Photo courtesy of Eating Well
Welcome to 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet, our new blog series! It’s no secret that eating the Mediterranean way helps with heart health and weight loss. But fast-paced modern living makes it hard to stick to any diet, which is why each 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet post will feature a healthy Mediterranean recipe.
When you want something you can really sink your teeth into, come back to this recipe. Great as a lunch dish, the filling eggplant and gooey cheese (low fat, promise!) just hits the spot. Eggplant is a great source of fiber*, while the spinach provides a plethora of nutrients like protein, iron and vitamins A, C, E and K.**
Who’s ready to get grillin’?
From Eating Well
Makes 4 servings
1 large eggplant, (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds), cut into 12 1/4-inch-thick rounds
Olive oil cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan, or Asiago cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
4 small pieces focaccia bread, or rustic Italian bread
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces baby spinach
1 cup crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
Prep & Cook
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Place eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Coat both sides lightly with cooking spray. Combine Parmesan (or Asiago) and mozzarella in a small bowl. Brush both sides of focaccia (or bread) with oil.
- Place spinach in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in the wrap. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Combine tomatoes and 2 tablespoons basil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave until bubbling, about 2 minutes.
- Place all your ingredients on the baking sheet with the eggplant and take it to the grill. Grill the eggplant slices until brown and soft on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Grill the bread until toasted, about 1 minute per side. Return the eggplant and bread to the baking sheet. Reduce grill heat to medium.
- Place 1 eggplant round on top of each slice of bread. Layer 1 tablespoon tomatoes, 1 tablespoon wilted spinach and 1 tablespoon cheese on each slice of eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, spinach and cheese. Sprinkle each stack with some of the remaining basil. Place the baking sheet on the grill, close the lid and grill until the eggplant stack is hot and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
By: Laurentia Guesman,