So here’s a more recent recipe. Something that I had made a few times already and decided to take pics of because I thought to myself, “hey, self. This would make a good blog post whenever you decided to blog again.” And look! Here we are!
One thing you’ll notice besides the few fairly horrible pics because damn this kitchen (seriously, these are edited to hell and back, so huge thanks to Photoshop), is that it’s a Weight Watchers recipe. No, no, no, I’m not doing this for Weight Watchers or anything like that. We’re actually trying to get back on the healthy eating grind. We were going good for a few months and then we decided to go on a cruise when summer started oh, so long ago and… Oh yeah! Hey! We went on a cruise! That’s another post, though. Don’t get too excited to hear details just now. Anyhoo, the summer bustle along with various weekend getaways, it made it pretty hard to eat right. But with the kids back in school, we’re looking forward to a structured schedule where we won’t have to succumb to the evil forces of convenient fast food demons.
Thanks to my free subscription to Weight Watchers magazine, of which I have absolutely no idea where I got it from. Seems to be the story with a lot of magazines these days. Random free subscriptions make it really hard to actually pay to subscribe to one. But anyway, I was combing through it and saw this recipe. It looked and sounded crazy tasty and was simple enough to give it a try. We loved it so much, I made it the next week. That’s when I got the hair up my ass to take pics for this ol’ blog.
I had never made eggplant parmesan before. But making the sauce from scratch was a cinch and everything about it felt so rustic and simple. It’s amazing how something so tasty can only be 4 SmartPoints per serving. Definitely makes it easier to keep the healthy eating up!
Speaking of which, let’s get started.
Eggplant Parmesan (Weight Watchers)
Thick, roasted eggplants, nestled cozily in a rustic tomato sauce, blanketed by breadcrumbs and parmesan. It's the tastiest figurative bed one can hope to dream on.
- SmartPoints: 4 per serving -
adapted from: Weight Watchers
- 2 lbs - Egglplant, 1/2 inch slices
- 1 tsp - Thyme, chopped
- 3/4 tsp - Salt divided
- 1/4 tsp - Ground Pepper
- 2 tsp - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 each - Shallots, large, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 Tbsp - Garlic, chopped
- pinch - Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 each - Whole Plum Tomatoes, 28 oz can
- 3/4 cup - Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 6 Tbsp - Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup - Fresh Basil, chopped
- 2 Tbsp - Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 cup - Shredded Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 425, line 2 large sheets with parchment/foil.
Slice the eggplants and line them up on the sheet trays. Coat them evenly with nonstick spray, then season with thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and ground pepper, and press the seasonings in. Flip the eggplant slices over, and repeat on other side.
Roast until golden brown and tender, about 20-25 minutes. Turn the eggplants and rotate the pans halfway through.
While eggplants are roasting, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes, cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and 1/4 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, while breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce heat to medium, and cook uncovered until thickened. About 20 minutes.
In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, 4 tablespoons of parmesan, basil, and 1/4 tsp salt.
In ANOTHER bowl, stir together the panko and remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan.
Coat a 10 inch square baking dish with nonstick spray. For the first layer: Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of dish, and top with a single layer of eggplant. Dot eggplant with 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture, then and top evenly with 1/4 cup of mozzarella. For the second layer: A single layer of eggplant, 1 cup of sauce, and remaining 1/2 cup ricotta mixture. For the last layer: Layer remaining eggplant, 1/4 cup of mozzarella, and remaining sauce. Sprinkle top with the panko mixture.
Bake on the upper rack until top is golden and sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
- I tend to use a little more salt than normal people. So don't feel bad if you feel like you have to use more according to your tastes.
- You can use dried thyme instead of fresh. But try to use fresh basil for the ricotta mixture.
- If you don't have or can't find shallots, don't be afraid to use the more common, less fancy cousin of the shallot - an onion.
- When dotting the ricotta mixture, don't be afraid to try and spread it around a bit.
So that be that. Looks good right?! I was so surprised by how much I liked it. And again, I can’t stress enough how easy it was and how few WW SmartPoints you get from a serving. If you’re trying to eat right and you’re looking for a meal that will fill you up and make you happy, then give this one a go.