eggplant parmesan/lasagne “hybrid”…comfort food!

eggplant parmesan/lasagne "hybrid"

eggplant parmesan/lasagne “hybrid”

hello CMK readers!

yes, it’s been too long since the last blogpost.  i hope to remedy that…starting now!

it seems to be cold/rainy most everywhere in the U.S. right now and sitting down to something warm/saucy/healthy/colorful is just the thing to lift our spirits, satisfy our palates and share with loved ones.    in our little household we LOVE eggplant parmesan and lasagne (be it veggie or traditional).  however, often both dishes are laden with too much cheese and/or meat, which take away from the flavor of the vibrant and health promoting vegetables.  rather than using a lasagne pasta, i layered the “lasagne” using eggplant slices. it was a kitchen “experiment” and we were pleasantly satisfied with the final dish.    i hope you will try it…not many ingredients and loads of juicy flavor. BONUS:  makes great leftovers!


1 large globe eggplant — sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 medium brown onion — coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves — sliced thinly

1 bunch of fresh spinach (or 5 oz. container of fresh baby spinach) rinsed

1 large (28 oz.) can diced “fire roasted” tomatoes (i prefer MUIR GLEN brand)

thinly sliced asiago cheese for layering and 1/2 cup parmesan for sprinkling

misc:  panko breadcrumbs, olive oil, red chili flakes, salt/pepper to taste, fresh rosemary or thyme, chopped  parsley for serving

simply dredge the eggplant slices in a combination of panko breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs and salt/pepper/chili flakes (to taste); spread a few spoonfuls of diced tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish (13″x9″) and start layering as follows:  eggplant, onions, garlic, handful of spinach spread evenly, thin slices of asiago cheese, sauce — repeat with remaining ingredients, leaving some eggplant and cheese slices for the top layer and cover with diced tomatoes.  bake (covered) at 350 degrees for approx. 1 hour; uncover and bake 10 minutes longer to brown cheese.

that’s it…enjoy with some red wine, green salad and crusty bread to mop up the garlicky sauce!

i hope the year ahead brings you good health and lots of time to spend with those you love…





cauliflower gratin with a citrus twist…

a “lighter” gratin dish with a hint of lemon…
Recipe type: vegetarian side dish
Author: elena
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 6
healthy “gratin” dish with a hint of citrus, dill and creamy Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (i prefer FAGE nonfat)
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh dill (or mixture of thyme/dill)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (plain, not seasoned)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (or mixture parmesan/asiago)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (or mixture)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped dill (or mixture of dill/thyme)
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. fill large pan with salted water; bring to rapid boil
  3. thoroughly rinse and trim a large cauliflower; leaving stem intact
  4. carefully drop whole cauliflower into boiling water for parboil…5 minutes
  5. remove cauliflower; drain and cool
  6. while cauliflower is boiling/then cooling, butter or spray a gratin dish (or pie plate)
  7. in a small bowl mix yogurt, lemon zest and juice, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, diced shallot, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup parmesan (or blend), salt and pepper to taste
  8. when cauliflower is cool enough to handle, chop coarsely (including stem) into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl
  9. add yogurt/lemon/cheese/herb mixture to chopped cauliflower and mix thoroughly
  10. in a small bowl mix all topping ingredients
  11. evenly spread cauliflower mixture in gratin dish and evenly spread topping over gratin
  12. bake for approximately 45-50 minutes until golden and bubbling
  13. BROIL baked gratin for 1-2 minutes (depends on your oven) to thoroughly brown topping
  14. OPTIONAL: sprinkle broiled gratin with a bit of chopped dill or fresh thyme

there is something about the combination of lemon, dill and Greek yogurt with a small bit of parmesan cheese that transforms this humble (yet healthy) cruciferous vegetable into an aromatic and delicious side dish…try it!

a healthy gratin with citrus, greek yogurt and dill...