Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yummy Zucchini Parm

If you're like me, you LOVE anything "Parmesan"! Here's a healthier take on the traditional eggplant Parmesan which is usually breaded and fried/baked.  My version uses zucchini instead of eggplant (a personal preference, feel free to substitute) and does not have any breading or involve any frying.  It's a filling option as a main dish (vegetarian) but can also work well as a side dish.

Top Layer of Sliced Zucchini
1 Lg. Can Crushed Tomatoes in puree
4-5 Large Green Zucchini (Squash)
1 Med-Large Cont. Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
1 Bag Fat Free Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Bag Reduced Fat/Part Skim Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Chopped Parsley 
Fresh Chopped Basil
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
1 Egg

  1. Preheat Oven to 375*
  2. Begin by cleaning zucchini and slicing it lengthwise (see pictures for how sliced zucchini should look).
  3. In a bowl combine ricotta cheese, fresh herbs, egg, salt, pepper & some garlic powder.  Stir until egg is combined throughout mixture and mixture is slightly creamy.
  4. Spray oven safe tin or glass tray with Pam Spray to ensure items do not stick.
  5. Line bottom of tray with a thin layer of the crushed tomatoes.
  6. Arrange a layer of the sliced zucchini on top of the crushed tomatoes.
  7. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the zucchini and spread across the tray.  
  8. Add a layer of the shredded mozz. (I like to put 1/2 fat free and 1/2 low fat)
  9. Add another layer of sliced zucchini and top with remaining crushed tomatoes.
  10. Cover tray with tin foil and bake for about 30-35 minutes (until zucchini becomes tender).
  11. Take tin foil off tray, top with shredded mozzarella and turn oven up to 400*
  12. Bake uncovered until cheese melts and becomes light golden brown.
  13. Set aside for a 5-10 minutes before cutting to allow cheese and ricotta mixture for harden slightly. 
  14. ENJOY :)

Spooned On Layer of Ricotta Mixture (Step # 7)

Finished Product, YUM!
***Skipping the breading and frying traditionally associated with Eggplant/Zucchini Parmesan save a ton of calories, as does swapping fat-free and low-fat cheeses as opposed to using the whole/full fat versions restaurant undoubtedly use.  I made this for my boyfriend and all he kept asking was, "Is this low fat cheese? Is there oil? Are you sure this is low fat?"  This is really one of those dishes you can make for people and they won't be able to tell is "healthy" or will keep their waistline in check***

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