I love Eggplant Parmesan. It's delicious, warm, and it serves well as leftovers. It takes some time to make but well worth the wait. It also works great in a sandwich or on top of pasta. However, I always feel guilty about eating Parmesan cheese. It's the idea of it being made with calf stomach (rennet) makes my heart sink and sadly there's still an old block of it my fridge that I'm trying to use up. So I decided why not substitute Parmesan cheese for one that doesn't require calf rennet, like Mozzarella. I also found a healthier way to prepare the eggplant patties. Most recipes require you to shallow fry the breaded eggplant patties and this process requires too much oil for my liking. Instead, I prebake them for 20 minutes. You still have to drizzle some olive oil over top to prevent burning but the amount of oil is much less.
In this recipe, I'm using Victoria Fine Foods Marinara Sauce and Terra Delyssa Organic Olive Oil. I'm a big fan of these two products. They both offer great taste and quality to my cooking. I'm also using free-range organic eggs by Nutri carried at Wholefoods.
I hope you guys give this recipe a shot and I hope you like it. It's a great way to go meatless without realizing it as you eat. The patties have great texture and yes it's no Chicken Parm but the texture is a lot lighter than meat. You'll feel less lethargic or tired after eating it. I've noticed that about myself actually. On the days when I consume a meat dish, I feel different. I'm immediately exhausted, like I can barely move. My sleeps are not as deep after eating meat and I notice exhaustion the next morning. Meat isn't really working for my diet anymore. I do crave it every now and then but after I eat meat, I question, "Why did I just do that to myself?" because I feel the effects of it right after. So as time progresses, I am much happier that meat is coming off the menu slowly and in return, I'm able to reduce my carbon footprint more. But I can't guarantee all meatless recipes as sometimes I may be in the mood to make one as it's important to educate on certified-humane meat as well.
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by the companies listed in this post.
Step 1: INGREDIENTS
SERVES 3-4 | PREP TIME 30 MINS | TOTAL BAKING TIME 60 MINS
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced into patties at 1 cm thick
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
- 750 ml of good quality marinara sauce
- 2-3 eggs scrambled
- 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1.5 cups of Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
- Organic extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of pepper
Required: deep baking dish, silicone mat (or parchment paper)
Step 2: INSTRUCTIONS
1. Prepare ingredients as listed above. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. After you peel and slice your eggplants, it's time to bread them. Setup 3 medium size bowls filled with the following:
- First Bowl: Flour mixed with garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper
- Second Bowl: Eggs scrambled
- Third Bowl: Panko breadcrumbs
3. Dredge each eggplant patty into flour first, then eggs, and lastly breadcrumbs until well coated. Place onto lined baking sheet. Repeat until all patties are breaded. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over top and bake uncovered for ten minutes. Flip them over at the 10 minute mark, drizzling more olive oil and bake for another 10 minutes.
4. Once patties are pre-baked, leave them in the deep baking tray. Pour marinara sauce over them, add fresh basil leaves and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool a bit and enjoy!