Vegetarian

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

by Shawnda on October 1, 2014

in eggplant,Garden,Lighter & Healthier,Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Vegetarian

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

You are looking at the greatest thing to ever happen to eggplant since pizza crust and goat cheese.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

The eggplant tree in my garden still thinks it’s summer. And frankly, with highs still in the low 90s, it IS still summer.

While I was out of town last weekend, Jason sent me a picture of the three soccer ball-sized fruits he picked from the “tree.” All bigger than my 4-year-old’s head. When I got back, I took one of those soccer balls (just one – and I had leftover slices!) and turned it into the most amazing version of Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

The dish comes together pretty easily – assuming you don’t find out at the last minute that what you thought was a jar of marinara turns out to be calorie-bomb vodka sauce and then thank all the baby Jesuses for those two cans of crushed tomatoes buried behind the year-old can of pumpkin.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

You roast sliced eggplant for ~30 minutes to remove excess water and concentrate the flavors and then you layer it in a dish on top of half-cooked pasta with marinara (or “improvinara”), mozzarella, and parmesan. Another 30 minute spin through the oven and you have a golden brown, bubbling dish of Eggplant Parmesan perfection.

And your house doesn’t stink like yesterday’s fried foods the next morning.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

Not all comfort food is terrible for you. This version of Eggplant Parmesan is lighter on fat, heavy on flavor.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 331.8 | Fat: 10.4g | Fiber 8.9g | Protein 12.9g | Carbs 49.5g

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • Olive oil
  • ~3 lbs eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups marinara sauce, divided
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) shredded Parmesan
  • Basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a casserole dish and a baking sheet (two sheets, if your eggplant is soccer ball-sized).
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. Cook the pasta for half the time suggested on the package and then drain.
  4. Add the pasta to the casserole dish along with 3/4 cup of marinara sauce, stirring to mix. Top with another 3/4 cup marinara
  5. Brush each side of the eggplant rounds with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes, flip and roast for 15 minutes more.
  7. Place half of the eggplant rounds over the pasta and top with half the mozzarella and Parmesan.
  8. Spread the remaining 3/4 cup marinara over top, followed by the remaining eggplant, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  9. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling.
  10. Serve topped with basil, if desired.

Notes

Yields: ~6 servings

Adapted from Feast, via Annie's Eats

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 4 comments }

Hatch chile ranch dressing

Hi.

I made hatch chile ranch dressing. And then nearly had to cage-fight my 4-year-old for the last spoonful in the jar.

This is probably where most “normals” would back up and explain a back story that makes them sound more normal and less dramatic – and definitely less violent. But I have no back story. And quite possibly am farther away from the “normal” label than most of you guys think.

Because the over-dramatic 4-year-old mushroom-cloud meltdown that ensued left me with very few options, with cage fighting being closer to the top than I should probably publicly admit.

Hatch chile ranch dressing

But enough already about my crappy parenting skills, right? I tweaked the world’s greatest jalapeno ranch dressing and subbed in hatch chiles for what turned out to be a pretty amazing green chile dip and dressing. One over which tears were literally shed.

So go roast those green chiles. Throw them in a blender with a handful of other things that we both know that you already have on-hand. Push a button. And then grab that bag of chips bowl of salad bowl of chips.

Hatch chile ranch dressing

Hatch Chile Ranch Dressing

A tangy, creamy homemade ranch dressing (or dip) flavored with Hatch green chiles.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sour cream or fat-free greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup mayo (I use light)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 small bunch of chives or 2 dark green onion tops (equal to ~2 Tbsp) chopped
  • Small handful cilantro
  • 2 medium hatch chiles hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, and chopped (directions here)
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Up to 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add sour cream/yogurt, mayo, lime, chives, half of the chiles, salt, pepper, and garlic to the blender.
  2. Blend for 10 seconds, add the remaining chiles and chilantro and pulse a couple of times.
  3. Check consistency and blend in milk if desired. (I almost never do this anymore but especially if you're using full-fat mayo and sour cream - the dressing will get pretty thick after being stored the fridge - you can always whisk milk in later.
  4. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.

Notes

Yields: ~2 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 3 comments }

Hatch Chile Borracho Beans

The onset of hatch chile season means that the pot of beans I make for the 2-3 TexMex nights that are always on the menu get a green chile makeover.

Hatch Chile Borracho Beans

Where I come from, you usually have three options for beans on taco night: refried beans, charro beans, and borracho beans.

Refried beans are easy, especially when your two-ingredient recipe calls for a can opener and a can. Charro beans take a little bit of planning and a whole lot of bacon.

Borracho beans? They also need a little bit of planning. But most of all? They need beer.

Hatch Chile Borracho Beans

In addition to being spiked with beer, these beans are also spiked with green chile salsa verde and a hatch chile pico de gallo.

Hatch Chile Borracho Beans

Here in Texas, Shiner has always been the popular choice for borracho beans. There are very few rules, but there is one thing to remember: Pick out an amber-or-darker brew from your fridge because, just like in all other aspects of real life, light beer won’t do much for you.

Hatch Chile Borracho Beans

Your favorite taco night side infused with green chiles and beer.

Ingredients

  • For the beans:
  • 1 lb dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked*
  • 12 oz beer (medium/amber is best; I used a locally brewed jalapeno ale this time)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp chile powder (I used a New Mexican blend)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup green chile salsa verde
  • For the hatch chile pico de gallo:
  • 3 large roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 hatch chiles roasted, seeded, and chopped*
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • *Either soak overnight or do the quick-soak method: bring beans to a boil, turn off heat, and let stand 1 hour; drain and proceed with recipe.

Instructions

  1. Place the pre-soaked beans, beer, brown sugar, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, chile powder, cumin, and salsa verde in a large pot.
  2. Cover with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook with the lid ajar for ~90 minutes, until the beans are tender.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the pico de gallo and add half of the mixture to the beans.
  5. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes; stir and adjust seasoning as desired.
  6. Serve beans garnished with the remaining pico de gallo.

Notes

Yields: 8-10 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 3 hours

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 5 comments }

Smell that?

That’s the smell of August. It’s the fiery, smokey scent of (probably) a ton of Hatch Chiles roasting at the door step of my HEB.

This month, my package of HEB Primo Picks was bursting at the seams with Hatch Chile This and Hatch Chile That and Oh! Oh! – More Hatch Chile Goodness.

After the squeals subsided, I grabbed the Two Bean Hatch Pepper Dip, Hatch Salsa Verde, and the Hatch Tortilla Chips and then went to work giving everyone’s (including mine!) favorite party dip from 1987 a modern face lift.

The Seven Layer Dip. I know you remember it. Layers of taco night fixins dumped into a casserole dish and topped with those vile little black, rubber-tire olives. (Could those things be any grosser?!)

This version – it’s fresher, it’s loaded with hatch chiles in three different layers, and it’s thankfully missing anything that could resemble a tire.

Layer 1: Refried Beans Roberts Reserve Two Bean Hatch Pepper Dip
Layer 2: Guacamole Avocado, smashed with lime and salt
Layer 3: Picante sauce Central Market Hatch Chile Salsa Verde
Layer 4: Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
Layer 5: Sour Cream (or if, like me, you only ever buy fat-free Greek yogurt – then fat-free Greek yogurt)
Layer 6: Roasted hatch chiles
Layer 7: Pico de gallo

So head out today – or, like, yesterday – to get your Hatch Chile on. Hoard Buy, seed, chop, bag, freeze, and repeat. 3 or 300 times. I won’t judge – I’ll be far too busy trying to find room among the 20lb of cherries in my freezer for 20lbs of hatch chiles.

Update: The lucky winner is Debbie with comment #71!

HEB has provided a selection of Primo Picks for one lucky reader. To enter, simply answer the question in the comments below: What is your favorite dish using Hatch/green chiles?

Me, while I may still be partial to these enchiladasHatch & Pepperoni Pizza. That is definitely where it’s at.

You can earn up to 4 extra entries by:
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow us on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow HEB on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow the blog’s Instagram feed.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow HEB on Pinterest.

The fine print:
– Maximum of five (5) entries per person.
– Giveaway ends at midnight (Texas time, y’all) on Wednesday, August 20.
– Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generator thingies and announced on this post.
– Winners will receive a selection of HEB Primo Picks from HEB.
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Winning “extra entry” comments subject to verification.
– Prize can only be shipped to a US address.
– Official giveaway rules can be found here.

Seven-Layer Hatch Chile Dip

A fresher version of the traditional Seven-Layer Mexican Dip, loaded with roasted hatch chiles.

Ingredients

  • 10.5 oz jar Roberts Reserve Two Bean Hatch Pepper Dip
  • 1 large avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt
  • ~1/2 jar Central Market Hatch Chile Salsa Verde
  • Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 large hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • Small handful cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a wide dish or pie plate, evenly spread the bean dip.
  2. Smash the avocado with some lime juice and a generous pinch of salt and spread over the beans.
  3. Spoon the salsa verde over top and sprinkle with a layer of cheese.
  4. Spread the sour cream over the cheese and sprinkle the roasted chiles over top.
  5. In a small bowl, stir the tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro together with a pinch of salt.
  6. Spread pico de gallo evenly over the top of the dip.
  7. Serve cold with tortilla chips.

Notes

Yields: Servings vary

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and baby-Elmo-clogged-toilets are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 3 locations within a 5 mile radius.

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 112 comments }