Healthier Eggplant Parm

Sorry for the long hiatus! I could go on about how Thanksgiving happened, and then I had to go to New York for a stupid legal training class, and the holiday season is just so crazy, but I'll stop myself here and say that I have dearly missed you, my (silent but) faithful readers.

I made this a couple weeks ago but am just now posting about it for the aforementioned reasons. Eggplant parmesan is one of those classic vegetarian dishes that everybody loves but is actually really horrible for you due to the frying and the cheese. Fortunately, it's not hard to lighten it up by baking the eggplant slices and using the cheese a bit more judiciously than you otherwise would. Even more fortunately, the dish is still delicious when prepared this way.

Healthier Eggplant Parm
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs, Italian-style
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or a mix of oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and/or thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 medium raw eggplants
  • 3-4 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a medium-size bowl; set aside. Remove skin from eggplant and trim off ends; slice eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Dip eggplant first into egg whites and then into bread crumb mixture. Bake eggplant on a nonstick cookie sheet until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once.

Place a layer of eggplant on bottom of prepared baking dish, then add 1/3 of tomato sauce and 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. Repeat with 2 more layers in same order. Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes.