As the meatless trend grows in popularity, the reasons for individuals going meatless vary. For some, a plant-based diet is a health decision, others choose a meatless diet for religious purposes and some choose vegetarianism over concern for animal welfare. For whatever the reason, vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat, and the U.S. government recommends eating most of our calories from grains, vegetables and fruits. Go to ChooseMyPlate.gov for a resource to build healthy eating habits.
Anna’s Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- Olive oil spray
- Romano cheese grated
- Mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2-3 jars vegetarian pasta sauce, not chunky sauce
- Chicken broth, for thinning sauce
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Peel eggplant and slice 1/4-inch thick. Place slices on paper towels.
- Beat eggs and milk in a bowl big enough for dipping eggplant.
- Place flour on a plate and put both types of breadcrumbs on another plate and mix.
- Lightly spray baking sheet with olive oil spray.
- Using a fork, dip eggplant slices into flour and shake off excess. Dip into egg mixture and then breadcrumbs. Slices should be fully coated with breadcrumbs. Place slices on sheet pan.
- Bake until crisp, approximately 7-8 minutes per side. Place slices on paper towels to cool. Reduce oven to 350 F.
- To assemble, using 9x13-inch baking dish, drizzle sauce to cover bottom. Sauce should be consistency of vinaigrette; if too thick, thin with a bit of chicken broth.
- Over sauce, place one layer of eggplant.
- On each slice, place grated Romano (1/2 tablespoon) and grated mozzarella (1-2 tablespoons). Spoon a couple tablespoons of sauce over the cheese and top with another slice of eggplant, about the same size as the slice below it.
- Repeat until you have three layers. Press down on the layers gently. Pour more sauce over the entire dish. The spaces between the stacks should be filled with sauce.
- Cover dish loosely with foil and bake for about 30-45 minutes. Remove foil and brown the top slightly.
- Serve with crunchy warm bread.