It is so important for all of us to nourish our bodies with healthy choices in food. Being health oriented, I have spent years researching different foods, making sure we get adequate vitamins and minerals in our diet.
Dinner time is sacred time at our house. I cook just about every night. We rarely go out for meals for several reasons, namely, health reasons, lack of good restaurants and because it tends to be expensive.
My husband does all the grocery shopping and buys what is on sale unless I have a star after an item, which means I need that item for a particular dish.
Getting back to healthy eating while saving money, here is one of my favorite easy recipes, and to boot it lasts for three dinners. Thanks to being able to keep in the fridge for a week, I can easily space out the dinners. This dish costs about $8.00 for three meals for two people.
1 large eggplant
2 cups of spinach
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 cup of chopped sweet onions
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 15-oz. can of tomato sauce
1 pound of grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of olive oil
Spices: 2 tablespoons each of oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice the eggplant in 1/2 inch slices and sprinkle with salt.
- Score the eggplant and allow to sit on the counter for a few hours.
- Lay half of the eggplant slices in a large baking dish.
- Sprinkle the eggplant with about 1/4 cup of olive oil.
- Cover the eggplant with 1 cup of the spinach.
- Season the eggplant and spinach with salt and pepper.
- Pour the can of tomato sauce in a pot and add approximately half of the oregano, basil, marjoram and garlic powder along with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the sauce for about 15 minutes.
- Add 1/2 pound of the mozzarella cheese to cover the eggplant and spinach.
- Add half of the tomato sauce on top of the cheese.
- Place the rest of the eggplant slices on top.
- Cover the eggplant with the spinach, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and onions in layers.
- Add the rest of the tomato sauce.
- Pour in the remaining olive oil.
- Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top.
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the mozzarella cheese.
- You can sprinkle some oregano and basil over the cheese covering.
- Bake in the oven at 350 uncovered for about 1.5 hours.
- Serve the eggplant dish with a tossed green salad.
What If You Don’t Like Some of the Ingredients?
Here are a few substitutes, omissions and ideas for the eggplant recipe.
If you are not a fan of eggplant, zucchini works as well. You can leave out the spinach and substitute chopped celery or sweet red peppers. I also add more of each spice for extra intense flavor. I cook the eggplant unpeeled but you can peel it if you wish.
Do you have any favorite eggplant recipes that you would love to share? What healthy eating tips can you offer for women on a budget? Please do so in the comments below.