Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan from 100 Days of Real Food

Between busy work weeks and taking care of active families, the thought of making complicated meals is often daunting. This Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan from 100 Days of Real Food totally changes the game. With the perfect combination of cheesy goodness and sweet tomato sauce, Lisa Leake’s healthy version of this classic Italian dish is a home run. Did we mention that it takes less than 30 minutes to make? The tasty ingredients and minimal prep time make this recipe ideal for weekday dinners with your family. 100 Days of Real Food is packed full of healthy recipes that use natural and unprocessed ingredients that are all kid approved!

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103_EggplantShortcut Eggplant Parmesan
When my younger daughter was five she could never remember what to call an eggplant (is it a squash? a zucchini?), but whatever the name, she loves the outcome of this quick and easy eggplant Parmesan dish! With this shortcut recipe you can forget the egg, forget the breadcrumbs, and even forget the oven, which means you have yourself a super-simple (and delicious) weeknight dinner.

Difficulty: Medium
Prep and Cook Time: Less than 30 minutes
Seasonal Note: Use locally grown eggplant in the summer months.
Makes 4 servings

1 large or 2 medium eggplant (about 1 pound total)
2⁄3 cup whole-wheat flour
Olive oil, for cooking
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Homemade Tomato Sauce (page 320) or store-bought tomato sauce, warmed
11⁄2 cups grated (or thinly sliced) mozzarella cheese
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Recommended accompaniments: Cooked whole-wheat pasta noodles with tomato sauce and/or a salad

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
2. Cut the eggplant into even round slices about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Place two clean plates side by side and pour the flour onto one of the plates. Coat both sides of the eggplant slices with flour and lay them on the other plate.
4. Put a large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid on the stove over medium heat. Pour in a thin layer of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant slices, working in batches so as not to overcrowd them.
5. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. If the eggplant soaks up all the oil, drizzle a little more into the pan before flipping them. Flip the eggplant slices over and immediately sprinkle with plenty of salt (and pepper if desired).
6. Working very quickly, add a dollop of tomato sauce on top of each eggplant disk and then sprinkle each piece with about 1 tablespoon of grated mozzarella. Cover the pan for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the cheese is melted and the bottom is golden brown.
7. Transfer the eggplant slices to a baking sheet, pat the excess oil off the bottom with a paper towel if desired, and place the baking sheet in the oven to keep the eggplant warm while you finish the rest of the eggplant slices. (It’s helpful to rinse and wipe out the pan and add fresh olive oil with each batch.)
8. To serve, sprinkle the warm eggplant slices with Parmesan cheese. Serve over whole-wheat noodles tossed with tomato sauce or on top of a big salad.


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