It hit 85 degrees this weekend in Atlanta, but I stubbornly cling to the idea that fall is here. My body certainly thinks so; I’ve been craving heavy comfort foods like baked ziti. But I wanted to make it a little bit healthier, at least. I’m not willing to give up the cheese, but I can cut down on the amount and use low-fat mozzarella and ricotta. And I can at least switch out the heavy meat that’s typically in a baked ziti for a seasonal vegetable like eggplant, which is plenty hearty enough to hold its own with the other heavy ingredients in the ziti.
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My son Alex joined us for dinner and so I tried out my dish on two critics with different agendas: Alex, who loves veggie dishes but can particular about food being not flavorful enough and my husband, who loves almost everything except primarily vegetarian foods. Could I please them both?
So how was the ziti rated by its evaluators? Amazingly well! My son loved it and my husband paid the ziti his highest compliment when he had the leftovers again for dinner the next night. Even I, who always believes that I have not seasoned the dish enough, or that something could have been improved kinda loved it. Definitely comfort food that’s good for the body and the soul.