January 27, 2012

Not Lasagna, Not Cannoli, Just Healthy YUM

Let's Cultivate Food. Let's enjoy more veggies!
Ever since I was little, I never enjoyed eggplants, mushrooms and liver.
As an adult, I love mushrooms: button, shiitake, porcini, oyster, enoki, wooden ear, you name it.
I still cringe at the thought and taste of liver though. I recently discovered Kale, Swiss Chard
and eggplant. I made these... um, I guess I would call them rolls. It's not really lasagna but
I guess maybe a veggie stuffed cannoli...?
Either way, whether you need to fake someone out to eat more vegetables or you simply enjoy healthy and delicious veggies- this dish is for you to try. It's great because it is so hearty that you almost think there is some ground beef or some meat in there.

The veggies that went into the filling of these rolls were: mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, spinach, artichoke and ricotta cheese to combine them all together. You will also need a little tomato sauce and your favorite shredded cheese to top at the end. I took a handful of mushrooms and diced them up small.

 I then did the same to about 1/4 of a yellow bell pepper. (You can use any kind of mushroom and any color pepper as well) I just happened to have a yellow one on hand.

 You also will need about 1/2 of a diced up medium sized onion.

 I also added artichoke pieces that are marinated in olive oil from the jar.
(I gave these a quick chop)

Artichoke and spinach go hand in hand especially in many dips... so it made sense and makes it even healthier by adding some bright fresh green into the mix. Give the spinach a quick chop also!

Then it's the roll/skin part of the roll. You are basically using the eggplant in place of pasta
like you would if you were making lasagna. After washing the eggplant, carefully hand cut
or use your mandoline to cut thin slices of the eggplant.

You want to do a quick fry of the eggplant slices and you can simply do that by adding
a little olive oil into your pan and cook the eggplant on both sides so they the pieces
are a little more pliable and it wont take as long in the oven.

 Take all the diced up veggies and toss them in a little olive oil in the frying pan as well.
Once the veggies are cooked about half way or so...
you can turn the stove off and fold in your ricotta cheese.

 Take the filling and lay it on your slice of eggplant and simply roll.

 I laid the veggie stuffed eggplant rolls on an oven pan on tomato sauce.
Once all the eggplant cannoli rolls were on the oven pan- I drizzled a little olive oil,
piled some shredded mozz. and cheddar cheese on top and threw the pan into the oven
for about 30 minutes on broil with the oven door once again, propped.

Once the cheese is melted and starts browning a little with a little crusty texture...
your rolls are done!

Healthy YUM!  As we ate this, we didn't say "where's the beef?"