No Breading Eggplant Parmesan

I absolutely love eggplant Parmesan–except all that breading makes it practically equivalent to having a full serving of pasta. So I’ve hit upon a great compromise that makes the eggplant and fresh basil sauce the stars, along with a healthy dose of yummy cheeses, of course. It uses a slightly different version of my Spinach-Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms. This means it’s a great low-starch/ low-carb recipe for those with prediabetes or diabetes, or just those of you wanting to limit refined carbs. It’s all good! Serves 8 Ingredients 1 very large (or 2 medium) eggplants, sliced thin 6-ounce bag fresh spinach 5 medium cloves garlic 2 large eggs, beaten 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 1/2 cups shredded organic or light mozzarella cheese, divided into 1/2 cup and 1 cup 15-ounce container fat-free Ricotta cheese 1 package (2 fistfuls) fresh basil, sliced 2/3rd container (24 oz) low-sugar prepared pasta sauce, divided 3 ways 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese   Directions Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a large glass baking dish. Spread out the eggplant slices and lightly salt them. Let sit for 30 minutes. (Note: this step isn’t critical so if you don’t have time then skip it and just lightly salt the eggplant once you’ve microwaved and squeezed them dry.) Microwave 8-10  minutes (or steam on the stovetop), cool, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. In the meantime, chop the spinach and the garlic in batches in a food processor, and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. In the same mixing bowl stir in the eggs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, Ricotta cheese, and fresh basil. Combine until well mixed. Layer a small amount of pasta sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, followed by: a layer of eggplant, another light layer of sauce, the spinach ricotta filling. Repeat once more: eggplant, pasta sauce, filling. Sprinkled remaining 1 cup mozzarella followed by the fresh Parmesan over the entire dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until topping is golden brown and cheese is...
read more

Butternut Squash Casserole

This butternut squash casserole is a wonderfully warm and spiced Autumn dish that may make a good diabetic recipe if you’re someone who needs to watch your starches and you know butternut squash is reasonably moderate on your post-meal blood glucose readings. As with everything I make my husband (who doesn’t need to eat low-carb in the least!) also enjoys it. Note: The fresh basil may seem out of place but it actually adds a nice balance to the sweetness, although it can certainly be skipped. To make this recipe super easy I opted for already cubed and packaged squash. Makes 8 side servings, or 4-6 dinner servings Ingredients 2 small (or 1 extra large) sweet onions, chopped Lots of fresh garlic (~ 6-10 medium cloves), minced 1 pkg (approx 20 oz) peeled and cubed butternut squash 3 large eggs 3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 cup fresh basil, chopped 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1 cup light or organic mozzarella cheese Optional: 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese   Directions Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and lightly grease a 9×13-inch glass casserole baking dish. Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and squash until the squash is slightly tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and transfer the mixture to the casserole baking dish. Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl. Stir in the yogurt, grated Parmesan cheese, basil, black pepper, and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture over squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese and the extra fresh Parmesan cheese (if you’re using). Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is lightly browned and squash is tender, about 25...
read more

Lighter Egg Salad

This egg salad is much lighter on the amount of mayonnaise, making it lighter in calories and fat while still being big on taste. This way you get the nutrition of the full egg without extra additives–natural or not (which is often the case in commercial mayonnaise or salad dressing brands that contain added sugars.) This is good news if you have heart health issues, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or struggle with your weight. I also opt for a more unadulterated canola mayonnaise (look for few ingredients and pure ones at that!) to keep to a whole food focus. Serves 5 Ingredients 10 large eggs 1/4 cup + 1/2 Tbsp canola mayonnaise 2 tsp Dijon mustard 2-3 Tbsp sweet onion, diced 1/4- 1/2 tsp paprika salt and pepper to taste   Directions Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for approximately 12 minutes. Drain the hot water and add very cold water to stop the cooking process. While the eggs are still cooling peel them one at a time, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Use the back of fork tongs to break the eggs into pieces. Stir the mayonnaise, mustard, and onion together and add to the eggs. Stir well to combine, and season with the paprika, salt, and...
read more

Stuffed Zucchini

This stuffed zucchini (or summer squash) actually calls for chicken sausage, but to make it vegetarian the sausage can easily be left out or swapped for beans. The mix of flavors and melted goat cheese make it a surprising bake. It is both a good side dish and, with double servings, a light low-carb summer entree. Makes 4 dinner servings Ingredients 4 large or 6 medium zucchini 2 tsp olive oil, divided 4 links chicken sausage, chopped 1 whole red bell pepper, diced 3 shallots, diced 8-10 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled 1 Tbsp dry whole wheat bread crumbs   Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with 1 tsp oil. Using a spoon hollow out a modest well in the center of each zucchini half. Place each piece on the baking sheet, cut-side up, and make room for a couple small mounds of the scooped-out insides (no need to waste good squash!) Heat the other tsp oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Saute the sausage, shallot, and red bell pepper until the sausage is lightly browned and the shallot and pepper are soft. In a mixing bowl combine the sausage mixture with the goat cheese. Fill each zucchini with a few spoonfuls of the sausage-cheese mix, and top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Bake in the preheated oven until filling is lightly browned and squash is tender, about 30...
read more

Tofu Veggie Curry Bowl

This tofu veggie curry bowl is surprisingly easy to make. It has such a unique mix of flavors, from the warm spices of curry and cumin to the tropical taste of coconut oil. Another great low-carb choice. For anticipated busy nights, roast the cauliflower a day or two ahead of time (and try not to get into it before you use it in this recipe!) For a healthier vegetarian choice, try tempeh, which isn’t as processed as tofu. Serves 5-6 Ingredients For the cauliflower: 1/2 Tbsp organic unrefined coconut oil, melted 2 tsp curry powder, divided 1 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp salt 1 large head of cauliflower For the tofu bowl: 1 tsp organic unrefined coconut oil 3-5 medium cloves garlic, minced 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped 2 containers (5 oz each) firm organic tofu, cut into small cubes 2 tsp curry powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 can (12 oz) reduced-fat coconut milk 1 package (12 oz) frozen asparagus spears, thawed and cut into 1-inch slices Chopped cashews or macadamia nuts for topping   Directions Roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Whisk together the melted coconut oil, curry powder, cumin, and salt. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets, place in a resealable plastic bag, add the curry mix, and massage to thoroughly combine. Arrange on the baking sheet and roast for 35 mins, until tender. Melt the additional 1 tsp coconut oil on medium heat in a large fry pan. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the tofu cubes, curry, salt, and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes (the liquid won’t completely absorb.) Remove from heat and stir in the cut asparagus. Spoon into bowls, top with the roasted curried cauliflower, along with your choice sprinkling of cashews or macadamia...
read more

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This spinach stuffed portobello mushroom recipe makes a great side dish. Or, my husband and I might cook a couple of hearty sides and have both for a light supper. For example, you can’t go wrong with a hearty salad that has avocado, olives, or nuts to round out the stuffed mushroom with even more veggie servings as well as healthy fat to satisfy your hunger. Makes 6 mushrooms Ingredients 6 large portobello mushroom caps 6-ounce bag fresh spinach 2-3 medium cloves garlic 2 large eggs, beaten 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 cup shredded organic or light mozzarella cheese, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup 15-ounce container fat-free Ricotta cheese 1-2 Tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs, divided evenly   Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a large glass baking dish. Remove the stems of the portobello mushroom caps, and arrange both the caps and the stems in the glass baking dish, gill sides up. Bake in the preheated oven until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain any juice, and bump the heat up to 400 degrees F. In the meantime, chop the spinach and the garlic in batches in a food processor, and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. In the same mixing bowl stir in the eggs, Parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, Ricotta cheese, and 1/2-1 Tbsp of the bread crumbs. Combine until well mixed. Divide the spinach mixture evenly between all 6 mushroom caps. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and 1/2-1 Tbsp bread crumbs evenly over the mushroom caps, and return the mushrooms to the oven. Bake in 400 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes, until topping is golden brown and cheese is...
read more