April 24, 2012

Cheesy Squash, Corn, and Eggplant Casseroles


 What's better than a rich, hearty casserole that is filled to the brim with creamy ricotta, tender squash, sweet roasted corn, and perfectly cooked eggplant? Add in some flavorful fire-roasted tomato sauce and a gooey, golden crust of cheesy deliciousness, and you have a satisfying, healthy meal that will satisfy even the hungriest tummy (like mine!). Seriously, this filled me up after a long day of work. It was warm, comforting, and ohhh so good!

By making this recipe as individual casseroles, you get a perfect portion size and a really beautiful presentation. After all, who doesn't love a hot vegetable casserole with bubbling, golden, and gooey Mozzarella-Parmesan combination on top... all for themselves?? I don't know who could refuse that!

Let's dig in, shall we?

Cheesy Squash, Corn, and Eggplant Casseroles
Serves: 4 (large servings)      Serving Size: 1 (13-oz) casserole       Calories/Serving: 356

Ingredients:
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into medium-sized cubes
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut into medium-sized cubes
  • 1c. onion, diced
  • 2 medium ears of sweet corn
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4tsp garlic powder
  • 8oz (1c) low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1c. (4oz) part-skim mozzarella, grated, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2c. basil, cut into medium strips
  • 1/4tsp thyme
  • 1/8tsp oregano
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 1 (15-oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (8-oz) can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1/4c (1oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 3 baking sheets thoroughly with cooking spray. On two of them, lay out the eggplant slices in an even, single layer. On the other one, place the squashes and onion in an even layer. Spray the tops of the vegetables with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/4tsp salt over the eggplant slices. Sprinkle 1/4tsp garlic powder over the squash/onion mixture. Take out the corn, take off the husk, and then wrap each ear in aluminum foil.
  2. We need to remove some of the moisture from the veggies so they don't turn our casserole into a soup. The oven is awesome for that! Bake all of the vegetables (including corn) in the oven for 10 minutes; flip eggplant slices over and move the squash mixture around so the other sides are exposed. Bake another 10 minutes, or until eggplant and squash mixture are almost fully cooked (they will be very tender). Remove from oven. Allow corn to cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Turn oven down to 375.
  4. Allow eggplant to cool slightly, and then set aside. In a large bowl, combine the squash mixture and the corn. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, 1/2c (2oz) mozzarella, egg, basil, thyme, oregano, and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the fire roasted tomatoes and the tomato sauce. It is now time to build your casseroles! Take out 4 (about 13-oz) individual-sized casserole dishes. Time to layer! You will be making 3 layers. Divide the eggplant slices so you have 4 piles that each have the same amount of eggplant in them-- each pile should be assigned to a casserole. You will be evenly dividing the ingredients among the casserole dishes (duh).
  7. Layer 1 (for each casserole): Place about 1tbl of the tomato mixture in the dish, followed by 1/3 of each pile's eggplant slices (since you are making 3 layers), then 2tbl ricotta mixture, followed by about 1/4c. of the squash mixture. Top it with another 1tbl of tomato mix.
  8. Layer 2: 1/3 of each pile's eggplant slices, plus 2tbl cheese mixture, then 1tbl of tomato sauce, followed by another 1/4c. squash mixture. Top with another 1tbl sauce.
  9. Layer 3: Remaining eggplant slices, remaining squash mixture, remaining sauce. Dollop the remaining cheese (about 2tbl each) on the top. In a small bowl, combine the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan. Sprinkle 3tbl of that cheese mix on the top of each casserole. 

  10. Bake in the 375 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. If your cheese hasn't browned, turn on your broiler and broil until golden brown and delicious! Allow to cool slightly before digging in (I find a spoon to be the best!)

5 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. yummy.

    http://thesouthernbeautynerd.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was one of my favorite vegie dishes. I am so happy to see this on your blog and am printing it out today!

    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  4. yum! may I share this recipe with my CSA members? They will love it! I will share the link to your site too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be an honor to have it shared!

      Delete

Every comment makes me smile! :)

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