Cottage Cheese! Who knew. I hate the stuff and won't touch it with a 10ft pole. I had a roommate in college who would eat the stuff by the gallon with pineapple. Looked and smelled disgusting. I come from a long line of "will not eat anything white" eaters. I'm very proud to say that this is something that I have not passed on to my kids - except for mayonnaise and plain yogurt. But come on, that stuff is no good. My kids don't like cottage cheese either. Honestly, thought I'm not 100% sure on that because it is the one food that I have never ever bought, brought into the house or given them. Before today that is!
I make excellent Eggplant Parmesan. I'm talking world famous, better than what you get in a restaurant Eggplant Parmesan. Normally I make this twice a year. Once at Christmas and once to do a trial run before Christmas. I have been making this for years and my family is a huge fan of this dish. If word gets out that I did a trial run and didn't let my brother or sister know, I'm in trouble! When I say my family, I mean MY family. My people - my mom, brother, sisters, old friends etc. I think my husband and kids can take it or leave it, but I don't think they really appreciate it. They didn't grown up in an Italian Catholic Jersey Household. A culture in itself, wouldn't you say!
So anyway, I make this dish. It is very time consuming and not that healthy. When I make it for Christmas it takes a good part of the day and I make it old-school from scratch, right down to the frying. I've tried putting it together in advance and baking it the day of, but it never tastes the same. I also know that it isn't the healthiest dish out there. Which is why I only make it a few times a year!
While at the beach recently, I picked up a magazine that my mom had laying around (yes, I actually had time to sit and look at a magazine - thanks Mom for watching the kids) and saw a recipe for Vegetable Lasagna. I was intrigued - the main headline of this recipe was cheap & easy -which I am all about! Upon further inspection, I realized that the recipe wasn't for lasagna at all, but it was an updated Eggplant Parm recipe. I made it this evening for dinner and the jury is still out. My three little ones (6 year old and 4 year old twins) would not touch it. I'm curious to see what my husband and oldest son think!
I pretty much followed my recipe (sorry - can't share this one!) but incorporated a few of the healthier aspects from this magazine recipe. Instead of frying the eggplant, I baked it. Instead of using a lot of heavy cheese (Ricotta & Mozzarella) and eggs in the filling mixture I used cottage cheese. I liked it. I really liked it. Who knew! The cottage cheese made it much lighter and smoother. The next time I make baked ziti or lasagna I will be using cottage cheese again!
What are some tricks that you have to lighten up some of your favorite recipes? Or, are you a "sneaker" do you need to put purees in your food to get your kids to eat more veggies?
Thanks for stopping by & have a great evening!