I love eggplant parmesan like nobody’s business, but how it is traditionally prepared is SO bad for you. Normally, you bread and fry the eggplant slices in olive oil before layering them between beds of tomato sauce, lots of parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and drizzling with more olive oil. My mom recently made it for our family, and while we all devoured it and it brought back very fond memories of my Grandma Faye, I could literally feel my arteries pulsing with olive oil and cheese. I figured it was time for a revamp since we love eggplant (even Zoey will inhale it!), and it is so easy to find in the grocery store this time of year. I don’t even think it’s in season right now, but man has it been easy to find and they are gorgeous!
This grilled eggplant parmesan should probably be called eggplant mozzarella since I omitted the parmesan, but the idea is what matters, right? 😉 This recipe is really simple, a lot healthier than its fried counterpart, and sure to win over the pickiest of eaters who may claim “I don’t like eggplant!” We’re not hard core vegetarians by any means, but with Glenn’s recent high cholesterol diagnosis, we look for more ways to get hearty vegetarian meals onto our menu that are also PCOS friendly, and we try to have meat in our meals only half of the week instead of every night. My, how things have changed.
This recipe could feed a family of 4 (or 2-3 with lunch leftovers), is PCOS-friendly and is low in cholesterol.
- 1 large eggplant, washed thoroughly, unpeeled
- Shredded light mozzarella cheese, approx. 10 Tbsp.
- Tomato sauce of choice, approx. 16-20 Tbsp.
- Extra virgin olive oil, approx. 10 tsp. plus extra for your grill or pan
- Salt + Pepper (to preference)
- Dried basil (to preference)
- Preheat your grill (we use a George Foreman) or the broiler in your oven
- Warm your tomato sauce in a small sauce pan
- Cut off the ends of the eggplant and use a serrated knife to slice into 3/4″ thick discs – you should yield 8-10 slices
- Brush each side of each eggplant slice with approx. 1 tsp. of olive oil
- Lightly sprinkle salt + pepper and dried basil on each side
- Spray the grill or broiler pan with olive oil spray, or lightly rub olive oil on using a paper towel or brush
- Grill or broil the eggplant slices for 3-5 minutes. Turn over, and finish grilling/broiling until the slices are soft, but not too mushy. They still need to be slightly firm.
- When the eggplant is fully cooked, top each slice with 1-2 Tbsp. of tomato sauce, depending on the size of the slices
- Top them off with 1 Tbsp. of shredded mozzarella
Serve 2 slices of eggplant with a side of gluten-free pasta (we like the Brown Rice Pasta from Aldi) and the rest of your favorite sauce, plus a side salad or roasted asparagus. This meal is GREAT with a chunky mushroom sauce (our favorite!). Another option is to use thin slices of provolone on top of the eggplant instead of the shredded mozzarella. Both are lower on the cholesterol scale and great cheeses for this simple meal, but we like the mozzarella better. Of course, you can completely omit the cheese all together if you prefer, and this is still delicious just smothered in your favorite tomato sauce!
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