A Healthy Eggplant Parmesan Dinner

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the best way to get back “on track” after an indulgent weekend or few days is to make a veggie-heavy dinner that’s so delicious it reminds you how good it tastes and feels to eat clean, real food. On my way back to Massachusetts on Monday afternoon, I remembered that I had bought a baby eggplant the week before. Since I hate to waste food, and have been waiting for an excuse to take my dad’s homemade sauce out of the freezer, I decided that eggplant parmesan would be a great meal to make. Per usual, I knew I wanted to doctor up the sauce a bit, so I added in some browned lean hamburger (it was about half the price of ground turkey or ground chicken and it was 85% lean so I went for it) and extra veggies.

To cut back on carbs a bit, I cooked up a small spaghetti squash. This is one of my favorite healthy substitutions because if you have a good sauce and other things to keep your mouth happy, you won’t even notice that you’re not eating pasta! Lastly, a side of baked kale was the finishing piece of the meal… because you can never have too many veggies, right?!eggplant parmesan

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 small-medium eggplant
  • sea salt
  • approx. 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/2-1 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • EVOO
  • 2 cups of sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1/2 lemon
  • herbs and seasonings of your choice

IMG_7450

Directions

1. Cut open the spaghetti squash, clean out the seeds and put it into a pot of boiling water. Boil for about 15-20 minutes. While that is cooking, place the sauce in a pot and add in the chopped veggies. When the spaghetti squash is cooked, remove from the water and use a fork to shred the squash. Set aside.

2. Brown the beef and add that to the sauce and veggies.

IMG_7452

3. Clean and cut up the kale (removing the stems) and massage with about 4 tbsp. of EVOO, the juice of 1/2 a lemon and herbs/seasonings of your choice. Place in a baking dish and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 350*. Cut up the eggplant into 1/4-1/2″ slices and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle some sea salt onto one side and let sit for a few minutes. Flip the slices over and sprinkle more salt on them. I heard that this helps to remove some of the excess moisture in the eggplant- anyone know more about this?

IMG_7451

5. Heat a pan with a little EVOO. Scramble an egg in one bowl and put the panko/breadcrumbs in the other bowl. Place the eggplant slices into the egg and then into the panko/breadcrumbs and then onto the warm pan. Cook on each side for about 3-5 minutes.

IMG_7454 IMG_7455

6. When each side of the eggplant slice has browned, place a small spoonful of sauce and a sprinkle of cheese onto each and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Place the kale in the oven as well, stirring halfway through.

IMG_7456

7. Serve yourself a bowl of spaghetti squash, topped with the meat/veggie sauce and eggplant medallions and a side of kale. Enjoy!

eggplant parmesan 2

This meal was so delicious and can be simplified even more by replacing spaghetti squash for regular spaghetti and skipping the breading process on the eggplant. I just had time and love being in the kitchen so I went all out!

eggplant parmesan 3

Enjoy!

Questions for you: Do you like eggplant parmesan? Do you make your own sauce? What’s your favorite green veggie?

 

 

Advertisements