Wednesday, May 14, 2008


"Lighten up" is good advice whether you're talking about life in general or about what you eat. One positive result of being a Lifetime Weight Watcher, albeit one who's not at goal, is that I've learned over the past 35 years how to take a recipe and rework it to reduce calories, fat, and sugar and, when possible, to increase fiber. I've subscribed to Prevention magazine and Cooking Light for a while and have tried many of the recipes and weight loss tips I've read there; but, I think it's more important to take favorite recipes and rework them since these are the foods you obviously like and the recipes that you turn to on a daily basis.

One of my favorite "lite" dishes is eggplant parmigiana. For those of you who garden and find yourselves with a bumper crop of zucchini, this recipe would work equally well, though I must confess I've never tried it since I abhor zucchini. You can freeze this dish, but I find it extrudes too much liquid when it is reheated, so I'd just make one batch at a time.


1-2 eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs) pared and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 egg white, beaten with 2 Tbs water
1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1 cup ready-made sauce (try to keep calorie count below 140 and fat and sugar low)
3/4 cup shredded 2% mozzarella cheese
3 Tbs grated cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 2 baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Dip each eggplant round in egg white, then into bread crumbs. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, turn slices over carefully,and bake another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven. In an 8 X 8 inch glass baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of sauce. Arrange eggplant round in a single layer over sauce. Top with 1/2 cup of sauce and 1/2 the shredded mozzarella. Place another layer of eggplant, top with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Cover and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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