Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Today was a surprisingly good day!  Despite the fact that my headache never went away, I managed to get a lot of reading done and have a great class (we talked about land titling and home ownership which for some reason I think is a really interesting topic).

I got home this evening slightly hungry but excited to make this dish.  As usual, I found this recipe for Eggplant Parmesan a LOOOONG time ago, bookmarked it and decided to make it now.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

adapted from Eggs on Sunday’s Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant, sliced
1 egg
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 can of diced tomatoes (plain or Italian seasoned works too)
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Cayenne to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)
1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil (more if you’d like)
A few slices of fresh mozzarella

I’ve never really cooked eggplant, so this was a first for me.  My sister’s friend once told me to put a lot of salt on eggplant and let it sit for a while then rinse it and pat dry, but I wasn’t really sure what that meant.  This recipe confirmed…

Heavily salt the sliced eggplant on both sides, let stand for 15-20 minutes.  Then rinse and pat dry.  It doesn’t yield salty eggplant, just reduced the water content, which apparently tastes better?

After you’ve salted, rinsed and dried your eggplant you need to bread it.  Put one egg (beaten) in a shallow bowl.  In another bowl, combine bread crumbs italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.

Dip each slice into the egg then into the bread crumb mixture and place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, flip and baked for another 15 minutes.

In the meantime, make your sauce.  Heat the oil, add the onions, garlic and cayenne and cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add the can of diced tomatoes and cook for about 15-20 minutes until liquid has reduced and sauce is thick. In the meantime, combine the ricotta, basil and parmesan in a bowl, set aside.

When the eggplant is ready and your sauce is reduced, you are ready to assemble it all!

Pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.

Next do a layer of eggplant slices.

Then spread on all the ricotta mixture.

Then the next 1/3 of your sauce and the rest of the eggplant slices.

Finish off with the remaining sauce and the mozzarella.  I went kind of light on the cheese since I figured the huge amounts of ricotta was plenty of cheese!

Bake at 425 for about 15-20 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!  Makes 4 good sized servings!  I wish I had a broiler because bubbly burnt cheese is delicious!  If you make this I would suggest putting it under the broiler for a few minutes for crispy goodness!

DELICIOUS!

Perfect ending to my day!  I love the crispiness of the eggplant without the oiliness of typical fried eggplant parmesan!

Are you an eggplant fan?

Tonight, I really want to catch up on Lost since I didn’t get to watch it last night!  I’m also considering making some granola bars for good afternoon snacks to have on hand.  What are your relaxation plans for the evening??

Have a great night!

Advertisements

Stressless March

This morning I woke up with a terrible headache and a sore throat.  Instead of moping around about it, I decided a trip to the gym would help make me feel better.  The whole time the lovely fella was here the past week, I only went to the gym twice.  Not a huge deal, but it was nice to go back.

Upon returning and the sore throat still going strong, I thought a green monster would be a good cold prevention device.

Breakfast: Green Monster with 3/4 banana+ 2 handfuls of spinach + 5 frozen strawberries + 2 ice cubes + cold water, toast + Naturally Nutty + 1/4 banana and coffee.

Delicious.  The only downside to Naturally Nutty is that it doesn’t really melt or spread that easily.  Most nut butters melt on oatmeal or hot toast, this really doesn’t.  Oh well.  Still delicious!

So I’ve decided to make March less stressful than February. Why March?  The last week of March is Spring Break, which should be the ultimate relaxation, but I also don’t want to get myself so frazzled in the time leading up to Spring Break that I’m too exhausted to enjoy it.  So I’m instating a 9-5 work day for myself.

Here’s the idea: since I’m a student, I lack a strict schedule.  I have classes at different times at on different days, and I’m sort of just all over the place.  So for this month (and beyond?) I’m testing out a “work day.”  I’ll leave the house and go to my 10:00am class then stay on campus until 5 or 6 or even 7 pm, 5 days a week.  In between classes, instead of coming home claiming to get reading done while actually fooling around on the internet, I will go to the library or computer lab to get things done, as I tend to be more productive there. That should give me ample time to get everything done.  Then I can come home and have minimal work to do.

This will take a little more planning with regard to meals but it’s totally do-able.  My hope is that with this schedule, I’ll be more productive and therefore less stressed.  I want home to be a place of relaxation, not frustration which leads to overeating.

So today is day one!

Lunch is packed (extra vitamin C since I feel a cold coming on!):

Cucumber slices and carrot sticks with hummus for dipping, sliced kiwi and a cutie!

A sweet potato baked earlier this week and a veggie patty.

All together, ready to go!

See you tonight!  (I’m hoping to finally get around to make an eggplant dish I bought ingredients for about a week ago! They’re starting to go bad!!)

Have a fantastic Wednesday!  2 days til Friday!

P.S. Don’t forget to go to Mara‘s blog and vote for my penguin olives for the Cuteiversary Contest!