Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

From our skinny table to yours...

Eggplant parmesan, one of those great Italian classics we just can't get enough of!  Now typically eggplant parmesan is fried, which turns this healthy vegetable into a calorie packed and fattening meal.  Well, you know we don't fry our food and our Baked Eggplant Parm got the seal of approval from the hubs (which is difficult to get with eggplant) so join us as we turn so-called-healthy fried eggplant parm into a baked, healthy and delicious meal!

We start off by coating thinly sliced eggplant in a skim milk and egg white wash.  We then coat the eggplant in panko rather than the traditional bread crumb coating.  Panko gives this dish the crunch you crave yet allows us to bake this dish, cutting calories left and right!  

We top these eggplant slices with our delicious homemade sauce.  If you haven't tried it yet, now is definitely the time ;)  It's super easy to make and packed with nutritious veggies!  However if you are short on time simply use a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, just be sure to read the labels as different brands can have very different calorie counts!  We then top each slice with one tbsp of reduced fat mozzarella cheese, which has only 17.5 calories.  Portioning out the cheese is a great little tip as one tablespoon is more than enough to get that cheesy sensation, and saves so many of those sneaky calories! 

This is a crunchy, delicious and healthy dish you can feel good about feeding your family!  A great side dish option would be spaghetti squash or any veggie of your choice.  Now portion out two pieces per person and get eating!  Hope you enjoy :)

YUM!  This dish makes for great leftovers too... we may or may not be having some right now ;)

Our sauce
2 large cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz - no salt added)
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
1 large carrot
1/2 small sweet potato
1/2 small yellow onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1 tbsp oregano
1 handful fresh basil
1/4 cup parm cheese
1 tbsp ricotta cheese
Pinch of salt

Let's get cooking!
1.  Get sauce going before you begin the eggplant
2.  Place raw carrot, onion, garlic and sweet potato in the food processor if you have one, if not chop ingredients finely.  Blend well then add to pot with 2 tbsp olive oil.  Saute until softened (approx 5 minutes)
3.  Add all 4 cans of tomato sauce and mix well
4.  Add oregano, chopped fresh basil and salt
5.  Mix in both parm and ricotta and simmer for at least an hour!  The longer you let cook, the better it will taste!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Olive oil
1 large eggplant
2 egg whites
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup skim milk
1 cup Italian seasoned panko
2/3 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1 tsp parmesan cheese
1 small handful basil leaves

Let's get cooking!
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degress
2.  Beat together 2 egg whites and 1/4 cup skim milk and season with salt and pepper
3.  Chop up basil leaves and mince garlic and mix into the panko for extra flavor
4.  Peel eggplant and chop into 1/2 inch slices
5.  Coat eggplant in egg wash then panko and place on baking sheet (spray baking sheet with non-stick spray) Drizzle eggplant with 1 tbsp olive oil
6.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping half way through
4.  Coat the bottom of a baking dish with homemade sauce.   Place eggplant in a single layer over sauce and top with another layer of sauce
5.  Distribute 1 tbsp mozz cheese over eggplant and top entire dish with freshly grated parm cheese
6.  Bake for 20 additional minutes at 400 degrees or until cheese begins to bubble and brown

Makes 4 healthy portions! :)

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