Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Eggplant Parmesan (Made Over)

At the local farmer's market this past weekend we picked up a couple of small eggplants, determined to try it. Never having purchased, prepared or even tasted it before, I was pretty excited about it. After watching countless youtube videos on prep, and reading loads of recipes I came up with my own and it was a huge hit with the whole family. We'll definitely be having this again, and often.

INGREDIENTS:

2 small eggplants
salt
1 1/2 c. whole wheat panko
1 1/4 c. grated low-fat grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
3/4 c. flour
2 eggs
1 ball low-fat or light mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 jar low sodium pasta sauce (I used PC Blue Menu Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce)

METHOD:

Rinse the eggplants and cut off the stem ends and discard. Slice the rest of the eggplant about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet and salt each slice, then turn over and salt the other side. Let sit for 2 hours. After the time is up, rinse well then give each piece an extra squeeze.

BAKED EGGPLANT ROUNDS 
Pre-heat your oven to 425. Rinse and dry your baking sheet and line with parchment paper and give it a good spray of cooking spray. Set aside. Set up your breading station by setting bowls of flour, 2 eggs slightly whisked, and panko and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese - in that order. Dip each round of eggplant into the flour, dredge through the egg, then press into the panko on both sides to fully coat.  Place on the baking sheet and repeat with all the rounds. Spray the top of each round with another spritz of cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over half way.  When done, remove and let cool 15 minutes or so, until they're cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temp to 350.

In a 9x13 baking dish, place about 1/2 cup pasta sauce to cover the bottom then layer eggplant rounds, mozzarella rounds and sprinkle with half the Parmesan.  Cover each round with a spoonful of pasta sauce and repeat for the second layer.  Bake for 35 minutes and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

This is definitely a time-intensive recipe, but if you have the time, it's definitely worth trying for a delicious, low-fat, low sodium family dinner.