Eggplant Spinach Bites

eggplantbitesYou don’t have to give up on parties and the sure-to-be-there yummy appetizers to maintain good health throughout the holidays. Try these savory treats from Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s Research Kitchen – proof you can eat, drink and be merry!

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 of a 10-oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Set oven to 350. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Drizzle each half of eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place eggplant cut side up on rimmed sheet pan/jelly roll or in a baking dish, and roast for 30 minutes or until soft. Once eggplant is cooled, use food processor or blender to puree until smooth.
  2. Remove thawed spinach from package and use paper towels or clean dish cloth to squeeze out excess moisture. Add spinach to a large bowl with pureed eggplant, bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, egg, and garlic. Mix ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  3. Scoop mixture into tablespoon-sized portions and roll into balls. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes or until brown.

Makes 24 bites. May serve with marinara sauce; may add bacon bits for a twist.

Nutrition per bite: 50 calories, 3 g protein, 5.4 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g fat, 1.2 g fiber. Courtesy of Pennington Biomedical Research Center Research Kitchen.

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