August 31st, 2009 12:31 EST
OMG! Magic Mushrooms
Bread crumbs = mushrooms. What? No carb eggplant parm "could it be? Oh yes, my friend! I buy dried mushrooms and put them in a coffee grinder to make a powder. And, I use that (mushroom powder) like I would use bread crumbs. One of my favorite easy meals is crock pot eggplant parmesan using the mushroom method. But, recently I made something similar in the oven. I made an eggplant and zucchini casserole in the oven with the mushroom method. This is a rather inexpensive meal for me because I try to grow a good portion of my vegetables. AND, this is a great method for people that are trying to cut down on carbohydrates. I personally love carbs but cutting down on them has helped me to lose a few pounds.
Here were my ingredients:
3 cups of dried mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Â¼ teaspoon salt
Â¼ teaspoon pepper
2 egg whites
Â½ cup olive oil
4 baby eggplant (or 1 large)
Super Simple Sauce (http://backtobasics-talia.com or your favorite jar of tomato sauce)
Â½ cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 cups part-skim mozzarella
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
10 fresh basil leaves
Salt & pepper
1. Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Spray your cooking pan with a nonstick cooking spray. I used a lasagna pan.
3. Lightly coat the pan with about Â¼ of a cup of tomato sauce.
4. In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind 3 cups of dried mushrooms. It should yield around 1 cup of mushroom powder.
5. On a plate mix the mushroom powder with a teaspoon of dried oregano, a teaspoon of dried basil, salt & pepper.
6. In a medium sized bowl, add the egg whites. Lightly whisk.
7. Peel the zucchini and eggplant. Thinly slice (about Â¼ inch slices) the veggies.
8. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
9. While the olive oil is heating up, take the sliced veggies, dip them in the egg whites, and then coat them with the mushroom mixture. Set them aside.
10. When the oil heats up, brown the veggies on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. If you do not want your veggies to have crunch then you may want to brown them for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
11. When they finish cooking start your first layer on the pan on the tomato sauce.
12. After your first layer is complete, put Â¼ teaspoon dollops of the ricotta cheese on each veggie.
13. Continue that process of layering and adding ricotta cheese until you do not have any more veggies. It made about 3-4 layers for me. Sometimes I add some tomato sauce to the layering process. It is up to you!
14. After you ran out of veggies, cover them with tomato sauce. I use about Â½ a cup for the top layer.
15. Chop your fresh rosemary and basil. Sprinkle it on the top tomato layer.
16. Lightly salt and pepper.
17. The last layer is the mozzarella cheese. Then cover the casserole with tin foil.
18. Pop it into the over for about 20 minutes.
I like to let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes then chomp into it. Sometimes I make this with fresh thyme instead of basil or I may add some fresh oregano. Play with it and the herbs. It will be fun!
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