October 28, 2010

Going meatless

No, I'm not becoming a vegetarian. I enjoy meat far too much, but I'm finding I enjoy veggies more and more. Errr, fruit, too. Over the years I've worked hard to make healthful meals at home. I try to save our splurges for meals out on the town. We all know, how I love those. So, to maintain a healthy balance, I keep it healthy at home.

We eat turkey pepperoni, instead of the real stuff. I also make lean turkey bacon for BLT's and breakfast sandwiches. We even use egg whites these days. I've found a number of ways to cut fat without losing flavor. Some sacrifices aren't worth making, like I've tried to substitute ground turkey for beef in Bolognese sauce. I tried it without meat, but Frank missed it too much. I don't know why it took me so long to try eggplant as a substitute, especially since it works so well in lasagna and parmesan with pasta or on a sandwich. We've been missing out. This is great alternative. The eggplant bulks up the pasta in a hearty way similar to how meat or mushrooms (Frank's not a fan) would.

Best of all, it couldn't be easier. I simply peel the eggplant, chop it into bite-sized pieces and toss it with EVOO, a pinch of Kosher salt and garlic (shallots, too, if on hand) and let it saute while the pasta water boils. Once it cooks down and softens I add pasta sauce, simmer a bit to let the flavor meld and then I toss it with cooked pasta. I've made it twice now with success. Frank and I don't miss the meat a bit.

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