Monday, March 3, 2014

No Noodles Manicotti with Spinach & Sun-dried Tomatoes

After I started making this simple Italian Salami Salad, I've been obsessed with it! As a result, we now have weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) Italian nights. However Italian food can be a little difficult when you're on a low-carb diet.

Oh, the dilemmas!!

So, Pinterest gave me the idea to make my standard manicotti recipe with eggplant instead of noodles. {Mind Blown}  Yeah, it sounds crazy but it's sooooo good!!! I promise-- you won't miss the noodles and it's a great way to cut down on carbs.

Even The Man likes Eggplant Manicotti so I think it's a win especially considering that I don't even use meat in this recipe! After all, he's a steak and potatoes kind of man, but what's even better is that he actually requests the Italian Salami Salad on a regular basis.

He. Wants. Lettuce. (aka "rabbit food). {passes out from shock}

Eggplant Manicotti

What You Need (Manicotti)
Serves 3-4
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes
  • 1 Med-Large Eggplant, sliced lengthwise thinly (for an 8x12 pan you need approx. 8-10 slices of eggplant)
  • Favorite tomato sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¼- ½ c Spinach, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 TBSP Basil, chopped (optional)
    "Stuffing"
    • ¼ c Ricotta Cheese
    • ¼ c Cottage Cheese
    • ¼ c Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
    • 1 clove of roasted garlic, minced
    • ⅓ c Spinach, chopped
    • ¼ c Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 egg
    • salt and pepper
    Heat the over to 350 F and prepare a glass baking dish by placing a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan.

    After you slice the eggplant, sauté them in a frying pan over medium heat with just a little bit of olive oil. It is best to do this 1-2 slices at a time. They should become soft enough that they can easily bend, but not soft enough that they are squishy. Approx 2 minutes on each side. Place them on a plate or paper towel to cool

    While they are cooking, mix all the "stuffing" ingredients in a small bowl. 

    Blot off the excess oil from each eggplant roll, place a scoop of the stuffing on to the largest end of the eggplant. Gently roll the end with the stuffing over itself towards the end without stuffing until the eggplant is completely encircling the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture. 

    Place them in the dish, add more tomato sauce to thinly cover the top of the eggplant manicotti, sprinkle with chopped spinach and basil (if using), then create a thin layer of cheese using the mozzarella. 

    Cover with aluminum foil and back for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and then cook for an additional 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. 

    Italian Salami Salad

    What You Need (Salami Salad)
    Serves 3-4
    Total time: 5 minutes
    • Lettuce
    • 2 oz Genoa Salami approx ¼- ⅓ in thick
    • 2 oz Provolone cheese, cut approx ¼- ⅓ in thick
    • 1 tomato, chopped or 6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
    • Pepper
    • Red Wine Vinegar
    Your local deli will cut the salami and cheese into a thick slice. Just tell them you are planning on cubing it for a salad. They'll know what to do! 

    Put lettuce in a bowl. Cut the salami and provolone into squares and then add all the ingredients on top of lettuce. Use a light drizzle of red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of pepper. 

    I told you it was easy ;)

    Bon Appetite! 

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