One of the first ways I enjoyed eggplant was in eggplant parmesan: it’s hard not to love a vegetable that’s breaded then coated in marinara and cheese. However, the first time I made it at home, I was grossed out by frying each of those breaded slices, and annoyed at how long that took and how messy the process was. Since then, I’ve been making tweaks on how to make a delicious, decadent feeling dish, with not too many calories and a minimum of fuss. I have to say, the fuss is still a little on the high side, but it’s worth it for a Sunday dinner type dish. I like to make my own bread crumbs and marinara, largely to control the ingredients and cost. I’ve put both recipes at the bottom. If you have access to the zucchini and bell peppers, I recommend adding them to the marinara: they had so much color to this dish. Now, on to the recipe!
Healthy Eggplant Parmesan
- 2 medium eggplant, sliced horizontally, 1/4 to 1/2 in thick
- 1 egg beaten into 1/2 cup milk
- 1.5 cups seasoned bread crumbs (recipe to follow)
- 3 cups marinara (recipe to follow)
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- Salt eggplant and place in a colander. Set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 400 F and line or lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
- Dip eggplant slices in milk/egg mixture, then in bread crumbs, then lay on prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Top with marinara and parmesan, then return to oven until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Serves 4 as a main course. 360 calories, 13.5 g fat, 46 g carbs (11 g of fiber), 18.5 g protein
- 3 slices whole wheat bread
- pinch salt
- pinch garlic powder
- pinch dried herbs (oregano, basil, Italian mix, etc)
Take 3 slices of stale bread, cut into cubes, then run through the food processor until desired texture is reached. Bake in a low oven for 15 minutes until completely dry, then toss with salt & herbs. Makes about 1.5 cups.
- 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
- 1 medium red, yellow, or orange sweet bell pepper (a.k.a. not green!), finely diced
- 2 cups diced tomatoes or 1 14 oz can
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until all the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar and adjust seasoning to taste. Makes about 3 cups.