Hassleback Eggplant AKA Lazy Woman’s Eggplant Parmesan

My favorite way to eat eggplant is sliced, dipped, battered, and fried, but who has time, right? Besides all the racket the smoke alarms make and the way the smoke boils through the sun streaking in the window and the smell…that stays in the house almost as long as all those calories stay on your thighs.

So, my daughter was telling me about a recipe her mother-in-law shared with her that she makes all the time. She TOLD me about it. She didn’t make it for me or write it down or anything, so I don’t remember exactly how she did it, but she’s a gourmet cook, so I know it was “involved.”  I’m not all that into “involved.”

But, it sounded like a cheffed-up version of Eggplant Parmesan. And I do love me some Eggplant Parmesan. But, once again, we get into that aforementioned frying scene, so I decided to put my own lazy spin to this and see how it came out.

I didn’t exactly take step by step photos like a tutorial; heck, I usually skip those and scroll straight down to the recipe, anyway, don’t you? But this doesn’t have an exact recipe, either. That’s part of the Lazy.

I began with a large eggplant that I washed and trimmed off the ends. Next, I sliced it Hassleback style. (Place it in a salad plate so you don’t slice all the way through, just slit.)  I placed the eggplant in a casserole dish, sprinkled it with Italian Seasoning, garlic salt, salt, and pepper, covered it with foil, and baked it at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. When I took it out, the eggplant was soft. In all the little pockets between the slices, I poured Ragu Spaghetti Sauce. (I used about half the jar at this stage.) Then I sprinkled in Mozzarella (4 oz.) and about a cup of Panko Bread Crumbs. Here’s the picture I took, and in hindsight, I would have made my slices thinner.

DSC00120I poured the remainder of the jar of sauce over the top, sprinkled more bread crumbs over the whole thing, and dusted it with 1/2 cup of Parmesan. I returned it to the oven, uncovered, and raised the temp to 375. I cooked it about 20 mins. more before taking it out to rest.

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All rested.

I served it to Saint with some fresh green beans from our garden  and some sliced cucumbers from the neighbor’s. Last year I was posting about what to do with all those cucumbers. Not a problem this year. I think our vines are going to die before we get a single one.

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What rating would I give this? Maybe 4 stars out of 5. I’d still prefer fried, but this was tasty, easy, and probably a bit healthier. If you like eggplant, I’d give it a go!

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The Easiest Healthy Muffin You’ll Ever Find!

When your perfectly healthy body begins experiencing serious ailments like sagging skin belly fat  …no, I’m talking serious stuff like bone fractures from OSTEOPOROSIS, and you can’t or prefer not to take the risks of side effects from pharmaceuticals, you start looking for ways to strengthen your bones. My research led me past the Vitamin D3 to a lesser known Vitamin K2. Note to self: don’t ever use K2 in a sentence without prefacing it with the word Vitamin.

Vitamin K2 is not found in abundance naturally, and the source I found was not so palatable in its primary form. Scraping and eating the white pith of orange peel…not so “a-peel-ing” to most of us. This recipe for Sunshine Muffins calls for an entire orange. You heard me right, the whole thing…orange segments, peel, and Vitamin K2 rich pith. (Try saying that three times fast.) And it’s about the easiest muffin you’ll ever make. And it tastes good!

I found it years ago in this Cookbook, which I doubt is still in print. If you find it, buy it, because it’s one of my favorites; I keep it out on my cabinet, it’s that good.

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To make these muffins, here’s what you will need:

1 orange

1/2 cup orange juice (I used fresh, but you could use frozen or from a carton)

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

1 and 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar or substitute (I used Xylatol)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp salt (I use a pinch)

1/2 cup raisins (I prefer cranberries or dried cherries.)

1/2 cup chopped nuts

And here are the EASY instructions:

Cut the clean orange into eight pieces and remove any seeds, if you like, otherwise, throw the whole thing into the blender or food processor. Add orange juice, egg, and oil and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until just mixed. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

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This made 12 average muffins for me. If you want to make them gluten free, just use almond flour and adjust accordingly.

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Fast, easy, minimal clean up, healthy and delicious! What more could you want in a muffin? And if you say meatloaf, mashed potatoes, or scrambled eggs, I’m not sure we can be friends. If you serve me a muffin, it had better be sweet…just sayin’.