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Hungry Girl Today: 2.21.12

HG's Chunky Eggplant Penne for Two

Leggo My Eggplant!

Eggplant is terrific, especially in saucy Italian dishes. And when we first heard about Macaroni Grill's new meal, we thought it sounded great. Then we saw the stats. OOF. So we got a-swappin' -- this recipe puts the restaurant version to shame.

1 eggplant, ends removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper
3 oz. (about 1 cup) uncooked high-fiber penne pasta
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
Optional seasonings: additional salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Evenly place eggplant and cherry tomatoes on the sheet. Spray with nonstick spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until eggplant is tender and tomatoes are soft and slightly blackened, 25 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta in a medium pot per package instructions, about 10 minutes. Drain and cover to keep warm.

To make the sauce, bring a small pot sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until onion has fully softened, about 5 minutes.

Gently stir sauce and baked veggies into the cooked pasta. Sprinkle each serving with basil and feta cheese. EAT!


Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe (2 heaping cups)
Calories: 312
Fat: 4.5g
Sodium: 579mg
Carbs: 60g
Fiber: 16.5g
Sugars: 15g
Protein: 14g

PointsPlus® value 8*

Romano's Macaroni Grill Eggplant Quadratini

Face 'Plant

Food fakers are everywhere, people. We ordered the new Eggplant Quadratini entrée at Macaroni Grill and the only thing really special about it was the square tubular pasta. Is it worth ingesting nearly a thousand calories just to say you had square pasta? We'll answer that for you -- NO, IT IS NOT. Plus, there wasn't nearly enough eggplant involved, and the sauce was WAY too oily. We made some adjustments when re-creating it... First, we pumped up the amount of veggies because, frankly, they RULE. Cherry tomatoes are awesome, and when eggplant is the first word in the name of a dish, a few measly bites of the stuff will NOT do. Reduced-fat feta stands in nicely for the salty ricotta salata MG uses. And although we couldn't find a fiber-packed version of that neato quadrangular pasta, we think high-fiber penne is GREAT in this recipe. We don't miss the extra corners... or the extra calories. And neither will you.

Serving Size: 1 order
Calories: 910
Fat: n.a.
Saturated Fat: 9g
Sodium: 1,870mg
Carbs: 115g
Fiber: 11g
Sugars: n.a.
Protein: 33g

PointsPlus® value at least 17*

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Hey, hey, hey -- it's Fat Tuesday (a.k.a. Mardi Gras)! Go HG-style AND Louisiana-style and make our Pow! Sock! Bam! Jambalaya.

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*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark. For more info on the new PointsPlus® program, visit

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