that I have been thinking about for past couple of weeks.

I had 3 eggplants (brinjals – of which 2 are italian, 1 regular large one) and I was hoping to make lasagna. so, I got tomatoes, zucchini, spinach and ricotta cheese. I made raw Zucchini pesto pasta – was delicious, will share it later. I finished spinach by making spinach dal, and I am left with just egg plants. So, we ended up getting mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to try out simpler and healthy version of eggplant Parmesan that I found this wonderful recipe on youtube. If interested, do check this out. My recipe is 90% based on it. As I say, this is for my own quick reference.

Ingredients:

3 eggplants or brinjals (I used 2 italian, 1 regular)

3 Garlic pods

6 Roma Tomatoes (put it in a mixer, with 2 garlic pods and make it into fine paste)

Cayenne pepper – per your taste

Salt – per your taste

1 medium size red onion – diced into small pieces

Parmesan cheese – 1/2 cup

Mozzarella cheese – 1/2 cup

All purpose flour – 4 tbsp

Milk – 1 cup

Oil – 3 tbsp

Procedure

  1. Slice eggplants into 1/2 inch thick slices, either vertically or horizontally (I did both ways) – and on a baking sheet, brush oil on either sides, sprinkle salt & cayenne pepper and bake it at 400 F for about 25 minutes. Or make sure they are tender but not too soft that it crumbles.
  2. Mean while, on a sauce pan, add 4 tbsp of all purpose flour, add little milk, and mix it until no humps,  add half the tomato paste, add rest of the milk, mix it, bring it to boil for about 10-12 minutes medium high, until it becomes creamy sauce.
  3. Parallely, put a frying pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, add diced onions, salt, pepper, 1 minced garlic pod, after it becomes translucent, add remaining tomato paste and let it cook for about 6-7 minutes.
  4. After you have 1,2,3 steps ready, take the baking pan, layer tomato sauce from step 3 tiny -teeny laying, then single layer of baked eggplant slices, top it with layer of creamy tomato sauce from step 2, it should be fully covered but not too much that it is way too flowy,  add another layer of egg plants, followed by creamy tomato sauce (by then you will be done with all egg plant slices), then layer it with tomato sauce from step 3.
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella, followed by Parmesan cheese.
  6. Make sure, you add only the amount required, not more, not less as displayed in the video.
  7. Now bake it at 400 F for about 30-40 minutes until the cheese on the top is bubbly and turns into golden brown color – I did until 40, as I have added more tomato sauce, so I reduced the tomatoes for you.
  8. Let it cool for about 30 minutes, and serve. I have made it spicy for myself. It turned out to be very delicious. I loved it.

Sorry, I did not take the picture, but I pretty much followed the same instructions but changed some things here and there, for instance, instead of baking egg plant slices, I did it on a frying pan – and it took way lot more time than I thought for 3 eggplants, so you better bake it as per instructions. I made my own tomato sauces. I made it spicy and salty enough for my indian taste buds.  I am positive, i can be more efficient next time.

Let me know, if you have tried eggplant parmesan in the past? how did that turn out? if you have your version of recipe, please leave it here. If it is vegetarian, less fatty, I would be more than willing to try it out.

Advertisements

Goals

Having goals is one thing and reaching them is altogether a different ball game. I love to have goals; after all they will help you grow as a person.  Some of the goals, that I am planning to achieve in next few months, that I believe will not only change current lifestyle but also makes us more environmental & health conscious person.

Goal 1: Eat fresh home prepared meals.

I have signed up for CSA farm share and I will be receiving bi-weekly organically grown vegetables directly from the farm. I do not have a say on what I would get as part of that package. They all will be fresh and directly from the farm. For people who are not aware of CSA farm share is – it is community supported agriculture, where we pre-pay the farmers to farm their lands. Give the farmers loan and expect fresh veggies in return.

Last year, I tried one bag and it lasted for about 2 weeks. They were mostly green leaf veggies and I had to find ways to make it edible for me.  Also, there is considerable amount of work – the veggies are directly from farm and needs a good wash. It is quite some work.  Plus, the veggies are not only expensive, but will go bad soon, so you are forced to prepare them fresh.

Goal 2: Compost all that can be composted

We have a tiny little back yard, so we sure can make use of this composting.  I need to upgrade my knowledge in this area.  There is a long way to go.

Goal 3: Produce very little trash

In my earlier posts, I did mention about few people who produce almost-nil-trash.  Of all the goals, this will be the most difficult to achieve and it might be the slowest and hardest of all. It requires lots of discipline, especially with all-plastic-packages-everywhere. I have to use my re-usable bags, pouches to store veggies (I am planning to make from my old-t-shirts), find convenient places that offers non-plastic like whole foods to buy lentils from, prepare our own bread, eventually get rid of all plastic containers and have only glass or steel ones.

Goal 4: Grow few vegetables in a garden

Learning to gardening is challenging. It took plenty of my energy to just pluck the weeds out. Sowing seeds and growing plants wasn’t that easy. I failed at it miserably and my timing of shifting was not good. So I plan to learn.

Goal 5: To write the weekly status update on this blog.

Goal 6: the most important of all, to follow through the above list of goals.

Dear readers: I would greatly appreciate your valuable inputs & provide if any website links that will help me find better ways to achieve any/all of the above goals.