Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheap Eats: Oven Fried Eggplant Parmesan

I haven't posted a recipe in a loooong time.  I got in the bad habit of not cooking real dinners because my husband worked in the evenings (4pm-12am) and I usually just threw a meal together for Little Man and myself.  We ate a lot of stir fry vegetables with rice, veggie burgers, and pasta with various sauces and more vegetables.

Well, yesterday was the fist day of a big change that's happening at our house.  My husband started a new job with normal hours!  (Yesterday was also the day I would have been back in a classroom teaching.)  I cooked a real meal to celebrate our family being able to eat dinner together on a Monday.

This recipe is really easy, really delicious, and has the potential to be really low calorie depending on how you prepare it.

Here's what you'll need:
1 Large Eggplant
1 Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese (exclude for low cal version)
2 Eggs (use egg whites only for low cal version)
1 Jar of Tomato Sauce
1 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella (use less for low cal version)
3 Cups of Pasta (nix the pasta for low cal version)

1.  Slice the eggplant and lay it out on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil.  Cover the slices in salt and let it sit for half an hour.  This pulls out a lot moisture and gets rid of any bitterness.

2.  While you're waiting, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and get the crumb mixture and eggs ready.  Mix the panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese together and put them in a shallow dish like a pie pan.  Lightly beat the two eggs together and put them in another shallow dish.

3.  Pat the eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove the water.  Stack the slices somewhere else and place a cooling rack on the foil lined cookie sheet.  Spray the cooling rack with canola oil so the breaded eggplant won't stick.
4.  Dip each slice into the egg then cover with the crumbs. Place it onto the cooling rack and spray the eggplant with canola oil.

5.  Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes.  Flip it once at the 15 minute mark and spray the eggplant with canola oil again.  When it's done, both sides should be browned.
6.  Layer the sauce, eggplant, and cheese in a dish. (I used an 11x7).  Start by covering the bottom of the dish with sauce.  Put a layer of cheese between the layers of eggplant.  Cover the top layer of eggplant with sauce and cheese.

7.  Bake until the cheese is brown and bubbling.  Cook the pasta while the eggplant is baking.

Put the eggplant parm and pasta together and enjoy!


the cape on the corner said...

eating together on a monday sounds like a perfect reason to try a delicious recipe. i am totally going to try this, b/c my fried zucchini did not go well. i shall oven fry instead!

Full Plate Designer said...

This looks great! I love eggplant parm, but I've never tried to make it at home. Now I can! Thanks!

Aaron said...

The oven "frying" makes all the difference. Not messy at all!

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