Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite Italian dishes. Like most of you , I’ve been craving a little comfort food during this uncertain time of mandatory isolation. I’ve decided to create a “skinny ” version of this classic dish to share with you. A few altercations, such as using low-fat cottage cheese (instead of ricotta),choosing part skim mozzarella cheese, an egg white and no breading, are a few ways to make this dish healthier. This is a great way to get the full flavor of Eggplant Parmesan, without all of the extra calories.
First, you will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You will need a medium to large eggplant. Cut both ends off, peel it and slice rounds of the eggplant, about 1/2 inch in thickness. Spray a large skillet with an olive oil mister or cooking spray. Lay your eggplant rounds in a single layer in the pan and heat on medium. Add salt and pepper, if you like , but I just add pepper, as the tomato sauce will have enough salt in it already. Let this cook until it’s slightly brown. ( usually about 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your slices.) Reduce the heat and flip the rounds over, adding more cooking spray to the pan and pepper to the rounds. Finish cooking until slightly browned (another 3-4 minutes). Remove the eggplant rounds from the skillet, and repeat this process for the remaining rounds, adding more cooking spray to the pan, as needed. Next, add 16 oz. of low-fat or fat free cottage cheese in a medium sized bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup shredded/low-moisture/part skim mozzarella cheese ( I prefer Sargentos) and an egg white. Stir it all together or pulse in a blender to make it creamier.
Now, lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray (11×7 inch dish). Add the eggplant rounds in a single layer to the dish. Spread the cheese mixture on top and add the remaining eggplant rounds, on top of that. Next, add 2 cups of marinara sauce. (I prefer Rao’s Sensitive Marinara Sauce. It contains less sodium and is less irritating if you have a sensitive tummy .) Grate about 1/3 of a cup of Parmesan ( Parmigiano-Reggiano is the best)over the dish and then sprinkle another 1/3 of a cup of your shredded, low moisture/ part skim , mozzarella cheese on top and bake for about 25- 30 minutes, or until its bubbling hot ! Remove and let it cool for a good 20 minutes. This will allow your dish to “set” and be solid enough to slice. If you begin to serve and it’s too runny, let it cool a little longer 😉 Garnish with some fresh parsley and enjoy !