Tag Archives: low calorie Italian

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

10 Aug

This is one of my Daddy’s favorite things.  I had never made it before tonight, but I’m glad I tried it out, because it was a hit.  If you like the traditional version, I think you’ll love this low calorie alternative.  Not too difficult, but a bit time consuming since you have to let the eggplant sit to draw all the moisture out.  Very delicious.


  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • Salt
  • 1 Cup italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded paremsan cheese (the shreds, not the powder)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 cup homemade marinara or Prego Light Smart Sauce
  • 1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella


Wash and dry eggplant, and slice it into 1/2 inch slices (they should be round).  You should have about 20 slices.

Lay sliced eggplant out flat on a paper towel, and sprinkle both sides of each round piece liberally with salt.  Cover with a 2nd paper towel.  Let the eggplant sit for 20 min.  The salt will draw the moisture out of the eggplant. Don’t skip this step 🙂

In a shallow dish, mix bread crumbs, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese.

In a separate shallow dish, mix egg whites and water.  Whisk until they are well combined.

Once Eggplant is done resting on the paper towels, wash each slice off and pat dry.

Dip each slice of eggplant into egg wash, and then press down into breadcrumb mixture, covering both sides with breading.

Place eggplant slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets which have been sprayed with non stick spray.

Bake on 450 for 20 minutes, flipping each slice halfway through cooking.

Top each slice with about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the slices evenly.

Return to oven and bake an additional 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Makes 5 servings.  1 serving= 2 slices of eggplant (or 1 large slice and 2 little slices)

258 Calories per serving

Appx 7 weight watchers points plus per serving


Cheesy Beefaroni Bake

5 Aug


  • 1 (8-ounce) package small elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded 2% reduced-fat cheddar cheese

For Sauce:

  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded 2% reduced-fat cheddar cheese



1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain pasta, and then lightly coat pasta with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray, and sautee onion, garlic, and ground beef. Cook until beef is cooked through and onions become semi-transparent.

3. Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates.

4. Add pasta to beef mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 9X9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

5. In a small/medium sauce pan, mix milk, flour, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk ingredients together over medium heat, until well blended. Stir constantly with a wisk until mixture thickens.

6. Once mixture has begun to thicken, add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture evenly over the top of the pasta mixture, And stir it all around a little. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This “let it sit” part is important. This stuff is 1. molten-lava hot when it comes out of the oven, and 2. in need of some room-temp thickening. So, hold your horses here and give it 5 minutes 🙂 Enjoy.

Makes 6 Servings= 386 calories
Apps 10 weight watchers points plus



Chicken Parmesan

1 Jul

Chicken Parm is one of my favorite “full fat” meals to make. Turns out, making it in the oven is almost the same. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this sooner! So, in the picture here, I served this with a different kind of pasta (which i wasn’t crazy about, so I didn’t post the recipe). The calories below are calculated using whole wheat pasta and marinara sauce.



– 1 lb thin sliced chicken breast cutlets (the come about 4 in a 1 lb package)

– 1/2 cup water

– 1/2 cup italian bread crumbs

– 1/4 tsp garlic powder

– 2 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese (the shreds, not the powdery kind)

– 8 tbsp 2% shredded mozzarella cheese


(Recommended: serve with Ronzoni whole wheat linguini and Marinara Sauce)



1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Pour water into a shallow dish, and mix bread crumbs, garlic and parmesan in a separate shallow dish.

3. Dip each chicken cutlet in water, and then in breadcrumb mixture, covering on both sides.

4. Place chicken breasts on a baking pan, sprayed with nonstick spray.

5. If there are left over crumbs in the dish, sprinkle them over the chicken breasts. Spray tops of chicken breasts lightly with olive oil flavored non-stick spray.

6. Bake chicken for 10 min at 450. After 10 min, flip chicken breasts over, and turn oven to broil. Broil Chicken until tops are browned.

7. Sprinkle Chicken with 2 tbsp each of mozzarella cheese, and return to oven just long enough to melt cheese.


Makes 4 Servings: 238 Calories per serving

When served with 1/2 cup of Marinara Sauce, and 3 oz of Ronzoni Whole wheat linguini, each serving is 573 Calories






Homemade Marinara Sauce

3 Mar

So, I love Italian Food, as you probably have noticed if you follow this blog. I also love to make my own sauce. Jarred sauce has so much sugar in it, it’s hard to find a good one that’s low calorie, plus I think the homemade stuff is so much better. Plus, it’s easy to make. Although, to get it right, you should let it simmer at least an hour or so. You can double, or triple, the batch and make it on low all day in a crock pot. The leftovers freeze well in a regular ziplock freezer bag.

Fun fact: this was originally going to be a post about turkey meatballs and marinara, but while I was multi-tasking, my dog ate my meatballs!

On a side note, if you’re going to opt for a jarred sauce, Prego “Smart Light” has almost half the calories of any other jar sauce I’ve seen, and it’s pretty good. That’s the only one I buy these days.


– 29 oz can of crushed tomatoes
– 1/2 an onion, chopped
– 2 tbsp minced garlic
– 1 tbsp dried oregano
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1 packet splenda no calorie sweetener
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms (optional)


1. Saute onion in a medium size pot, with non stick spray, until they begin to soften. Add garlic and stir over heat until well incorporated, but be careful not to burn garlic.

2. Add all other ingredients, and simmer on low for 1 hour or so, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve with meatballs, over spaghetti or other noodles, or with spaghetti squash. Delicious!

Makes 5 Servings, 1/2 cup each= 65 Calories per serving
1/2 cup= 1 weight watchers point plus

When served with 3 oz of Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta, and 1/2 cup of sauce= 350 Calories (appx 9 weight watchers points plus)


Lasagna Roll Ups

21 Nov

I’ve seen some version of this recipe on many different sites. I love to make lasagna, but I don’t do it often, so I thought this version might shave some time off the very time consuming process of making a full lasagna. It did, and it’s a healthy, delicious version. Freezes well too. Great leftovers.

– 8 lasagna noodles
– 1 jar of Prego “light smart” traditional sauce
(or click here to make my easy, homemade marinara)
– 16 oz of low fat ricotta cheese
– 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
– 1 box of frozen spinach
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 cup shredded, reduced fat mozzarella cheese


1. Boil noodles in salted water until soft and flexible.

2. While noodles cook: Place frozen spinach in a colander and run under hot water until thawed. Use a paper towel to press all water out of the spinach (by smooshing it into the bottom of the colander). It’s important that you remove as much liquid as possible from the spinach.

3. In a medium sized bowl, Mix ricotta, parmesan, spinach, egg, garlic, and oregano together.

4. Open Spaghetti sauce and pour about 1/4 of the jar into the bottom of a baking pan, coated in non stick spray.

5. Place a row of paper towels flat on the counter, long enough to accommodate all your noodles, and about 3 or 4 towels tall. Remove noodles and lie them each flat on the paper towel. Use additional paper towel to pat excess water from the top of the noodles. It’s important that the noodles are dry.

6. Spread Ricotta mixture evenly across each noodle (a little less than 1/3 cup per noodle) using all of the mix.

7. Roll each noodle up, and place it seam down in the pan.

8. Cover all rolls with remaining sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.

9. Cover pan with foil and bake on 400 for 25 min.

10. Remove foil and continue baking 5-10 min longer (until cheese reaches desired color and texture).

Makes 4 Servings= 460 Calories per serving