Baked, Not Fried
For the sauce (serving four to six people), start with a twenty-eight ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes. Of course, you could take the time to blanch and peel fresh tomatoes; but seriously, you can also just buy the can. Thoroughly drain the juice into a medium sauce pan, and reduce the liquid over high heat for ten to fifteen minutes. Roughly chop the drained tomatoes and toss them lightly with olive oil and salt. Then roast them in a 425 degree oven for fifteen minutes before adding them to the reduced tomato juice and an eight ounce can of tomato sauce.
While your tomatoes are roasting and your sauce is reducing, peel the eggplant and slice it lengthwise into 1/4 inch pieces. Next, toss the freshly cut slices in a lightly seasoned flour, and set them aside while you prepare your bread crumbs.
Now, of course, you cannot make Eggplant Parmesan without Parmesan cheese. But blend whole grain bread (one slice of bread per small eggplant) with Parmesan (three parts bread to one part cheese), for a delicious and healthy alternative. Season the bread crumbs with salt, garlic powder and parsley.For the crispiest breading (when baking and frying) dip your pre-floured slices in egg wash (egg and milk) before returning them to the flour (seasoned with salt and pepper). Bathe them once more in the egg mixture before coating them evenly with your whole wheat, seasoned crumbs.
Place the breaded slices on a non-stick pan (for best results, moisten a paper towel with olive oil and wipe down the pan before arranging the slices). Drizzle olive oil over the top and bake the eggplant in a 375 degree oven for about twenty minutes (seven to ten minutes per side).
While your eggplant is baking, roughly chop eight ounces of your favorite mushrooms and add them to the sauce to simmer until soft.
Serve the crisply baked eggplant and gorgeous sauce alongside whole wheat pasta, cracked wheat or brown rice for a deliciously guilt-free Eggplant Parmesan.
1. Drain tomato juice into sauce pan and reduce over high heat (add tomato sauce and seasoning after removing from high heat)2. Roast drained tomatoes in 425 degree oven
3. Peel and slice eggplant
4. Bread eggplant: flour, egg, flour, egg, bread crumbs
5. Drizzle eggplant with olive oil and bake in 375 degree oven
6. Chop mushrooms and add to sauce