Recipe Review: Your traditional Eggplant Parmesan, lightened. Great classic Italian flavors
How come when I have the whole day off to cook I still end up rushing around and not having dinner made on time? Maybe because I'm always being overly ambitious and trying to make at least 3 things at the same time and have them all come out of the oven at the same time. The whole point of this dinner was to make things ahead of time so that I could throw them all in the oven half an hour before we wanted to eat, but naturally I bit off more than I could chew so everything ended up being cooked right away- and even then dinner was half an hour late- but more than worth waiting for!
I got new issue of shape magazine in the mail this weekend and it had a recipe for revamped Eggplant Parmesan that looked yummy so I went for and Italian theme for the evening. I made spinach and pesto chicken rollatini to go with the eggplant "nonparm". If you've been following the blog for a while you probably know that my boyfriend hates cheese, so I left out the Parmesan and only sprinkled mozzarella on half of the eggplant. I hate to admit it since I love cheese, but when you're trying to be health conscious, leaving the cheese out of things certainly does help cut calories. I'm writing up the recipe as intended, but know that if you are lactose intolerant, have food allergies, or are just plain crazy and don't like cheese this still tastes great without it.
adapted from Shape magazine, February 2011
1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb) sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
6 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
Arrange Eggplant slices in a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Weigh eggplant down with a heavy place and let sit for 30 minutes to draw out moisture. Preheat oven to 425.
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium. Add panko and toast, stirring often for 5 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a shallow dish and cool for 5 minutes. Add 3 Tablespoons Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, black pepper and toss. Arrange flour, egg white, and panko in separate shallow dishes.
Dry eggplant well on paper towels and brush off any salt. Dredge slices on one side in first the flour, then egg whites, then panko crumbs. Place crumb side down, on foil lined baking sheets, spritz with cooking spray and bake 15 minutes or until tender.
Spread 1/2 up marinara over the bottom of an 8 inch square pan, Add half the eggplant slices. Pour another 1/2 cup marinara over the eggplant; top with remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Dot with final 1/2 cup marinara; sprinkle mozzarella over the top. Bake for 15 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.
Nutrition Information: 214 Calories, 8.1g Fat, 3.1 g Saturated Fat, 15mg Cholesterol, 692mg Sodium, 25.7g Carbohydrates, 5.6g Fiber, 10.8g Protein
The only part of this recipe that's "hard" is breading the eggplant, if you get organized and set up a little assembly line it goes pretty quickly. Also the eggplant I used was a little smaller because I was only cooking for two, but it used up all of the egg white. Depending on how much eggplant you are using you may need more egg whites, panko, and marinara.
This is more than hearty enough to eat as a main course, or if you have a smaller portion its a great side. Also you could bread both sides of the eggplant if you wanted to make it extra yummy. I prepped this at my house and then drove it to Kevin's to throw it in the oven, (I tend to be a bit of a mess in the kitchen so sometimes its nice for me to just bring a prepped dish to his house so he doesn't have to witness the chaos.) and now my car smells like an Italian restaurant. Sadly we gobbled this all up so there are no leftovers