Alrighty, so you're watching what you eat. You've been good, real good, but all you could think of eating is some delicious baked ziti. That bad boy will set you back a few pounds! No need to worry! Here comes a quick easy fix.
Now, I can't really take all the credit for this, because I heard somewhere (here's my disclaimer) to substitute the pasta for eggplant. Yup, you read correctly. The eggplant holds up like ziti does and it's very nutritious for you.
This is how I made it for us tonight:
1/2 box of ziti (yes, I actually used pasta, but only half the amount I would normally use)
1/2 large eggplant (cut it up to resemble the ziti)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Newman's Own Roasted Garlic)
Part Skim Ricotta Cheese (enough to mix in with the eggplant/pasta)
1/2 lb. of shredded Part Skim Mozzarella
Cook pasta as you normally would. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Assemble all of the ingredients in a baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. Voila!
Even though this is a lower fat recipe, it doesn't mean you could go crazy and eat half a tray of this. There's still cheese in this, which is fattening. Portion control my friends! Portion control!
Let me tell you, this is such a yummy substitute. Dan even loved it. He was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The eggplant enhances the taste of the dish and it's perfectly tender. I think it's a genious and easy way to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet, trick your kids into eating more veggies, and lower the amount of calories you have in a day. Let's not forget how much less refined carbohydrates you're eating, too.
This is also a great recipe because it allows you to have some fun with your diet. Although, I have to admit that if you're eating healthy, you're not eating boring. There are so many different dishes you could make that are super healthy for you and don't taste like cardboard. You just have to be adventurous. Even with this recipe you could go crazy by adding some chicken (if you want some protein) or add other vegetables into the mix. Be creative. Try it out!!