I feel that I should explain right off the bat here that I am in no way a fan of eggplant. I don't particularly dislike it, but it just isn't something that I would order of a menu or pick up from the grocery store for my own indulgence. However, if it were offered to me in the form of baba ganoush or... eggplant parmesan, I would most likely eat it and enjoy it as well.
The only reason that I had eggplant on hand today was because I was given some in my recent 'local box' that came to me from organic local farmers. And let's face it, I'm not about to toss out any vegetable or fruit that is local and/or organic.
Since I had the eggplant already, I thought it would be a great opportunity to turn it into eggplant parmesan. I love anything that's doused in tomato sauce and cheese. I mean... who doesn't?
Of course, I didn't want to fry my eggplant. I feel like frying vegetables sort of defeats the purpose of them entirely. Instead, I wanted to bake them - faux fry them if you will. It's a pretty common thing around this house.
This dish is amazingly easy to prepare and is super tasty. However, you will want to be sure that your eggplant is sliced pretty thin and that it's cooked all the way through. A few of my thicker pieces weren't done all the way, and while they tasted really good, they were a little hard to chew. So take a lesson from my mistake!
I topped mine with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan and a sprig of fresh oregano for added color. Yummy stuff!
I didn't really find the need to serve this with anything else since it's sort of a self contained meal between the vegetables, cheeses, breading and sauce. But, if you wanted something m ore hearty then a nice Italian salad or perhaps even a small portion of noodles would be great!
Skinny Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Servings: 4 • Size: About 8 Slices Eggplant • Calories: 330.2 • Fat: 7.2 g • Carb: 48.6 g • Fiber: 6.2 g • Protein: 18.6 g • Sugar: 7.7 g • Sodium: 610.6 mg
4 Small Eggplants, Sliced 1/4" Thick Rounds
1/4 C. Panko
1/4 C. Cornmeal
1/4 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1/4 C. Grated Parmesan
1/4 Tsp. Cayenne
1/4 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
1/8 Tsp. Salt
1 Whole Large Egg
1 Large Egg White
8 Oz. Fat Free Ricotta
1 C. Chunky Marinara, Warmed (I used local organic.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and cover a baking sheet with foil; place a metal baking rack over the top of the foil.
Lightly coat the baking rack with non-stick spray and set aside.
Combine the panic, cornmeal, flour, parmesan, cayenne, paprika and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together until well blended.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white and some salt and pepper to taste.
Set up your dredging station with the egg mixture and breading mixture.
Slightly toss the eggplant slices into the egg to cover evenly.
Place the egg coated eggplant into the breading mixture, pressing in slightly to coat well.
Transfer the breaded eggplant onto the prepared baking rack.
Give the eggplant a light coat of non-stick cooking spray and place into the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender and cooked through.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven when done and allow to cool slightly.
Divide the eggplant evenly among plates.
Stack the eggplant by using the ricotta (about 1/4 c. ricotta per plate) in between each piece of eggplant and top with about 1/4 c. of marinara sauce.
Enjoy right away!