Monday, June 4, 2012

Whole Wheat Pizza with Eggplant & Parmigiano

After a lovely coworker convinced me to watch Forks Over Knives (stay tuned for a post on this in the near future!), I have been making an effort to incorporate more meat-less meals into our diet. My goal is 2 every week. I originally thought this would be a challenge, but when you put some thought into it, I have discovered many of these meals can be quite delicious! I decided to make a Whole Wheat Pizza with Eggplant and Parmigiano. Sounds fancy, huh? Really, it was quite simple and could just be called Eggplant Pizza... whatever floats your boat. But, as I was saying... Eggplant is a great option for a meat-less meal. While it doesn't contain loads of protein, it is loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants & dietary fiber. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as B, C and potassium and is a good source of folic acid. While I am generally a believer in incorporating protein into every dinner, whether plant-based or not, I do think it's ok to go without once in a while. And if protein is a concern for you, add some quinoa on the side or increase your intake during breakfast or lunch that day. Regardless of how you meet your protein needs, the most important thing to consider is an overall healthy diet and everything in moderation. (Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional. Consult a nutritionist before taking my word for it and please don't hold any nutritional information I share against me if you do not agree. :) )

What you will need:
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 2 tbsp. minced from the jar)
  • Your favorite pizza sauce (I used Casa Visco All Natural Italian Style Pizza Sauce, but if I'm feeling ambitious, I'll make my own)
  • 1 cup shredded parmigiano
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • Your choice of whole wheat pizza dough (I used Tuscan Pizza Co's organic pizza dough from Market Basket, but if you like thin-crust I love the Rustic brand or you can make your own)
  • Cornmeal

What to do:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.) Slice eggplant into 1/4-1/2" rounds.
3.) Place on baking sheet and bake 6-10 minutes (until slightly soft). Let cool.
4.) Meanwhile, sprinkle the cornmeal onto a pizza stone and roll the dough. (according to your thickness preference)
5.) Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake pizza crust for 5-10 minutes (depending on your crust crispy-ness preference)
6.) Meanwhile, slice eggplant into small strips or cubes.
7.) Remove crust from oven.
8.) Top with pizza sauce, garlic, basil and cheese.
9.) Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

VoilĂ !

The perfect accompaniment to a glass of shiraz & The Bachelorette!

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