Thursday, March 14, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan

Make this classic dish vegan with any of the vegan Parmesan sprinkles on the market. I used Galaxy Foods, but options abound these days.

  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Ener-G eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce (such as marinara)
  • 1 cup shredded Daiya mozzarella
  • 3 cups hot cooked angel hair pasta
1. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl.  Set aside.

2. In a second bowl, whisk together the Ener-G eggs until frothy. Place the flour in a third bowl.  Peel the eggplants and cut each into 6 slices, for 12 slices total - they'll be fairly thick, as shown below:

3. Working with 1 eggplant slice at a time, dredge in the flour, then dip in the Ener-G eggs, and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

4. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Pour the sauce over the eggplant slices and sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions; start with 6 ounces uncooked pasta to yield the needed 3 cups cooked.  Serve 3 eggplant slices over 3/4 cup pasta on each of 4 plates. 

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (3 eggplant slices, 3/4 cup pasta), Calories 472

Tasting Notes:
I was worried about the baking method for this dish more than anything else, wondering how easily I would be able to serve slices of eggplant, sauce, and cheese that had cooked on a jelly-roll pan. Surprisingly though, it all lifts off of the pan cleanly (I recommend a thin spatula), to be deposited over your servings of pasta. The eggplant becomes nice and tender on the underside and middle, but the edges have a crisp, breaded (almost oven-fried) texture. I would like the eggplant even better though if it cooked in a baking dish surrounded by tomato sauce, since the edges were a touch dry. I also would happily serve just the meaty eggplant (a meal in itself) and skip the pasta. Though good, the angel hair was unnecessary since the eggplant is so tasty. Minus about half a point for that fact.


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