We are starting a new edition of blogging marathon today and my theme for the week is ‘Vegetarian Italian Dishes’. With my son thinking that he is half Italian, it is only obvious that I take up this theme to try some new Italian dishes.
I already have a lot of Italian dishes on my blog and I wanted to try something new and different for this week. First up is a spin on classic eggplant parmesan. The traditional way of making this dish involves frying eggplant and then burying it under piles of gooey cheese and tomato sauce. It’s very delicious, but it has enough calories for the whole day.
In this lighter and leaner version, eggplant pieces are drenched in crunchy panko breadcrumbs and then baked (instead of deep fried). The crispy baked eggplants are topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and some creamed spinach. Spinach adds a modern touch to the classic dish.
Recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine. Anytime I see an eggplant dish, it goes into my to-make list and I have been planning to make this dish for a while now. Finally I made it last weekend for our dinner. I was skeptical if my kids would like it, but surprisingly my son loved it. I’m sure I will be making this dish again in the future.
Lighter and leaner version of Eggplant Parmesan -- eggplant pieces are drenched in crunchy panko breadcrumbs and then baked (instead of deep fried). The crispy baked eggplants are topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and some creamed spinach. Spinach adds a modern touch to the classic dish.
1EggLarge (or use 1tbsp flaxseed meal whisked with 3tbsp water)
to tasteSalt Pepper&
For Creamed Spinach:
9oz . BagsSpinachof Frozen Chopped , thawed
1tbspCream cheese(reduced fat preferred)
to tasteSalt Pepper&
½cupMozzarella cheeseor Fontina
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Create an assembly line for making the eggplant. Place flour in pie dish or a soup plate. Add panko and parmesan to second pie dish or soup plate. Reserve 2tbsp panko mixture.
Add egg or flax seed meal mixture to the third pie or soup plate.
Season eggplant with salt and pepper. Coat slices with flour, then egg, then panko mixture, press to adhere.
Coat both sides with cooking spray and arrange on baking sheet.
Bake eggplants for 12~15 minutes or until the bottoms are brown and crips. Flip over and bake for another 12~15 minutes longer or until both sides are brown and crisp and eggplant is tender.
Meanwhile heat 2tsp oil in a large skillet, add thawed spinach. Toss over medium-high heat for 2~3 minutes. Now add cream cheese and 1tbsp of reserved panko mixture. Cook for 3~4 minutes or until the mixture is very thick, adding remaining reserved panko, if necessary.
To Assemble: Spread marinara sauce over the baked eggplant slices on the baking sheet. Spoon or spread the creamed spinach over top, leaving border of sauce visible. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 4~5 minutes or until the topping is heated through. Serve immediately.