So what has finally spurred me now? We LOVE cheese, especially feta cheese. (If you have never happened to try it, go buy some now. ;]) We accidentally bought a lot of fat free feta cheese... Now I don't know if you've ever had fat-free cheese, but it's worse than cardboard by itself. Feta doubly so. Seriously. The luscious creaminess gone. The pungent taste, soured. In things, it is tolerable So I had to come up with something, anything to use up this cheese. Waste not, want not. Right?
I was Pinteresting it up one day, because that's my jam, and happened upon a recipe for eggplant cannelloni. This sounded amazing, but I wasn't to into the actual recipe. We like more pungent food flavors in my house so I decided to create something similar. This became trickier because it's Lent, and I've given up certain foods. So this is my vegetarian and grain free twist on lasagna. It makes enough for about 6 people or two full 8x8 pans.
- 2 large eggplant
- 6 (or less) green onions
- 5 (or less) garlic
- 7 cremini mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1, 16 oz, can well drained
- 10-12 oz package of frozen kale or spinach, perferably thawed and pressed dry
- 3/4 cup feta
- 1/2 tablespoon butter to make up for the fat-free-ness
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- 1/2 cup egg whites or 2 eggs
- 3 cups pasta sauce
- some herbs for topping
- A chef's knife
- A mandolin slicer (can substitute the chef's knife if you're that awesome)
- A griddle or a pan on a stove top
- A food processor or a REALLY good arm
- An oven preheated to 350 F
- 2 oiled 8x8 baking dish
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Wash all produce.
- Chop off the ends of the eggplant and slice into nice even steaks between 1/8 and 1/4 an inch thick.
- Grill on a griddle or stove top.
- Remove stems from mushrooms and slice caps.
- Remove chive (the dark green grassy part) and root end from green onions and peel garlic.
- Saute mushroom slices.
- Add green onion, garlic, mushroom stems, chickpeas, kale, egg, butter, and both cheeses to the food processor.
- Note: I processed all but the cheese first then added the cheese and processed some more because it wouldn't all fit the first go.
- Cover the eggplant steak with filling, roll up long-ways, and place in baking dish.
- Once all steaks have been filled, top with mushrooms and sauce.
- Optional: Top with more cheese and herbs.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Pull out and let cool for 10-15... (yes this is necessary or you will seriously burn yourself.)
- ENJOY! :D
Now cook on the griddle
or on the stove top with a pan.
|They will be done with you can bend them without trouble.|
Note: You will be rolling them up. The skin will be chewy. You can remove the skin if you dislike the idea.
|While waiting on the eggplant slice to cook, remove the stems from the mushrooms, slice your mushrooms, cut the green onions (reserving the onion, not chive parts), and peel your garlic.|
|After the eggplant is done, saute the mushrooms just until they let go of their water for more flavor.|
|You should end up with about 3/4 of cooked mushrooms.|
|Gather all ingredients for sauce.|
|Dump everything into the food processor, and let it go!|
|I had to do this step twice. The cheese wouldn't fit with everything else at first.|
|Get ready to assemble.|
|Add some of the filling with a spoon, enough to cover about eighty percent of it works the best.|
|Roll it up and place it in the (OILED!) pan.|
|I managed to get 11 in there. If you have extra eggplant, just eat it. It's amazing by itself. :]|
|Add your awesome mushrooms or any extra veggies on top.|
|Top with about 3 cups of pasta sauce.|
|Now of course my husband had to have more cheese...|
|So I added more herbs... (dried rosemary, basil, and parsley to be exact.)|
|Popped it in the oven covered in foil for 45 minutes.|
|Ta-Da! Pulled it out to cool for 10-15 minutes.|
It was completely and totally yummy and satisfying although a little wet so I would most definitely squeeze as much of the water out of the chickpeas and kale as humanly possible. On the definite plus side, you couldn't tell there was ever fat-free cheese in there anyway. Haha. :] I only used half of my filling concoction. The other is the freezer. I'll update later to see if that was smart idea or not. Anyway, I must be on my way to work to bake cupcakes, tarts, and biscotti. Thanks for the read! :]