Wow! It has been quite a while since I have been here (Oooops!) I am so busy with a small reno project at the house and everything else, it has just been crazy to find time. I am however posting a great recipe for these “Eggplant Roll Ups”. A friend would always bring me these delicious eggplant rolls every Friday for our little 5:00 à 7:00 by the pool and they were amazing, and good for you! A great vegetarian alternative. So I wanted to try and make them myself and they turned out great. They are pretty easy to prepare, just a little chopping, but if you have a processor it is real fast to make. They are also filling enough to be a meal if you have two.
This recipe was adapted from the Dr. Oz show. I just tweaked it a little to make them how I would like them. I am always tweaking things 🙂
EGGPLANT ROLL UPS
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
2-3 tbsp water (I used 1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (I used 1 med. red pepper and 1 med. green pepper)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped carrots (I chopped them very fine)
1/2 cup chopped celery (I chopped them very fine)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz baby spinach (I used about 2 1/2 cups baby spinach or 16.5 oz)
1 tbsp no-salt seasoning, adjusted to taste (I used 1/4 tsp. ground 3 peppers red/black/white mix and 1/2 tsp. each Basil – Oregano – Parsley – 1/4 tsp. Hot peppers)
2 cups no salt added or low-sodium pasta sauce, divided (I used 1 – 240 ml can diced tomatoes in roasted garlic, juice drained and 1 – 200 ml can tomato paste and combined them together)
6 oz non-dairy mozzarella-type cheese, divided (I used 1/2 a bag of the Kraft already shredded Italiano 3 cheese mix)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a non-stick baking pan. Arrange eggplant in a single layer in the pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until eggplant is flexible enough to roll up easily (check them to make sure they do not get overcooked, you want to be able to just roll them, they should still be firm). Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons water (or olive oil) in a large pan, add the bell pepper( both peppers if you make my version), onion, celery, and garlic; sauté until just tender, adding more water if needed (I also added some water at this point not any more oil). Add the spinach and seasoning (or seasonings) and cook until spinach is wilted (I did not let it wilt too much I left them still pretty stiff, if that is the right word, they cook in the oven so you still want them to be that pretty bright green).
Transfer to a mixing bowl. Mix in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pasta sauce and all of the shredded cheese (I reserved a bit to include in the middle of each roll up). Spread about 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce in a baking pan. Put some of the vegetable mixture on each eggplant slice (I also added some of the reserved cheese here, but just a bit), roll up and place in a pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the eggplant rolls. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until heated through. *Do not overcook, or they will become soggy. Serves 6
I have to say this is a very tasty recipe yummy! 🙂