Recipe ReDux: Chinese Aubergine and Bell Pepper Pizza with Cheddar and Fresh Herbs

PizzaWhat do you do when you receive a package of creamy reduced fat Cabot cheese in the mail, and you are given the opportunity to create a recipe for the Recipe ReDux Contest sponsored by Cabot, using said cheese, plus a “new to you” vegetable, grain, or fruit you have never tried before?

Cabot cheddar cheeseYou panic.

Yes, that’s what you do.

Not because you can’t figure out a fabulously cheesy dish to make.

No.

As a self-proclaimed cheese lover, I can think of a zillion hundred and one ways to eat it.

It’s just finding a “new to me” grain, veggie, or fruit proved to be a bit more of a challenge.

I could have driven across town to an ethnic grocery store and come up with a new fruit or veggie, but being the occasional procrastinator that I am, I of course waited until the last minute, and had to make a run for the closest Whole Foods in hopes of finding something new.

I almost bought a cone cabbage.

It was pretty cool.

But, I finally settled on some gorgeous Chinese eggplant {aubergine}.

Chinese eggplantYes, I know it looks quite similar to “regular” eggplant, but in actuality it is slimmer, less seedy, and less bitter than it’s American or Italian cousin.

I swear, to my knowledge, I had never tried Chinese Eggplant before today.

On my honor!

Even the checkout clerk had to look up the code.

Apparently it’s not a super popular veggie at Whole Foods.

No matter…

I broiled it up and paired it with brilliantly hued red and orange bell peppers…

bell peppers and eggplantPizza crust topped with tomato sauce and reduced fat Cabot cheese…

pizzaAnd a smattering of fresh herbs {oregano, thyme, and basil}, plus a hefty sprinkle of crushed red bell pepper flakes, ’cause you know I like to make it spicy!

This pizza is simple to make, yet a fabulous combination of roasted and crunchy healthy veggies, creamy reduced fat and calorie cheese, and zippy herbs and pepper.

Trust me…

You won’t miss the meat or extra calories one bit!

Here’s the recipe…

Chinese Aubergine Pizza with Cheddar and Fresh Herbs

Chinese Aubergine Pizza with Cheddar and Fresh Herbs

Prep Time: 9 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 chinese eggplant, sliced in to 1/8 inch rounds
  • Olive Oil, as needed to drizzle on eggplant slices
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 8 or 9 inch pre-made pizza crusts, or make your own favorite pizza crust recipe
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or your favorite marinara
  • 8 ounces Cabot 50 % reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 bell pepper {red or orange, or a combination of the two}, sliced in to 1/8 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon each fresh thyme, oregano, and basil, finely chopped
  • Crushed red pepper, optional, to taste

Instructions

  1. Turn broiler on. Slice eggplant and place on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top of eggplant slices, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place baking sheet in oven, and broil for 3 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and carefully turn over eggplant slices. Return to oven and broil for 3 more minutes.
  2. While eggplant is broiling, slice bell peppers and set aside. Next spread 1/4 cup tomato or marinara over each pizza crust, then top each crust with 4 ounces of the shredded Cabot cheddar cheese.
  3. Remove eggplant from the oven, and turn heat to 400 degrees. Top each pizza with half of the eggplant rounds, then do the same with the sliced bell peppers. Place pizza crusts on a parchment lined baking tray, or for crispier crusts, place directly on oven rack. Bake for 81-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and desired crispiness of crust is achieved.
  4. Remove pizza from oven, and it cool a little. Top with fresh herbs and crushed red pepper if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

I used Udi's gluten-free pre made pizza crust, but you can use any favorite regular or gluten-free crust. Follow manufacturers directions or recipe for oven temperature and cooking time.

http://www.eastewart.com/recipes-and-nutrition/recipe-redux-chinese-aubergine-and-bell-pepper-pizza-with-cheddar-and-fresh-herbs/

eggplant and pepper pizza

If you’ve never tried Cabot 50 percent reduced fat Cheddar Cheese before, you are in for a real treat.

I typically eat and cook with full-fat cheese because I prefer the flavor and texture to many of the reduced fat cheeses on the market.  This was my first time trying Cabot’s award winning reduced fat cheddar, however, and I was delighted {and quite honestly surprised} by the delicious taste, not to mention it melted beautifully on my pizza, not something many reduced fat cheeses can do!

The bonus, in my mind, of using the reduced fat cheddar here, is not only do you get a delicious pizza, you also get a savings of 86 calories per serving {assuming 2 ounces of cheese per 2 slices}, while still getting a hefty amount of calcium {~ 40 % of your daily needs} and protein {16 grams}.

Not bad at all!

If you want to learn more about award winning Cabot cheese and their family owned farms, I encourage you to check out their website here, and here where you can find a list of stores in your area carrying Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar cheeses.

And, to learn more about the Recipe ReDux, where healthy food bloggers reinvent healthy AND delicious recipes, click here.

Oh, and I hope you will all check out the other mouth watering cheese inspired recipes created by other ReDuxers.  I know I will!



Please Note: I received free samples from Cabot Creamery of the cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cabot Creamery Cooperative and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.  My opinions of Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese are 100 % my own.

Do you like cheese?  Do you love cheese?  Have you tried Cabot’s reduced fat cheddar before?  What’s your favorite way to eat cheese???

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Comments

  1. I LOVE cheese!!!! I usually eat regular cheese because I prefer the taste and texture, but this sounds very good. And your pizza looks & sounds fabulous! Beautiful photos!!!

  2. Oh gorgeous pizza, come to me! I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like and can’t wait to try your combo with the Chinese eggplant which I’ve had in restaurants but never have cooked. Love all the pretty herbs too.

  3. So lovely! I don’t think I’ve ever used Chinese eggplant before either, come to think of it. And you say it’s less bitter… interesting. Probably need to move this one to the top of the “to make” list ;-)

  4. this pizza looks delicious and so colorful… great job, as always, friend!

  5. This looks incredible!
    Love the use of chinese eggplant! I have never tried it before either. Now I need to!

  6. I love CAbot’s reduced fat cheeses!! I have to try making this pizza because I’ve never thought to use their cheese on pizza (I’m not sure why…). It would definitely make it a bit lighter! I try to sample Cabot products at work and all the cheese people make fun of me because they say the reduced fat cheese “isn’t real cheese”….but I beg to differ. It’s not only lower in fat but it melts well and taste great!

  7. Yes please!! As always your pictures alone make me want to make the recipe!! I definitely need to try this pizza! So creative and beautiful!!

  8. great pizza love this type of eggplant and in Indian stores they have little round ones even in white :-)

  9. Yum- this pizza looks delicious!!

  10. Looks awesome. I said this last time, but I really need to join this recipe ReDux- such a fun idea! Looking into it today. :)

  11. This pizza looks absolutely gorgeous!!!
    i love how u used eggplant here… Beautiful flavors….

  12. EA, i love broiling eggplants! and pizza topped with white cheddar sounds divine!!! what a delicious pizza. my sister would love this. what brand of GF pizza crust do you use?

    • I use Udi’sgluten-free crusts which are in the frozen section at the grocery store. I like them because they are thin, and if you cook them directly on the oven rack, they get nice and crispy :-)

  13. I LOVE cheese!!!! I have not had the cabot although I have heard of it! This pizza looks AMAZING!! You are a CREATIVE genesis, where did you come up with these amazing recipes?? I have never heard of this eggplant! Beautiful!!! FABU post!!!

  14. Thanks for all the pizza love :-) Wish I could share a slice with everyone now!

  15. I hear a lot about Cabot cheeses, and Earth Balance spread, and feel very left out! To my knowledge we here in the UK don’t have a tasty, melting equivalent to 50% Reduced-fat Cabot, so rather than waste calories on something I don’t like (or whose texture I abhor) I do as you say and just have the full fat one and eat less. If cheese, or anything else, has a strong taste, a true taste, we are usually satisfied with less. Well, that’s true in principle at least… Great photos as usual. Thanks for sharing this and the other links too. I am soon going to post a very crazy pizza base recipe (g-f) and I look forward to your opinion on it. It passed the teenager test so I hope I am on to something :D

  16. oh wow, for once I think I’m actually at a loss for words to describe how gorgeous and delicious this looks! seriously…wow!

  17. This looks SOOOO good! I really need to try this. I love all the colors. I also really have to laugh because I love all eggplants, and this is of course the variety that I have access to the most in Japan. Actually, it’s the Japanese eggplants we get more often (they are thinner and shorter), but I have seen the Chinese versions too. I have seen all kinds actually over here in Japan. I love to play in the produce section at the local grocery stores.

  18. I have never had a Chinese eggplant either. I like the idea of less seeds, I am not a huge fan of eggplants for that reason. Do I like cheese? Do I love cheese? How do I answer this without getting all excited? LOL! I ADORE cheese:-) I love Cabot, but have not had the low fat cheddar:-) Your pizza sounds DELISH! I hope you are having an amazing trip! Love and Hugs, Terra

  19. Sounds delicious. Love the eggplant/ pepper combo. Good luck in the contest. Your photos are gorgeous!

  20. Beautiful looking pizza with lovely ingredients. I really like/agree with your food philosophy also.

    I love those baby eggplants too! We call them Japanese eggplant here or baby eggplant. They’re much sweeter and more tender than the larger variety.

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog recently :)

  21. loved it !

  22. Those veggies look amazing! No wonder this recipe is a winner. :)

  23. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant
    for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Fantastic work!

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