Friday, February 15, 2013

Clean and Easy Eggplant Parm!

Yes, those are meatballs we made.
I didn't have a photo of eggplant parmesan.
Go ahead, sue me.
Since the clean eating movement has taken over this house, some of our favorite traditional meals have been put on the back burner (see what I did there?). One of those favorites is pasta. :: sigh :: Sadly, my favorite rigatoni is far from clean and even if we could find a whole grain variety, it wouldn't be the same.

So, to get that Italian food fill whilst staying "clean," we have eggplant parmesan instead! It's SO delicious, you guys, and not nearly as difficult as you may think. I've heard different things about how folks prepare their eggplant to be parmesan-ed, but I assure you, I do it the easy way.

The, four-kids asking-for-juice-and-snacks-and-ponies-at-dinner-time way.
The, I-don't-want-the-smoke-detectors-to-go-off way.
The, I-really-suck-at-breading-and-frying way.

So, I won't hold you in suspense any longer, here it is!!

Here's what you need:
  • 1 large pretty eggplant.
  • 1 jar of sauce (or make your own - Barilla Tomato and Basil tastes enough like my own that I use it without shame! I really hope my dad isn't reading this post!)
  • Parmesan cheese (don't skimp here, get the good stuff! You can use a good romano, too).
Here's what you do:
  • Slice up your eggplant (about 1/4" inch wide slices, maybe slightly thinner)
  • Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of your 9x13 baking dish.
  • Heat up your electric griddle (that's what I prefer b/c you can do so many pieces at once and the heat is somewhat controlled) or skillet and spray (or drizzle) with olive oil. 
  • Flip the pieces as they sauté and, once tender, layer them up in your baking dish. The pieces can touch and just add sauce in between any additional layers. 
  • Once you get to the top, add some more sauce and dust with parmesan (or romano or mozzarella...whatever you like/have). 
  • Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes - until cheese is well-melted and maybe even a little golden brown (if you like crispy cheese, we do.). :) 
  • Remove from oven, serve and enjoy! 

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