Vegetarians Kelly Monaco and Roger Howarth looked pleased as they picked their way through the plant-based dishes. Slender Kelly, famed not only for being on "General Hospital" but for winning the first episode of "Dancing with the Stars," has been a vegetarian for years.
“I grow my own herbs, spices, mints,” Kelly said in a recent interview with She Knows. “I cook a lot, actually. I have zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, 14 different varietals of tomatoes. It’s amazing.”
Want to try one of Kelly's and Roger's vegetarian favorites from "The Chew?" Dig into the recipe below.
Michael Symon's Microwaved Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients
Note: Using the microwave for traditional eggplant Parmesan helps to cut down on the calories and the time.
- 1 large Italian Eggplant (peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
- 1 1/2 cups Tomato Sauce
- 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta
- 1 cup Fresh Mozzarella (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup Basil Leaves (torn)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Directions: Turn the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and spread in to an even layer on a sheet tray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and toasted. Make sure you check the breadcrumbs after about 5 minutes, moving the edges in and the center out for even toasting. Set aside.
Arrange the slices of eggplant in a single layer on a paper towel lined microwave safe plate. Season your eggplant with salt, about 1/2 teaspoon total and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with another paper towel. Microwave at 1100W for 3 minutes. Work in batches to cook eggplant.
Brush the cooked eggplant slices with olive oil and arrange on a single layer and seal the plate with plastic wrap. Microwave again at 1100W, about 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
In an 8x8 pan, spoon 1/3 of the tomato sauce down. Place 4 slices of eggplant down followed by some ricotta, then mozzarella and basil. Season the cheese very lightly with salt then repeat the process 2 more times, ending with sauce on top. Top with the toasted Parmesan breadcrumbs and microwave at 1100W, until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 to 6 minutes.