Jen had your “BF Basics” on roasting tips all ready to go…and then the “wonky wireless network” troll visited her house!
So look for that later today or early tomorrow. Until then…please accept this offering to tide you over. 🙂
One of the nice things about being further out from surgery is that I can get enough protein in a day to allow for the occasional vegetarian meal. This makes me very happy.
What also makes me very happy is when that meal is very, very simple. Because prepping food can be dangerous. I have a certain amount of time, from start to finish, before my “nosh-o-meter” kicks in and I start nibbling my way into my next meal. This is bad. For many reasons. But mostly because by the time I’m finished preparing my beautiful meal, I am too full to eat it!
I love the whole “5 ingredients or less” movement I see happening. There’s even a Food Network show dedicated to teaching folks how to make simple meals with 5 ingredients or less.
This recipe did not come from that show.
Rather it is the hybrid of an idea I saw on tv and one of my own imagining. Either way, it’s simple and GOOD.
Nik’s Naked, Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant, sliced about 1/3 inch thick (think drink coaster…and you can use as many slices as you like. If you are just cooking for you, use one or two. If for others you can make this on a bigger grill and make more)
A few rings of yellow onion
A few slivers of green pepper
1/2 c. good spaghetti sauce
1/4 c. Italian blend shreded cheese (make sure there’s Parmesan in there!)
Free Ingredients (by virtue of the fact that they are usually household staples):
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about a tablespoon if just for you. Adjust accordingly for more people)
Salt & Pepper
If using a grill pan, spray with nonstick and get it to heating up. If using a Foreman grill, you can skip this process and go straight to #2.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of eggplant, then brush both sides with olive oil.
If using a grill pan, lay eggplant on the pan and cook five minutes on both sides. If using a Foreman grill, do five minutes total. If using a regular grill, do five minutes each side in the hot zone of your grill.
Alongside the eggplant, lay onions and peppers and let them soften. Remove when veggies are caramelized.
Heat (either in a microwave or a small saucepan) your spaghetti sauce.
Place eggplant on a plate and ladle hot spaghetti sauce over it. Sprinkle with cheese (the cheese will melt with the heat of the eggplant and sauce). Top with veggies.
I swear on my pet gerbil’s grave…you will NOT miss the breading. The great thing about this recipe, to me, is that it is customizable. If you are early out, use a slice of eggplant from closer to the stem. Further outs can use a bigger slice. You can add or take away whatever spices you like. And it’s not completely devoid of protein. Eggplant has a little and so does the cheese. If you want to try this recipe and need more protein, I highly suggest this unflavored protein powder which stirs well into sauces.
I can eat two of these and it’s a pretty satisfying meal. And yummmmy. Now I have a confession to make. I like mine with skin on, but once I took the skin off and told my children it was chicken. AND THEY BELIEVED ME!!!
(Yes, I am evil)