Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

My mom’s garden has quite a lovely bounty of eggplants, and I’ve been itching to make eggplant parm ever since the first eggplant sprouted months ago! But I’ve also decided to cut fatty foods out of my diet, so I knew I would have to come up with a healthy alternative to satiate my craving. This recipe is quick, easy, and so good you won’t even miss the breading! Shopping list: Two medium eggplants About 13oz. of tomato sauce (half of a jar of San Marzano sauce worked great!) One bag of spinach (roughly 8oz) 3 good-sized garlic cloves 2 cups of low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese Olive Oil Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper flakes

What You'll Need: You’ll need a chopping board, your favorite veggie chopping knife, a garlic press if you’ve got it, a fairly shallow rectangular baking dish, and a grilling device.

How to Do it:

Step #1: Preheat your oven to 350˚.

Step #2: Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and let it heat up to medium. Add your 3 crushed (or minced) garlic cloves to the pot and give it a quick stir so it doesn’t burn. Add your spinach, watch out for olive oil splatters, and continue to toss your spinach around until you have nicely wilted greens. Set them aside while you prepare your eggplant. Step #3: Slice your eggplants widthwise into about 1/3 inch thick slices. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then place them face down on your grilling device of choice. I used a grill pan for easy indoor assembly, and I’m sure a sandwich press would also work well. If you’ve got an outdoor grill and the weather is cooperating, then grill away! When your eggplants start to turn a slightly darker green in the middle, brush again with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then flip. Each side should have nice grill marks, and the meat should be tender but not falling apart.

Step#4: Assemble your casserole! Layer half of your eggplant first, then spoon in the sautéed spinach. Cover with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Add all of your sauce and smush it around to make sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies. Top with a last layer of eggplant, then the rest of the cheese. Step #5: Pop it into your pre-heated oven and let it bake until the cheese gets golden brown at the edges and your tomato sauce is bubbling through, about 25 minutes.

Cleo Zancope www.JaneTaylor.com