Monday, September 19, 2011

Guiltless Eggplant Parm

If you love Eggplant Parmigiana but don't want all the fat, cheese, bread crumbs and frying-- I have the PERFECT recipe! I must tell you, however, if the only way you can tolerate eggplant is when it is completely smothered in sauce and cheese, this particular dish might not be for you. But if you are like me, and love the taste and the texture of eggplant, you will thoroughly enjoy this healthier version of Eggplant Parm!

Eggplant is the perfect food for Vegetarians and Vegans. It's meaty texture is perfect if you are looking for something to really sink your teeth into. Eggplant is so versatile. It can be fried, baked, grilled, steamed, roasted or even stuffed.  If you think you don't really like eggplant, try slicing it thinly. Sometimes when it's too thick, it can a bit overwhelming.

Eggplant Parmigiana is my favorite dish, and even though it's a meatless meal, the traditional version is far from healthy. I've tried skipping the whole frying step and just adding extra sauce and baking it. This is a hit or miss, however. Sometimes it comes out great, other times, it's down right awful! And all that cheese and sauce and breadcrumbs, who needs it?

Here's my version of Guiltless Eggplant Parm:

1 large eggplant sliced into rounds about 1/2 ")
olive oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper
1- 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 cup shredded Vegan mozzarella (Galaxy shredded works great)
whole wheat breadcrumbs (about a 1/4 of a cup)

Fire up your grill. I use my George Foreman grill during the cold winter months. Works perfectly. Brush each egglplant slice with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Grill about 5 minutes on each side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a portion of the grilled eggplant rounds and place on the bottom of a baking dish. Spoon a small amount of the tomatoes on top. Don't saturate the eggplant, just kind dollop the tomatoes on top. You don't want it to be to sauce-y. You won't be using the entire can of tomatoes in this recipe, maybe about half of it. Sprinkle lightly with some of the breadcrumbs and a handful of the cheese. Again, just a light layer of each. Top with more eggplant slices and repeat.  Be sure to reserve some of the shredded mozzarella cheese for later. Sprinkle the final layer with remaining breadcrumbs and place in the oven for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining cheese to the top and return to the oven for about five minutes or until melted.

Remove from oven and allow to settle for about five more minutes. Slice and serve warm.

Delicious, guiltess, Vegan, Eggplant Parm! This is so Cynfully Good, you will not believe it!!!

Enjoy :)

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