There are two notable exceptions to his No Meat rule though.
Why are these exceptions? Well I honestly don't know, but I have a feeling it has to do with the copious amounts of cheese.
Eggplant Parmesan has always been one of Hubs' favorite things to order at an Italian restaurant, but surprisingly enough I had never made it at home for him.
And now, I think I've created a monster.
Because he could. not. stop. talking about how good this was and how it was "the best eggplant parmesan he has ever had".
I have to agree. It IS really, really, really good. But what I like even better is that this "healthified" version is just as good, if not better, than the "real" thing.
Usually Eggplant Parmesan involves deep frying slices of eggplant and then covering them in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. This version lightens things up a bit by oven-baking the eggplant and then still topping with tomato sauce & cheese.
So. Stinkin'. Good. You must make this!
FYI it's a bit more labor intensive of a dinner than I typically go for, but it is SO worth every extra minute of effort!
Source: adapted from Cooking Light
- YIELD: 8 servings
- 2 (1-pound) eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (or use plain and add Italian seasoning)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce* (I used Emeril's Eggplant & Gaaahlic)
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese OR sliced fresh mozzarella (which is what I used)
- Fresh basil, chopped (optional)
Place eggplant in a large bowl; add water to cover, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain well; blot dry with paper towels. Combine 1/4 cup water and egg whites in a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; stir well. Dip eggplant in egg white mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
Place half of eggplant on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and broil 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant. Set eggplant aside.
Spread half of tomato sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of eggplant over sauce; top with half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with remaining sauce, eggplant, and cheese.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.