Fitness Crazed Foodie
Lover of all things food and fitness related
I grew up on pasta, lasagna, pizza, and all the Italian classics (hence my last name) and I just cannot give them up even though I eat a lot healthier now. So, instead of indulging in all of these very high caloric dishes, I have found healthier ways to enjoy Italian cuisine.
To start, this eggplant parmesan dish I made tops the list of my favorite meals I've made. It has all the flavor of what you would get in a restaurant, but without the breading, oil, high-fat cheeses, and frying. To substitute all of this, you simply sauté plain eggplant and layer it with a low-fat cheese mixture and marinara sauce.
Olive oil spray
1 medium eggplant
1 egg white
1 cup low-fat grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup non-fat small curd cottage cheese
2-4 tbsp of your favorite low-fat grated cheese
1-2 cups marinara sauce (I used my mom's recipe, but any with small amounts of oil and added sugar will work!)
Preheat oven to 350. Slice the eggplant into thin (1/4 inch thick) slices. Spray a saute pan with oil spray and cook up the eggplant for about 4 minutes on each side, or until slightly brown.
While the eggplant is cooking, mix together one egg white, 3/4 cup low fat grated parmesan cheese, and 1 1/2 cup non-fat cottage cheese.
Put a thin layer of marina sauce on a the bottom of a baking dish so the eggplant doesn't stick. Place cooked eggplant slices around the pan in one layer. Add a layer of marinara sauce and a layer of the cheese mixture on top. Keep doing this until all the ingredients are gone. Top with any grated cheese of your choice (I chose low-fat mozzarella cheese) and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
I typically like to have all high-protein meals to fill me up, so I added grilled chicken breast to the side of the eggplant parm and they went together perfectly. I don't think I can go back to the deep-fried breaded kind anymore because this pure and healthy form tasted great and made me feel so much better after! I also recommend adding cooked spinach, cauliflower or broccoli into the dish and mix the veggies into the extra marina sauce!
P.S. Don't forget about my past healthy cauliflower italian bake recipe that is also another italian cuisine makeover that delivers the same satisfaction!
Even though the holidays are over, it is still break and I still could go for some dessert. But after all the holiday indulgences, I don't want something very heavy. So, I have the perfect dessert recipe for a lighter, but decadent dessert that can give you something to enjoy while staying warm inside the house.
My pumpkin truffles are the perfect bite (or two bites) sized desserts that satisfy your sweet tooth without indulging in a huge piece of pumpkin pie with ice cream. Although that does sound great, you won't be feeling so great afterwards. With these truffles, you get all the flavor from a piece of pumpkin pie, but with less calories, no stomach-ache, and less regret.
1 bag golden Oreos
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar (depending how sweet you want it)
14 oz white chocolate or almond bark
1. Finely grind the Oreos in a food processor or blender. Mix the crumbs with all the other ingredients until well combined and smooth. Roll into 1 inch diameter balls and put on a baking sheet. Put this sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes. This just makes them easier to roll into chocolate, as they are more firm.
2. While this is in the freezer, melt the white chocolate or almond bark in the microwave. BE CAREFUL! White chocolate is extremely sensitive to heat so it could get clumpy very easily. In order to avoid this, heat the chips up for 1 minute, mix, then heat them up at intervals of 20 seconds, mixing in between the intervals. Once it is mostly melt it should be done, as the couple non-melted pieces will melt just from sitting out.
3. Take the truffles out of the freezer. One at a time, roll the balls into the white chocolate for a thin coating that covers every part of it. Place back on the baking sheet. I recommend putting them on parchment paper so you can easily pull them off when ready to eat. Do this for every truffle and place in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Alternative: If someone doesn't like white chocolate, or you want to save even more calories, you can leave it out. As you can see in the picture, for some of them I just put a glaze over the truffles.This glaze was just powered sugar and milk until it had a thick consistency. This glaze ended up melting very easily so it was pretty messy, but still tasted great! Otherwise you can just leave them plain, as they have enough flavor without the chocolate as well! ENJOY
About this Section
This section is here to share my experiences in the kitchen and to give you inspiration to try out healthy and fun recipes!