Eggplant Parm-lasagna with “Faux”-lognese Sauce and Being Part of the Foodie Blogosphere

I am definitely a newbie when it comes to writing a blog.  Really, I am even a newbie when it comes to recording my recipes.  Yes, I am a scientist, and in the lab I was always very exact with my measurements.  I think that is why I love baking – formulas, measurements, acids, bases, heat, reactions, solids, liquids, and gases.  It truly is a science.  Cooking is definitely more of an art.  I am not an artist, but when I cook, it is more of a little of this, a little of that, unless I am following someone else’s recipe.  So I decided to start making cooking like a science experiment, and my spiral notebook of recipes is my new laboratory notebook.  Just now it say salt and baking soda, instead of sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate.

But I am also a newbie with really, seriously reading blogs.  I had a couple I checked out pretty frequently in the past.  Mainly Weelicious and Fix Me a Snack, trying to come up with healthy meals and snacks (and even healthier spins on treats) for The Bug.  For awhile, I was determined that no cracker from a box shall cross his lips.  And, while I have made a fair share of homemade Wheat Thins and Cheez-Its, my delusions did not last long.  Especially when we go to the playgroup at my church, and my kid steals Goldfish from all of the other kids.  After he has already eaten his entire bowl of Cheerios, raisins, and freeze dried apples.

But I digress.  So as I have been reading blogs, chatting on Facebook with other bloggers, I started to notice some chatter about “stealing recipes.”  Confessions of a Cookbook Queen even had this gem in her hilarious series “Ryan Gosling, Food Blogger’s Husband” series of pictures.  Well, I stumbled upon a recipe at Pink Parsley for Lasagna-Stuffed Portabellos, and immediately began drooling and planning when I would make this amazing-sounding recipe.  Lasagna without pasta – I’m in!

Friday…  yes, it’s Lent, this is perfect for Friday.  And I am going to Mom’s.  I love mushrooms.  Mom loves mushrooms.  Sam loves mushrooms.  Larry… uhhh…  hates mushrooms.  Grrr!  But I still wanted lasagna, so I decide to change it up a bit to a version that we would all enjoy.

Spaghetti Squash in Pan

Well, we all loved it, so I had to post it.  Except the whole time I have been thinking about it, I’ve been paranoid that Josie (as if I know her well-enough to be on a first name basis) would think I was stealing her recipe.  I don’t want to be rejected by the blogosphere after I just joined it!!  So hopefully if she sees this, she knows that this was done in the utmost respect and appreciation of her recipe, which I will.  You should, too.  But I hope you try and like this one, as well.

None of us were in a pasta mood that night, so we just scooped up the sauce and cheese with some bread.  But this would go fabulously with some pasta (regular or gluten-free), or even some spaghetti squash.  Or even make just the sauce to go with your noodles.  Salting and draining the eggplant (“making the eggplant cry”, like my Grandma always said) really gives it a nice meat-y texture – something good to give to your carnivorous husband (like mine) on Meatless Monday or a Lent Friday.

Eggplant Parm-lasagna on plate

Are you more of a scientist or an artist?  Baker or cook?  Leave some comments below.  I’d love to “chat” some more with you. 

And if you are liking what you are seeing, “Like” me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and tell your friends to stop by.

This recipe was shared with:

Hodgepodge Friday 3/9/12 at It’s a Hodgepodge Life

Blogger Secret Ingredient – Parmesan at My Kitchen Adventures

Eggplant Parm-lasagna with “Faux”-lognese Sauce (serves 4)
Adated from Pink Parsley‘s Lasagna-Stuffed Portabellos

Eggplant

2 medium eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise

1 T olive oil

1/8 t oregano and 1/8 t parsley (which I used), or 1/4 t Italian seasoning

salt and pepper

1 c ricotta cheese

1/2 t dried parsley

1/4 c plus 2-3 T (for topping) grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper, to taste

4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut in thin slices

about 1 cup “Faux”-lognese sauce, see below, or your pasta sauce of choice

Directions

1.  Preheat your oven to 425ºF.Eggplant shells

2.  Scoop out the flesh from the eggplant, leaving approximately a half-inch thick “shell”.  Reserve the eggplant for the sauce, if making.

3.  Sprinkle a little salt inside the eggplant shells, and flip them upside down on a paper towel to draw out some of the water for about 5-10 minutes.Cheese filling

4.  Blot out some of the water from the shell, and place them cut side down in a glass baking dish sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray.

5.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until eggplant starts to become soft.

6. While the eggplant is “crying” and baking, make the cheese mixture by combining the ricotta cheese, 1/2 t dried parsley, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl.Stuffing the eggplants

7.  Remove the eggplant from the oven.

8.  Spoon about 2 T sauce into the bottom of each eggplant.  Divide the cheese mixture evenly between the shells, and top with another 2 T sauce on each.

9.  Lay the mozzarella on top of the stuffed eggplants, and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.Eggplants in oven

10.  Baked for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese in bubbly and browned.

“Faux”-logenese Sauce

Eggplant reserved from preparing the “shells”, cut into about 1/4 in. cubes.  If you are just making the sauce, 1 medium eggplant, or about 1 1/2-2 c chopped eggplant will do

1/2 T olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 t dried oregano and 1 t dried parsley (which I used), or 1 1/2 t Italian seasoning

salt and pepper, to taste

1 T fresh basil

Directions

1.  Sprinkle the eggplant cubes with a little salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes (make it cry again).  Squeeze out the excess liquid using a paper towel or kitchen towel.

2.  Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion, and saute until translucent and soft.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3.  Add in the eggplant, oregano and parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste.

4.  Simmer until it is heated through, or longer, if desired.  Just before serving or stuffing the eggplants, stir in the basil.

Enjoy!

Eggplant on plate close

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Comments

  1. says

    You’re so much better than reaching out to readers than me. After trying to keep up with the food blogosphere for a few years I’m a tad burnt out. Let me know if you figure out a way to stay informed and also have a life. I like Diane Jacobs(?) Blog Will Write for Food.

    • says

      Thanks for the suggestion, I will check that blog out. I am trying to focus on reaching out to people since I just got started. I don’t have a full time job outside of the home, but keeping up with the house, my little boy, cleaning, cooking, and trying to read and write blogs is tough. And to be a writer, you have to be a reader and a commenter. I owe some people some reads, but I have to go to bed at a reasonable time tonight :-)

  2. says

    Oh, THANK YOU for the Ryan Gosling fix! I am definitely a cook. that’s why I don’t post too many desserts (well, that and the waistline). I can’t alter baking recipes too much because I don’t know the science at all.

    • says

      She is a riot with all of those pictures! It’s good to have some bakers and some cooks, right? I cook more, but love to bake. Though I am new at altering baking recipes. I can follow recipes very well, which some people can’t, but I am sure altering them will take some time to get really good. Though I did attempt some cupcakes tonight that are really good. The frosting needs work though.

  3. says

    So the thing about copying recipes….there’s a whole etiquette about that in blogworld where you never actually post someone else’s recipe (I know you didn’t do that—you posted about what recipe inspired you and linked to it). If you really did start from someone else’s recipe and modify it, you’d link to the recipe you used, and only post on your blog the changes you made but not the whole recipe.
    That way, you’re sending people to the recipe creator’s site, and you’re keeping them interested in your post too. Then, it’s a very nice thing to “copy” a recipe. There was this one blogger I was really into—she was all about a certain way of eating, and she even has cookbooks that she self-published. Then one day, someone posted in her comments a link to a recipe that was 99% the same, with just one or two things changed and mentioned “I’m glad you checked out the recipe I recommended the other day” or something like that.
    Ever since then, it’s like I can’t trust her—she didn’t give credit to where the recipe came from.
    The way I look at it is that we’re all kind of here for the same thing (in some ways)…and we’re not competing against each other—we can all boost each other up. Sometimes I invent recipes, but sometimes I’m taking what someone else did and modifying it–I want to give them credit because I’m thanking them for the inspiration and starting point!
    I didn’t mean to get preach-y there…it’s just something I’ve learned along the way from other bloggers, and I thought I’d share!

    The eggplant parm lasagna looks super yummy!

    • says

      Thanks for the insight. I appreciate your experience. I would never just strictly copy another recipe, or even just change it ever so slightly, unless I toally gave credit to the original and said, “Look, I made so-and-so’s recipe, and it was awesome. I just used basil instead of parsley. You should go to their site and try it, ” and then not actually write the recipe, just give the link.

  4. says

    mmmm…this looks delish! Thanks for submitting to BSI this week. I always feel that if you link and give credit back to the original place you got the recipe from, its all good. I have had many of my recipes ( original and not) remade and reposted. I consider it an honor, as long as there is a post back to me! Posting a recipe you got somewhere without credit to the originator….not cool. I am definitely more of a baker than a cook.

    • says

      Thanks! Yes, I am learning the ropes of using, changing, and linking back to recipes. What you said seems to be the general conclusion, so now I feel better. But being a newbie, I was a little paranoid. But really, now many recipes are COMPLETELY original. They are always inspired by another recipe, or a dish you had at a restaurant or something. In fact right now I have something in my crockpot that is a little change from a recipe I made and loved from another blog, but we felt it could use a little more kick, and I wanted to add some more veggies into it.

  5. says

    you are so funny – you did everything exactly right! I’m glad you liked it so much, and I love your idea to stuff it in an eggplant. I definitely want to try it that way next time! :)

  6. Rebecca Walker says

    Hi Brianne–
    (Again, like we know each other ;) ) It’s my impression that most foodie bloggers are very supportive of each other and actually promote each other’s recipes. I’ve never seen one who didn’t acknowledge modifications or inspirations. In terms of art or science…I’d say I’m an intuitive cook. My husband, a software engineer, is a scientist. On the rare occasions that he cooks, he follows the recipe to the absolute milligram. I look at a recipe as a platform to jump off from. And then it’s “some” of this and “a little” of that. I think I inherited some natural ability from my maternal grandmother, which is great except when other people actually like it and want “the recipe.” I need to start keeping a notebook like you.

    • says

      I love the personal, friendly greeting! So hi, Rebecca! :-) Yes, I have seen that the food blogging community is very kind and supportive. I know what you mean about tossing things together – I had to do something to force myself to write things down.

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