Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pesto Eggplant Panini with Avocados and Tomatoes

Pesto Eggplant Panini with Avocados and Tomatoes
First post of October! I know, I know, pretty terrible.  This is becoming a monthly update and not a weekly update which is what I intended this to be.  Anyway, with work, working out, and hanging with friends/family, there just isnt many hours in the evening to myself! I have also been pretty obsessed with watching Once Upon a Time (if you don't watch it, you NEED to).  All my shows started back up, so my evenings are back to watching all my favorite shows! Yay! Oh back to some cooking!

I made this a while back, but it was delicious.  I got a Panini Maker as a birthday present this year and every now and then I use it to make some pretty delicious paninis! This one is definitely one of them that I got from with of course my own twist! It's full of veggies, but believe me you do not miss the absence of meat at all! Give it a shot if you have a panini maker, and if you don't, I suggest going out there and getting one! You can probably also use a stove grill and a pan to press the panini.  Trust me, give this a try, you won't be disappointed!

Ingredients for Panini
Ingredients (4 large paninis):
1 large eggplant
1/4 cup onion
1 roma tomato
1 hass avocado
1 french bread
cooking spray
2 tbsp pesto sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
salt, pepper, and chili to taste

1. Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick pieces.  Lay pieces on a paper towel and season them with the salt, pepper and chili on both sides of eggplant. Set this aside for about 30-40 minutes so that all the moisture is drawn out.
2. Slice the onion, tomatoes into 1/4 inch circle pieces. Slice the avocados into long pieces.
3. Preheat your panini maker.
4. Lightly spray the eggplant pieces.
5. When the panini maker is hot, place the eggplant pieces and onions on the panini maker.  Close the top and grill for about 8-10 minutes or until the eggplant pieces and onions are nice and golden brown.
6. Slice the bread into 4 pieces and open each piece to get ready to put the ingredients in (a little trick I learned from SkinnyTaste's Gina to save some calories is to pick out some of the breading).  Spread about 1/2 tbsp of pesto sauce on each side of the bread.
7. Inside each piece of bread, place 3 eggplant pieces, a few slices of onions, 2 pieces of tomatoes, and 2 pieces of avocado.  Top with about 2-3 tbsp of mozzarella cheese.
8. Close the piece of bread, spray the top, and put in the panini maker. Grill for about 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the french bread is toasted.
9. Cut diagonally and ENJOY!

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