Summer produce is like artwork. Mother nature almost makes it too easy to photograph. And it’s so much easier to come up with meals and snacks that will fit into a weight loss plan like Weight Watchers, South Beach, or just a generic low fat, low calorie diet.
As you know, sometimes it’s important to have a lifesaver around in summer. You need it on hand at the pool. If you head out on a boat, you may very well be wearing one and when you’re fighting a craving to graze, having fresh fruits and vegetables in the kitchen can be one of the most important lifesavers you can have around during the dog days of summer — like we’re experiencing right now.
As you know, I’ve been on a something of a beet craze recently, but I think I’m about over it. No, it doesn’t mean I won’t eat a beet again, but I’ve made beet salad too many times to count in the last month so it’s onto other vegetables.
But first, one more look at these jewels.
And anyway, I don’t think beets are a summer vegetable anyway, so although I cut them into stars for the 4th of July and for a Spring Salad in June, it was time to hit up the Farmers Market.
Beets were in the past. This weekend it was eggplant. And how could I resist with these colorful spheres of goodness? I picked up two varieties at the farmers market that I haven’t seen before. The large purple eggplants are like the elongated purple ones I’m familiar with, but those little orange orbs are a first for me.
I watched as a couple ahead of me made their purchase and asked them what they were buying. I had no idea. I was told that they are eggplant with a less sweet taste than the typical eggplants we’re all used to and that they have a lot of seeds, but I thought I’d give them a try.
They were a bit bitter — in that way eggplant is when it’s not cooked thoroughly, but not offensive.
I also saw a bin of beans without a sign and had to ask the vendor how to prepare them. She looked at me and said they should be cooked just like black eyed peas — in that tone that said … you know, just like you always make black eyed peas. Not wanting to look like a Jersey transplant in the south who should know how to make black eyed peas but had no idea, I responded with a nod of acknowledgement and came home to look for recipes. I’ll get to it soon.
I picked up beautiful fresh apricots and juicy, cure the sweet craving, nectarines as well.
But it’s been the eggplant that’s captured my attention and I think my tummy is telling me to STOP! I have just one of the little orange ones left, so I’m on the downward swing of my eggplant extravaganza. Whew!
There’s not much to this Eggplant Parmesan recipe. Cook eggplant slices, spread on marinara sauce, top with cheese, cook and voila! Eggplant parmigana.
I know it’s blurry, but I wanted to you to see that there really was marinara sauce beneath the melty Provolone cheese.
|Easy Eggplant Parmesan Recipe||
- 1 Eggplant, sliced into 4 portions
- 3 tablespoons Marinara Sauce — your own home made or your favorite store bought
- 4 slices Provolone Cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil Spray
- Spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil with about 10 sprays
- Spray one side of each eggplant with olive oil spray to just cover — about 3 – 4 pumps each
- Place the eggplant on the pan, oil side down
- Spray the topside of each eggplant slice with 3 – 4 pumps of olive oil
- Cook until beginning to brown
- Turn, cooking on the other side until no longer opaque and very tender
- Spoon a tablespoon of marinara sauce on each slice
- Top with one slice of cheese each
- Cover loosely with a lid or loosely with aluminum foil for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese
- Remove from the pan and serve
This cheesy dish, worth 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus values will have vegetarian friends and family clamoring to get to the dinner table.