Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Put a large pot, filled halfway with water, to a boil (for the pasta).
Prepare the following ingredients:
a. Cut the eggplant into 8 circular pieces with even widths.
b. Cut the mozzarella ball in half. Cut one half into thin medallions. Cut the other half into 1/2 inch cubes.
c. Chop the tomato into 1/2 inch cubes.
d. Cut the red onion in half. Cut both halves into thin strips no wider than an 1/8 inch and no longer than 1.5 inches.
e. Roughly chop 1 oz. of spinach
Place the eggplant on a medium baking sheet in a single layer (optional: use parchment paper). Drizzle 1 tbsp. of EV olive oil over the eggplant pieces. Flip them around to try and cover entirely in a thin layer of oil. Sprinkle with dried parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Place them in the oven for 15 minutes. At 15 minutes turn oven to 400 and flip each piece of eggplant (repeat parsley and salt and pepper if desired). Remove the eggplant from the oven when this step is completed.
Place the pasta in the boiling water and cook for the prescribed amount of time. Strain and let the pasta cool once it is done.
While the eggplant and pasta cooks place a medium skillet onto medium heat with 1 tbsp. of EV olive oil. Add a little more than half of the chopped onions and cook them till they are almost falling apart (about 10-15 min). Keep stirring the onions so they do not burn.
Once the onions are done remove about 1/2 of them and put it aside. Add the tomato sauce to the remaining onions in the skillet and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Separate the sauce into two equal portions. Place one portion aside and let it cool. Add 1 oz. of whole spinach to the remaining sauce in the skillet and turn the heat back on low. Cook the sauce until the spinach is wilted and incorporated into the sauce.
Prepare the pasta salad by mixing the following ingredients.
a. 1/3 of the cooked pasta
b. The mozzarella cubes
c. Half of the remaining sliced onion
d. Half of the olives
e. 1.5 tbsp. of your favorite Italian dressing
f. Half the chopped tomato
g. Half of the chopped spinach
Prepare the following dressing by mixing the following ingredients:
a. 1 tbsp. EV olive oil
b. 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
c. 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
d. Pinch of dried parsley
e. Salt and pepper to taste
*Careful the eggplant will be hot* Once the eggplant is done put two pieces aside and let them cool. Place four of the large pieces in an open spot on the baking sheet. Place 2/3rds of the tomato sauce without spinach on top of the eggplant. Cover that with 2/3rds of the sliced mozzarella on top of these pieces of eggplant. Place another piece of eggplant on top of two of these pieces and repeat the process with the remaining sauce and sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of dried parsley over the eggplant and place the baking sheet back in the oven for 5-10 min until the cheese starts to melt. You should have two stacked eggplants and two non-stacked.
While the eggplant finishes toss the remaining pasta with the remaining sauce.
Prepare the salad by mixing the following ingredients:
a. 3 oz. of spinach
b. The rest of the raw sliced onion
c. 2 oz. of the goat cheese
d. The remaining half of the chopped tomato
e. The dried cranberries or fresh strawberries
Stacked Plants (475 calories):
In the refrigerator, store the two stacked eggplant sets topped with 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. When ready to eat microwave and serve warmed.
Spinach Salad (625 calories):
Store the salad from step 12 and the dressing from step 9 separately in the refrigerator. When ready to eat toss the two together and enjoy.
Eggplant Parm Sandwich (600 calories):
In the refrigerator, store the two eggplant pieces covered in sauce topped the remaining black olives and the last of the parmesan cheese. When ready to eat cut one of the sandwich rolls in half (optional toasting). Heat up the eggplant and its toppings in the microwave until the cheese is gooey. Place the eggplant pieces onto the bread and make a sandwich.
Italian Pasta Salad (750 calories):
Store the pasta salad from step 8 in the refrigerator. When ready to eat serve slightly chilled.
Pasta Marinara (475 calories):
Store the pasta and sauce from step 11 in the refrigerator. When ready to eat serve warmed.
Eggplant Sandwich (500 calories):
Store the remaining plain eggplant, cooked onions, and chopped spinach (spinach should be slightly separated) in the refrigerator. When ready to eat cut the last sandwich roll in half and toast it. Microwave the eggplant and cooked onion until warmed. Spread the remaining goat cheese onto the bottom of the roll and top it with the eggplant and onions. Cover that with the chopped spinach. Enjoy.