Butternut Squash & Spinach Eggplant Roll-Ups

Thursday, January 03, 2013

From our skinny table to yours...
Is there anything better than Italian food that's actually good for you?  Here is a crazy delicious and crazy good for you italian dish!  Tonight we're taking eggplant roll-ups (which are already healthy & low in carbs) to the next level!  For starters we are baking up the eggplant slices verses frying them and to top it off the 'cheesy' center isn't cheesy at all ;)  We are rolling up the eggplant slices with our take on the 'cheesy' center, which comes from the roasted butternut squash, leeks, garlic, spinach and just a meer tablespoon of ricotta cheese!  This filling is so creamy and delicious, yet a lot more nutritious and a LOT less in calories! 

As we have said, whenever we make italian food, we make the same homeade yummy sauce.  We tend to make a large batch so we can freeze the leftovers and have easy on-hand meals in the freezer!  As you will see this sauce is super healthy due to including sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and tons of garlic right into the sauce.  The sweet potato and carrots give the sauce a sweet and tangy flavor.

This is a delicious and nutritious vegetarian meal you can feel good about eating!  We hope you enjoy :)

Our sauce
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 large carrot
1/2 small sweet potato
1/2 small yellow onion
Garlic 4-5 cloves
1 tbs oregano
1 handul fresh basil
1/4 cup parm cheese
1 tbs ricotta cheese
Pinch of salt

Let's get cooking!
1. Get sauce going before you start on the roll-ups
2. Place raw carrots, onion, garlic and sweet potato into the food processor if you have one, if not chop ingredients finely.  Blend well then add to pot with 2 tbs olive oil.  Saute until softened  (approx 5 minutes)
3. Add all 4 cans of tomato sauce and mix well
4. Add oregano, chopped fresh basil and salt
5. Mix in both parm and ricotta and simmer for at least an hour!  The longer you let cook, the better it will taste :)

Eggplant Roll-ups
Olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 butternut squash
2 cups fresh spinach
4 garlic cloves
2 leeks
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs ricotta
1 tbs freshly grated parm
2 egg whites
1/2 cup panko

Let's get cooking!
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop up butternut squash, leeks and place in baking dish.  Add in 2 tbs olive oil, peeled garlic cloves and oregano.  Bake for 45 minutes or until softened
2. While butternut squash is cooking peel the skin off the eggplant and thinly slice lenghwise into 6, 1/4 inch pieces.  Beat together egg whites and a cup of water.  In a separate bowl, add panko.  Coat each individual slice in egg mixture, then bread crumbs and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes on each side at 400 degrees.  Then broil each side on high for one minute to become crispy
3. To make 'cheesy' center, blend butternut squash mixture in food processor along with the ricotta cheese.  Saute spinach with a splash of olive oil and add to the mixture. 
4. Take eggplant slices out of oven and lay flat to begin rolling.  Place approx 2 tbs of 'cheesy' center onto slice and roll up.  Repeat this process with all of the eggplant
5. Line baking dish with sauce and place all 6 rolls into dish.  Cover rolls with sauce and 1 tbs fresh parm cheese
6. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes then enjoy!

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