Okay, I'll admit, I've never made it before. But I've always wanted to, and eggplant week gave me a reason to try it!
It's been a productive Saturday morning. Woke up early to go to Zumba. I'm normally not a huge fan of Zumba because (this is coming from a kickboxing instructor and hence biased) it's not that fulfilling of a workout. But it is fun. Especially if you like to pump it and shake your hips. And also, boot camp kicked my butt yesterday, so I needed a break. Anyway, this particular Zumba class was a surprisingly good work out. I may have to make this a weekly Saturday morning ordeal.
On to the eggplant parmesan! I looked up several recipes for ideas and came up with my own rendition.
First I started by making the bread crumbs. Yup, you heard me, I made them, and it took all of 30 seconds. Just toast two pieces of bread slightly, let it cool, and stick it in the blender. Bread crumbs!
Then I made the coating for the eggplant. This is where different recipes varied, but since I'm a fan of increasing the protein whenever possible, I used an egg. So, one egg (beaten), plus one tablespoon of parmesan cheese, one crushed garlic clove, and salt, pepper, and oregano to season.
In the meantime, I peeled and sliced the eggplant. I used half an eggplant for this. (The other half I used on that Indian dish!) I then coated the eggplant slices first in the egg mixture, and then with bread crumbs. I put that in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, and then turned the pieces over to bake for another 5-10 minutes. (350 degrees)
Baking in action!!
While it baked, I prepared the sauce. I decided to use a regular jar of Trader Joe's tomato basil marinara sauce. To put my own spin on it, I added a TINY bit of olive oil in a pan, added the sauce, and some Morningstar fake beef crumbles.
I let it sit on low heat for 10 minutes.
After the eggplant was done browning, I added the sauce, and baked for ~25 minutes.
Top it with some crushed red pepper and some more parmesan. Success!