Tag Archives: marinara

Eggplant Involtini

I once read on a food blog that casseroles are ugly.  Most of the time, I’d agree.  This casserole breaks that mold.  It is almost as nice to look at as it tastes.  The colors are perfect for this time of year, too.

If you have carnivores in your crowd, don’t be scared of this meat free dish.  The first time my husband ate it, he didn’t even realize there wasn’t meat in it.  The eggplant is very hearty so you don’t miss the meat.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Involtini (Serves 6)

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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped small or grated
2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
12 (¼-inch-thick) lengthwise slices eggplant (about 2 medium)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted and torn into pieces
8 ounces low fat cottage cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain well
1 large egg
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves or about 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup shredded mozzarella

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add onion and carrot. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until onions begin to soften. Add tomatoes, salt, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes. Process in food processor or with immersion blender until smooth. Set aside.

2. Preheat broiler to high.

3. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet (you may need to work in batches.) Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, and lightly coat with cooking spray. Broil 4-5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Let cool about 10 minutes, or cool enough to touch.

4. Preheat oven to 375.

5. Pulse nuts, bread, and remaining ¼ teaspoon garlic powder in food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add cottage cheese, egg, and spinach. Pulse until smooth. Stir in basil and ¼ cup parmesan.

6. Spread 1 ½ cups tomato sauce over the bottom of an 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread 2 tablespoons cheese mixture onto each eggplant slice; roll up jelly-roll style. Place rolls, seam sides down, over sauce in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup parmesan and mozzarella. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 222
Protein: 15 g
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 42 mg
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Fiber: 9 g
Sodium: 607 mg

Recipe Notes: I usually hate ingredients in pounds, but I actually do weigh tomatoes at the store for this recipe. You could easily sub in your own favorite marinara sauce for this recipe. Make sure you squeeze a lot of water out of your spinach. Otherwise the filling will be soggy and gross.

Recipe source: adapted from Cooking Light

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Spaghetti Squash with Marinara

Now that it is fall, we can start talking about fall and winter squashes, which are my favorite.  First up, spaghetti squash.  I had honesty never tried this until last year, and I was blown away by how much I liked it.  You really do feel like you are eating spaghetti!  It isn’t carb free, but it is definitely lower in carbs than regular pasta.  Only 10 g of carbs for 1 cup cooked squash compared to 37 g of carbs for 1 cup cooked spaghetti.

This spaghetti squash with marinara is so incredibly simple but it hits all those satisfying, homey notes of a regular spaghetti dinner.

Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce (Serves 2-3)

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 cups marinara sauce

1. Slice spaghetti squash in half widthwise. Scoop out seeds. Pierce with a fork a few times.

2. Pour sauce into bottom of crockpot. Place squash on top of sauce, cut sides down. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours, until squash is tender when poked with a fork.

3. Remove squash. Shred pulp into spaghetti like strands. Serve with sauce.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 160
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sodium: 232 mg

Recipe Notes: You can also cook meatballs in the crockpot along with this.

Source: adapted from recipes online

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My favorite marinara

Somehow I forgot to post my marinara sauce recipe with my pizza series.  I use the same marinara sauce for pizza, spaghetti,lasagna…pretty much anything needing a red sauce.  I know it seems weird, but I like having the chunky sauce on pizza.  If you don’t, you could also give it a quick blend before putting it on pizza.  I like to make a big batch of this and store the extra in the freezer for later. It’s great for a quick dinner of spaghetti and some sort of vegetable – a meal even my toddler with increasingly picky tastes will eat.

Enjoy!

Marinara Sauce (Makes about 8 cups of sauce)

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 (15.5 ounce) cans no salt added diced tomatoes
3 (8 ounce) cans no salt added tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 bay leaves
½ tablespoon dried basil leaves
½ tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic powder; cook for 1 minute.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to distribute seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook for 20-30 minutes, until thickened to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove bay leaves before serving or blending.

Nutritional Information (Amount per cup):

Calories: 77
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 176 mg

Recipe Notes: Chop your vegetables to your desired size. If you are going to blend the sauce, you don’t need to chop them as small. You could also shred the carrot, if you prefer hiding them in the sauce that way. I try to keep this sauce fairly low in sodium, since whatever it is served with has a fair amount of cheese adding the salt. If you want to make a meat sauce, brown the meat before the vegetables. Remove the meat, drain any fat. Then sauté vegetables in oil. Add meat back in with remaining ingredients.

I freeze this in 2 cup plastic containers. It is best to cool the sauce in the fridge before freezing. Freezer bags would also likely work.

Source: adapted from my mom’s recipe

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