Eggplant Parmesan, Lightened Up!
We had an abundance of eggplants to use so I decided to try Eggplant Parmesan. I love it, but not all the calories and fat that come with it. So I played around and tried to make a tasty, lighter version.
First of all, I made my own bread crumbs. I went to the store but they were all pricey and contained hydrogenated oils! I couldn't find a brand without them. Sad! So I just busted out my food processor and made whole wheat bread crumbs from stale bread we had. They turned out great.
I also used egg whites to dip the eggplants in to save on calories and cholesterol. I used less cheese and broiled the veggies too. My homemade sauce is pretty healthy so I just made a small batch and smothered the eggplant in that. The outcome was delicious and nutritious!
2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons water
1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs ( I used homemade whole wheat crumbs)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 ½ cups marinara sauce ( I used my homemade sauce)
¾ cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
EatingWell's Eggplant Parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat two baking sheets and an 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Whisk egg whites and water in a shallow dish until frothy. Combine breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, salt and pepper in another shallow dish. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg-white mixture, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. (Discard any leftover breadcrumbs and egg white.) Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
3. Make a homemade sauce or use store bought. For my sauce, I sauted onion, garlic, red pepper, fennel seeds in olive oil. I then added 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Next, I added in fresh basil and Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Let simmer for a bit. Pour some a little of the sauce into the baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of the parmesan. Add a layer of the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes.