One of my favorite things to do is to cook. NOT bake! Baking is way too precise. I don’t like following a recipe step by step. I need to make my own additions and changes to make it my own! Making dinner, altering new recipe that I find on Pinterest or allrecipes.com is always fun to try, but my favorite thing to do is make one up. Figuring out what foods go together and compliment each other is a fun challenge! There has been more than one time that I have made a recipe that failed. Dave likes to cook too so we have an agreement that either of us make a “fail,” we HAVE to tell each other so we don’t make it again. Feelings are spared!
After work today, I ran to Trader Joe’s and meandered around the aisles trying to come up with an idea. I decided to go to the meat aisle first so that I could have the base. Several of my standby recipes uses their chicken sausage so I decided to start there. As I walked to the meat case, I passed the most perfectly shaped eggplants. That made me change my original plan. I have never cooked eggplant other than chopping it up with other veggies and serveing it over pasta. I decided to attempt an eggplant parmigiana! I decided to keep the chicken sausage and make a bolognese sauce along with it to bake with the eggplant.
As often as possible, I try to alter a recipe to make it healthier…this one was not!! I try to buy low fat ricotta and mozzarella cheese whenever possible, but they only had the regular version of both. I got home and made up the recipe as I went along. I dug the mandolin out of the back of a closet and sliced up the eggplants. I breaded them in egg and breadcrumbs and cooked them on a skillet. When they were browned, I baked them in the oven for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, I had already chopped up the sausage in the food processor and it was simmering in a pot with plum tomatoes and some spices.
After that was all ready, I layered it like a lasagne baked it in the oven for an hour and waited to see what happened. It was smelling pretty good and I realized I was making way more than we needed so I called my dad and brother and they joined us for dinner – letting them know ahead of time, it was an experimental dinner!
The results, it was a success! A make again meal. There is enough enough for me to bring to work for lunch tomorrow for me AND my coworkers. Not bad for a throw together meal! Those are often the best ones.
If only I had remembered to write down the recipe as I went along. 😉