For some reason, I always find Fall and Winter meals easier to plan than Summer meals. For the colder months I usually cook more hearty dishes, but they are still as healthy as I can make them! I am Italian, so a lot of the dishes growing up consisted of heavy marinara sauce, cheese, bread and lots of garlic. These dishes were fantastic, but really heavy and not always healthy. I try to keep a lot of traditional Italian fare around in my home, but with my own healthy twist.
This eggplant parmesan recipe is full of flavor, but is a little lighter, has less processed ingredients with panko breadcrumbs and is egg-free. I mean, have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a box of regular breadcrumbs?
Ingredient List in a Regular Breadcrumbs
Wha, wha what!? How could there be SO many ingredients in a tiny speckle of bread!? Notably, some ingredients are spices, but there are also many genetically modified fillers like corn meal and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and preservatives like calcium propionate.
The ingredients in the panko breadcrumbs I use are as follows:
Ingredients In PANKO Breadcrumbs
- Wheat flour
- Soybean oil
- Dehydrated garlic
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
Most packaged options won’t be perfect, but as you can see, we’re getting closer!
- 1 Large Eggplant
- 2 Cups Tomato Sauce (Jarred or homemade)
- 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Clove Garlic, chopped
- Slice the eggplant into thin slices
- Take out two medium sized bowls & two large baking pans
- Coat pans with thin layer of EVOO
- Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F
- Put extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) into one bowl
- Put breadcrumbs into the second bowl
- Dip eggplant slices into the EVOO and then into the breadcrumbs
- Place breaded slices on to the baking pans
- Place into oven and turn slices over after 10 minutes then continue cooking for 10 minutes
- *Take out of oven
- Coat bottom of 9x13" glass baking dish with tomato sauce
- Place half the amount of eggplant slices over sauce
- Sprinkle cheese over eggplant
- Pour additional tomato sauce over in a layer effect
- Add in chopped garlic throughout the layers
- Place rest of eggplant slices over sauce
- Spread rest of mozzarella cheese on top
- Place back in oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted through
- Let cool and cut into slices. Enjoy!
- *But leave oven on!
What I love most about this recipe is that it makes enough for our family of 4 and then some leftovers for the next day. It’s so easy to warm up (or even leave room temperature) and eat again and again!
I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family does. What’s your favorite traditional dish with a healthy twist?
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Thanks for letting me into your world awhile,
Naturally Nicole XO