At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Friday, October 28, 2011


When we first started getting weekly vegetable boxes from Red Goose Gardens, we were a little overwhelmed.  There were a lot of items in those boxes that we were unfamiliar with.  I posted about tomatillos a few weeks ago, which was one of the veggies that puzzled me.  Another vegetable I had no experience with was eggplant.  Maybe it's growing up in the midwest, maybe it's living in the United States, or maybe it's just my family, but I had never tried eggplant before 2009. 

I decided that with my two small children, if I make it look yummy, they would eat it.  I was right!  I bread it, bake it, cover it with homemade marinara and cheese and bake it some more.  Served with or without pasta, it is delicious.  My kids say it tastes like chicken nuggets, and one of them even claims my "Eggplant Parmesan" is her favorite supper.  

Eggplant Parmesan
1 large eggplant (or a few smaller ones), cut into 1/2 " slices
1 c. breadcrumbs (see this post for how to make your own)
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper
1 c. Marinara sauce (I make my own, check it out!)
1/2 c. mozarella

Mix breadcrumbs with parmesan and a little salt and pepper.  Mix eggs and milk.  Heat oven to 400.  Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.  Dip eggplant slices in egg/milk mixture, then coat in breadcrumbs.  Lay on cookie sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes until they start to brown.  Put a spoonful of  marinara and some cheese on top of each one and bake for about 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melty and browning. 

Depending on my mood, I may or may not serve this with whole wheat spaghetti and more marinara.  Sometimes, if I'm in the veggie mood, it's served with broccoli and some other vegetable.

I have also frozen the breadcrumb coated eggplant slices with success, but you have to peel and blanch them for about a minute before you dip them in the egg/milk mixture.  I then freeze them on a cookie sheet then put them in a baggie when frozen. 

We got about two dozen small eggplants one week this summer, and I had a hard time figuring out what to do with them.  They were too small for parmesan and I already had three baggies of that in the freezer.  I took the advice of Jaclyn at Red Goose Gardens and roasted it and froze it in meal-size portions.  I wash it, dice it up into 1/2 inch cubes, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted for about 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  I froze it in baggies and plan to use it in pastas, on pizzas, etc.  I hear it kind of tastes like mushrooms.

That's the eggplant on the left.
As is the case with a lot of items in our weekly vegetable delivery, the eggplant will last far into the winter.  When I want a quick and healthy supper, I can just pull out a baggie of eggplant and have parmesan or mix the cubes into marinara.  Can't beat the taste of summer all year 'round.

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