Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Low(er) Fat Eggplant Parmesan


I often try to get a supper made sometime during the day on a Friday.  This way we can sit right down to the dinner table as soon as we arrive and unload the car at the beach house.  Today is coolish with a threat of rain and so I thought that a “stick to your bones” meal was in order.  As you my readers know-I love eggplant but not all the fat and calories that go into an authentic recipe.  If you look closely at the “meat” of the plant, it appears very spongy and it is that attribute that invites the veggie to soak up all the oil in this dish.  So, here’s my solution:


I get out my Mom’s mandolin and strum a melody.  Nope.  I get out my Mom’s mandolin and adjust the blade to the widest gap for the thickest cut.  Even at this thickness, the eggplant is thinner than I could ever slice it with a knife.  Then I dip the slices into a egg whisked with 1 T of water.  Next I press the slices into a combination of 1 part parmesan cheese to 2 parts bread crumbs.  With the parmesan right in the coating, it adds a pleasant saltiness without using salt and that nutty taste of parmesan without using a great quantity.  Even though I always have fresh parmesan in the fridge, I use a shaker variety for this recipe for best results.


Another note about cooking with eggplant: authentic Italian cooks will recommend that you salt the slices and then let them sit to purge their water and bitterness.  I don’t follow this step.  I like the plumpness of the slices and I think that slightly pungent taste is what makes the eggplant so unusual and delicious.


Next I cover a heavy baking sheet with foil (to speed up clean up) and liberally spray with a canola oil spray product.  I place the breaded slices upon the tray, spray again and then place them under the broil for a couple of minutes, watching constantly.  When golden brown, flip the slices over to the second side and spray again and then repeat the broiling procedure.


Once all the slices have been prepared in this manner, prepare a tomato sauce or use your favourite store-bought variety.  Here’s my favourite from scratch one:


From Scratch Rustic Tomato Sauce
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
I don't really think of this as a sauce, more of a pot purri of veggies.
  • 1 T canola oil
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 1 unpeeled carrot, chopped
  • 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 small or ½ large red pepper, chopped
  • fresh parsley, basil or rosemary-whatever you have available
  • 1 19 oz. can tomatoes
  • pinch of sugar
  • s & p to taste
  1. Pour canola into sauté pan.
  2. Add all veggies and sauté until carrots begin to soften.
  3. Add herbs.
  4. Add tomatoes and break apart whole tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Simmer, until carrots have completely softened.
  6. Add a pinch of sugar and adjust the seasonings.


Place a ladle or two of sauce in the bottom of the pan that you might use to make lasagna.  Start to layer the eggplant slices over the bottom of the pan.  If you wish place a layer of thinly sliced mozzarella over each.  I adjust the mandolin onto the thinnest setting and use it again to slice the cheese.  Repeat layers until all slices are used.  Pour the rest of the sauce over all.  Bake at 375 degrees until cheese melts and the sauce bubbles.  Likely 30-40 minutes.  In one corner of the pan, you can eliminate the cheese slices for an even lower fat and calorie dish.  I am taking some Italian sausages to grill and will likely make a whole wheat spaghetti to accompany.  Voila tonight’s supper is done and it is hearty and nutritious.

Kath’s quote: “How can people say they don’t eat eggplant when God loves the color and the French love the name? I don’t understand.”-Jeff Smith


Love-that is all.