Healthy Recipes | Eggplant Rollatini, Garlic Knots, and Zucchini Sticks

Having a dinner party can be a lot of fun-- but it's also a lot of work! I learned that yesterday night when I hosted a party for my husband's friends. He found out Friday afternoon that a good friend of his was going to be in town for the weekend, so he asked if I wanted to play host and show off my new cooking skills for a few friends. I was excited to take on the challenge-- but also a little stressed since I'd never planned a dinner party before, and I had been given approximately 24 hours advance notice to plan the menu.

After weighing multiple dinner options, I settled on a slightly adventurous menu, that although a little unconventional, ended up being a big hit with both the vegetarians and the meat eaters of the group. We had a lot of laughs, and although my kitchen ended up looking like bomb had exploded in it by the end, I look forward to having friends over again for another party soon!

Parmesan Crusted Zucchini Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Adapted from Closet Cooking

Zucchini Sticks:
2 zucchini
1/2 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs (I used Ian's brand)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg lightly beaten

Marinara Sauce:
Small jar tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and oregano 
3. Cut zucchini into sticks. Season zucchini with salt and pepper
3. Dip zucchini spears in egg, and then dip into bread crumb bowl
4. Place zucchini in single later on baking sheet
5. Bake in oven until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 25 minutes. 
6. While baking zucchini sticks, place tomato paste in serving bowl. Add minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Serve sauce warm. 

Eggplant Rollatini

Adapted from Sprinkles of Parsley
Makes 9 rolls

Eggplant Rolls:
2 large eggplants
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
2.5 cups bread crumbs

Spinach Stuffing:
1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
16 oz Ricotta Cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon basil, oregano, and parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup tomato sauce (I used Pomo Doro Tomato Sauce with Basil)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash eggplant, remove stem, and thinly slice eggplant lengthwise into thin slices (slightly less than 1/4" thick). 
3. In small bowl, place flour, salt, and pepper. In a second bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In third bowl, place bread crumbs.
4. Heat large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.
5. Dip eggplant into the flour mixture, then eggs, then breadcrumbs, making sure to completely cover both sides with each dip.
6. Place eggplant slices into skillet and saute for 1 minute on each side, until bread crumbs are golden brown. Transfer eggplant slices to a plate lined with paper towel.
7. Continue process with all eggplant slices, adding more olive oil to skillet as necessary.
8. While eggplant cools, prepare spinach filling. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and spinach. 
9. With each eggplant slice, spoon 2 tablespoons of spinach filling at one end of the eggplant slice. Roll the eggplant starting at the end with the spinach filling. Place rolls seam side down in a lightly greased 9x13 glass baking dish. Use toothpicks to secure rolls if necessary.
10. Pour 2 tablespoons tomato sauce over each roll and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
11. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes uncovered, until cheese starts to brown.

Garlic Knots
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Makes 16 knots

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cup very warm water
2 tsp instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon olive oil 
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tsp dried basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley
1 and 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour

Garlic Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp parsley
2 tsp Parmesan cheese

1. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (yeast, flour, salt, herbs). In another bowl, mix wet ingredients (agave nectar, olive oil, warm water). 
2. Quickly pour olive oil, agave nectar, and warm water into dry ingredients and mix well.
3. When mixture starts to dry, transfer dough onto floured surface and knead for 3 minutes until it forms into a ball that is no longer tacky to the touch. If it is too dry, add additional olive oil. If it is too wet, add more flour. 
4. Once the ball is properly formed, put it into an oiled bowl, and cover dough ball in olive oil. Cover bowl with a damp towel and let sit for 2 hours.
5. After 1.5 hours, preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
6. After 2 hours, punch air out of dough and place onto floured surface. Roll dough out into a rectangle. With a pizza cutter, cut strips in dough approximately 3/4" wide by 6" long. Tie a knot with each strip and place onto baking sheet.
7. Bake in oven for 10 minutes until slightly golden brown on the top. Pour garlic sauce over knots and serve while warm.  


  1. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Looks great! When did you start this blog? I love it


  2. looks yummy! hope all is well. I might have to try these since i'm a veg head haha