- 1 small eggplant, cut into ¼” pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼” pieces
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into ¼” pieces
- Half a small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- ½ T EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 8 oz pasta (I used whole-grain spaghetti)
- 1 28-oz can tomato puree
- 1 T dried Italian seasoning
- 24-oz soy crumbles (thawed if frozen)
- 2/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F).
- In a large bowl, add the eggplant through black pepper. Toss thoroughly with your hands to mix well. Place the veggie mixture on a large baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake the veggies for 20-25 minutes, or until fork-tender.
- While the veggies bake, cook the pasta according to package directions; then drain and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, put the tomato puree, Italian seasoning, and soy crumbles in a very large pot. Stir to mix, then put the pot on high heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Once the sauce begins to boil, drop the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, add the cooked pasta, baked veggies, and grated Parmesan cheese to the pot. Stir well to combine, then serve warm.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 300 calories, 5.5 g fat,
43 g carbohydrate, 10.5 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 28.5 g protein.
Nutritional information per serving, vegetable sauce only (approximates): 70 calories,
1 g fat, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 6.5 g sugar, 1.5 g protein.
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): On the lower end of medium
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Medium
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): The meal itself is a nice solid 4 (maybe even a 4.25);
but the potential it provides bumps it up to a 4.5-4.75 in my opinion.
(Read the comments below for more on that…)
The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?
Last week’s recipe was tasty, yet a bit more “involved” than I usually like. This week, I wanted to try something simple, yet hopefully equally yummy. I think I accomplished that goal.
Apart from this meal being remarkably healthy (admittedly, a little carb heavy, but otherwise nutritionally excellent), I also like that this dish is incredibly flexible. Want to eat some meat? Use hamburger instead of soy crumbles. Watching your carbs? Omit the pasta. Need to make it gluten-free? Change out the pasta for rice, or some nice white beans. Prefer low-fat meals? Omit the Parmesan. Want to make this recipe seem different from one meal to the next? Add different cheeses to individually-portioned servings (maybe do Parmesan one day, then goat cheese the next…). The point is, with a few simple tweaks, this meal can be whatever you want it to be – and it can still be easy. And healthy. And tasty.
I provided the nutritional information for the sauce alone so that these various types of adjustments and changes and experiments can be tried, but you can still know what you’re getting from “my” end of the meal. If you decide to make a tweak and create a new version of this dish, I’d love to hear how it turned out.
In the meantime, bon appétit! :)