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Healthy Comfort Food Meal Prep: Eggplant Parm & Veggie-Orzo Recipe

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0wL8uol9pw&w=560&h=315]

what up guys and welcome back to the fit men cook kitchen and let me just say welcome to the fall it is finally below 80 degrees here in Texas so the cooler weather is upon us and fall is one of my favorite times of year because of warming recipes there's something about just feeling comforted by some warm recipes when it's a really nice chilly 60 degrees I'd look for something I like 60 degrees that's that's still cool but no arrest Texans has actually some cold weather now the fall is also known for comfort food recipes as the temperature drops we tend to be a little less active we tend to stay inside a lot more and we use food to give us some comfort in some sunshine because there's not a lot going on outside so today what I want to do is show y'all how to take a comfort food type of recipe and really just make it over and transform it into something that's calorie conscious it's nutritious and equally filling so today we're gonna be making an eggplant parmesan meal prep with a meaty sauce and vegetable medley orzo this meal prep is really easy so I'm gonna jump right into the recipe alright guys let's get started first thing we're gonna do is prep our vegetables for our vegetable medley with the orzo I'm gonna use some zucchini I'm gonna use some squash I'm gonna use some red onion and some colorful bell peppers and if you want to save a few bucks you can use the green bell peppers because they're slightly cheaper than the colorful ones I'm gonna just chop these into some chunks about one inch thick so chopping up some zucchini chopping up some yellow squash some colorful bell pepper and some red onion easy just like that break these apart and remember guys there's no food waste here so whatever you don't use you want to store away these bell peppers and onions would go great and some scrambled eggs in the morning time don't toss it just reuse it repurpose it and here's a quick pro tip if you like to eat avocados each day but you don't eat the whole thing put the pitted avocado inside the bag with the onion because the onion helps to keep it from turning brown grab a bowl add the veggies to the bowl we're gonna add a little bit of oil a pinch of sea salt some pepper and some dry thyme if you want to use fresh thyme you can use that too you'll need to use a little bit more dry thyme than you will fresh thyme though that'd be bowl shake everything together you can use your hands get your hands dirty or if you like this I'm gonna grab a baking tray line it with some parchment paper or in the veggies then we're gonna roast these veggies in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes at 4:20 we want them crisp but tender with some dark edges all right got our veggies fresh from the oven so we're gonna put these back into our mixing bowl and let these cool down just a bit we don't want them piping hot now I'm gonna add in some freshly cooked orzo and the thinking was here is that a lot of people like to eat chicken parmesan or eggplant parmesan with a whole bunch of pasta and so they're eating a ton of saturated fat plus a ton of simple carbs it's not the best so I thought about what could be a lot more filling and vegetables are very filling they're very abundant plus they're healthy for you and then orzo as well is high in protein it's a great carb but it's also very filling carb so we don't have to use as much pasta or much orzo because we're gonna cut it with the roasted veggies so I'm gonna add in about a cup of cooked orzo and you could do less if you'd like to gonna mix this together and look how beautiful it is and the cool thing about this salad is you can eat this salad hot or cold and just to exaggerate the Italian flavor a little bit more we're gonna add in some fresh basil so let's take the basil take a really big leaf roll it up like well you know just do the shopping well this is a very refreshing salad give this a good stir and there's our orzo salad all right so the next thing we're gonna do is prepare our eggplant this is the star of the dish now I prepared this recipe several times so really watch closely these steps because it's also a tip on how to get it just right first thing we're gonna take off the top of the eggplant we're gonna slice it in half now earlier versions of this recipe when I made it I would just make them like this and it just took forever and I realized that I wasn't allowing the eggplant to breathe so here is your pro tip you have to do is take a knife we're gonna just basically make some cuts like a grid like a checkerboard here and that's going to allow the eggplant to breathe and also it's gonna help to soften it up we're gonna be eating this with a fork for our milk prep and you want this to easily break apart and break off so this is gonna help out tremendously and take another baking tray line it with some parchment paper and add in eggplant and if you're watching your calories or you're watching your fat intake pretty closely then you can just use some spray oil if you aren't and you can be a little bit more liberal with it then you can distribute about one tablespoon of olive oil across all four of these I'm just gonna break this apart a little bit just kind of rub it in that's why it's easier sometimes if you were just to spray this we're gonna add just a pinch of sea salt to each one we're gonna take our eggplant now and we're gonna bake this in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes as well at 4:20 all right now for our meaty marinara I'm gonna be using some very lean ground beef if you want to use something else you can like buffalo or even a lamb you can use lean lean ground turkey or you can even use some veggie ground I'm gonna set my skillet on medium-high heat wanna toss in the meat let me chop this up as much as possible give this as fine as possible here and it's kill it and so the goal is to maximize flavor but spending the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible we're gonna chop up this meat I'm gonna add in a little bit of garlic now some fresh garlic and a whole lot of Italian seasoning now we're gonna pour in our canned tomatoes these are big huge chunky whole Tomatoes you can also use crushed Tomatoes the thing about it about the whole tomatoes though it's good to have the explode because it creates this really nice thick rich sauce I'm going to pour it now but a cup of water this and it needs to be hot enough to get these tomatoes to explode and when they begin to explode and soften it's gonna thicken up our sauce so when this comes to a simmer we're gonna reduce the heat just a little bit to medium and we're gonna cover and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes everything 15 to 20 minutes here my timers going off so that means we need to pull out our eggplant so you see how it's actually kind of baked open a little bit which is gonna make it much easier for us to cut with the fork for a meal prep alright now what is Parmesan without some breadcrumbs so again we're gonna keep this calorie-conscious and just give the taste and the texture and the essence of the breadcrumb so I'm gonna spray these with a little bit of olive oil what I'm gonna do is sprinkle on a little bit of bread crumb on top of each one I usually use some wheat bread crumbs then lightly spray this one more time I'm gonna put this back into the oven to bake for about five to seven minutes just to brown the top of it let's check on our sauce and they're soft enough now that when you just gently mash them with a spatula and they break apart and continue to cover and cook and reduce the heat to a low simmer then after about 20 minutes what you're gonna do is take the sauce off the heat and then just let it thicken up now let's bring our eggplant out a nice golden crispy top all right now with this freshly out of the oven we're going to add our meaty sauce get yourself a nice scoop as this sauce cools down it thickens up so don't be alarmed if your sauce is kind of watery at first finally we're gonna add in our cheese I'm gonna be using a mixture of some freshly grated Parmesan and some mozzarella put these back in the oven bake these for about six to eight minutes until the cheese has melted voila yeah buddy Wow now that's some comfort food in orzo veggie medley – I'm no prep container one of our loaded eggplant parmigiana this is our eggplant parmesan meal prep with an orzo veggie medley this right here calorie conscious comfort food at its finest perfect fall time recipe – say hello to cooler weather alright guys that is it for today's video I hope that y'all enjoyed it if you like meal prep videos like this and I want you to do an uppercut on that like button below and I also want you to comment below your ideal side for eggplant parmesan I made this amazing orzo veggie medley but I want to know what's on your mind give us your idea so that we can take them and all learn and grow and thrive together alright guys thank y'all for watching until next time I want y'all to keep it healthy but of course never ever bowling ooh leg off

Source: Youtube

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