Good evening! I hope you’ve all had a great Friday! I started out my morning making a big ole pot of marinara sauce
marinara is one of those things that I just really prefer to make rather than buy. Even when I use canned tomatoes, it just tastes so much fresher. What’s nice is you can make a big pot every few weeks and just freeze portions of it in Ziploc baggies. Then, all you need to do is pop a baggy of sauce in the fridge the night before you need it! I have a few different kinds I make, but this one is super quick and simple: just saute 1 medium chopped onion and four finely chopped garlic cloves in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (this normally takes about 6-8 min.). Add 2 cans (28 oz. each) of crushed tomatoes, 1/2-1 tsp. of red pepper flakes (depending on how much spice you want), and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes. Add a handle of torn basil leaves and 1 tsp. of dry oregano and you’re done!
drooling slaving away all morning over delicious marinara, I decided that eggplant parm was also in order. I love (love!) eggplant parm, but it’ tends to be preettty greasy. I mean, I’d be lying if I said I’ve turned down plate of fried egglplant drenched in cheese an marinara, but still. I tried to go a little healthier with my version! Instead of frying the eggplant rounds (patties?), I breaded them with whole wheat bread crumbs and broiled each one. You really couldn’t tell the difference- the only thing missing was the grease. While it’s pretty simple to make, it’s a bit time consuming- don’t worry though, it’s totally worth it!
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
about 3 1/2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or jarred
1 cup mozzarella cheese (you can use less if you want to be even healthier)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 large egg white
1 TBS milk
1/2 cup flour
about 3 TBS olive oil
1. Put the flour, egg whites, and breadcrumbs in three separate dishes. To the egg whites, add 1 TBS milk and whisk together. To the breadcrumbs, add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Dredge each eggplant round in the flour and shake of any excess. Dip it into the egg whites and shake off any excess. Press it into the breadcrumbs and make sure it’s evenly/completely coated. Place the rounds on a foil lined baking sheet. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Lightly brush one side of each round with olive oil. Place under the broiler until golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes (check them after two to make sure they don’t burn). Flip each round over and lightly brush the other side with olive oil and broil the same way.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour about 1/2 cup of marinara on the bottom of a baking dish. Put down a layer of eggplant and top it with 1 cup marinara, about 1/3 of the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the remaining parmesan cheese. Repeat two more times, ending with a layer of mozzarella and parm on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until it’s bubbling. Uncover and broil for 2-3 minutes to make the cheese nice and crispy.
Seriously, make this. You will not regret it.
Have a great night!
Somebody needs a haircut… (I’ve been singing this to her all day. She’s been avoiding me since noon)