Here is a lighter (and Vegan) version of Melissa’s Famous Eggplant Parmesan! Still delicious, but lighter, fresh-tasting and even healthier.
Light Eggplant Parmesan
This lighter version of Eggplant Parm is full of flavor. The eggplant is oven-baked, instead of fried, with lots of seasonings. You will need baking pans with a lip to bake the eggplant and a 13 x 9 x 2 rectangular casserole dish for layering if desired.
Slice eggplants to about 1/2 to 1" in thickness, leaving skin on. Salt the eggplants to remove any bitterness; rinse and dry over paper towels.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare baking pans with parchment paper, coat by spraying with olive oil.
Since we are omitting the process of dipping in eggs and breadcrumbs, whisk the olive oil garlic and seasonings then cover the front and back of eggplant before baking. This will make a nice, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside eggplant.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Flip over and bake another 20 minutes until both sides are nicely browned and a bit crispy.
Saute Mushrooms, Onion & Potatoes
In a medium sauce pan, sauté onions with the Braggs aminos until the onions are almost lucid in color.
Add par-cooked potatoes to the onions and continue to sauté until all are nicely browned and cooked.
Add sliced mushrooms to the mix with pepper and other spices as desired until cooked.
Layer the cooked eggplant, tomato sauce, sautéed vegetables and cheese of your choice in a casserole and bake for 20 minutes until hot in 350-degree oven.
Alternatively, since all items are hot, you can skip the layering in a casserole step and plate layers directly for your guests. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (dairy or non-dairy) and serve right at the table.
Add salad and whole-grain breadsticks. Pair with a glass of red wine, and you're all set!
Melissa's Modifications and Suggestions
I know this is different take on Eggplant Parmesan, but if you wish to get closer to my original recipe, dip the eggplant into egg and breadcrumbs, if diet permits.
If you are following a vegetarian diet and eat dairy, you may dip the eggplant into egg whites before baking.
If you follow a plant-based vegan diet and want to bread the eggplants, I have used aquafaba (the liquid in canned chickpeas) as the liquid in which to dip the eggplants. A caution regarding breadcrumbs ... read the labels as many have cheese in them. Be sure to get clean breadcrumbs with no dairy, especially if you are vegan.
Cook time - 40 minutes to bake the eggplant; 20 minutes on each side. If you bake the layered dish in the oven add another 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Nutritional Value : 1 Serving (Approx 1.5 cups) 250 Calories; 4g Fat; 25g Carbs; 5g Protein
Wife and publicist of Dr. David Bernstein, Melissa has developed many clinical educational offerings online, published articles and co-authored several books over the years. Her love for cooking is put into action as she helps others live out the Power of 5 lifestyle!
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