Hearty eggplant is baked with panko until extra crispy. Then it’s topped with delicious, roasted tomato marinara and topped with low fat mozzarella cheese and served over whole wheat pasta. This Baked Eggplant Parmesan can’t get any more heart healthy.
February is Heart Health month. Heart health is something that should be near and dear to everyone’s heart. Pun intended. For me, the hubs has cholesterol issues, so I’m always trying to find ways to cut the fat and eat healthier in our house for his sake. In an effort to not only cut our fat intake, but also to eat some healthier protein alternatives and reduce our consumption of animal based proteins.
I know. That sounds like a really complex sentence, but there’s more than the health reason for eating a meatless meal one night a week. There’s the whole carbon footprint issue, too, but that’s a different post.
This post is about heart healthy recipes. We eat one meat free meal every week; usually Mondays. We started eating one meatless meal a week because the hubs has cholesterol issues. Most of the saturated fat that most people eat comes from meat and full fat dairy products. Eating one meatless meal every week can easily lower your saturated fat intake. This also decreases your cholesterol and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.
So, what do you eat in place of meat? Whole grains. Vegetables. They move from the side of your plate to the starring role of you meal. You can change your burgers to a portobello burger or a black bean burger. Use lentils or eggplant in place of meat for some Bolognese. I’ve used eggplant to make posole and used portobellos in a cheesesteak.
I, like you, was skeptical at eating a meatless meal one night a week. I thought the hubs would dismiss it and was certain he would miss the meat and not feel full. In the year plus that we’ve been eating a meatless meal on Monday he’s only commented on still being hungry once. Once in almost two years. And that was a soup without a sandwich, pasta, or bread.
On this journey, I’ve tried to stay away from some of the more classic meatless meals like tofu anything, eggplant Parmesan, bean salad, falafel, etc. That means, I’ve never made eggplant Parmesan. I’ve tried eggplant Parmesan, but have never really wanted to make it. What I’ve tasted was not appealing to me. Let’s just say, it was pretty mushy which turned me off from making it entirely. That is until I made the eggplant schnitzel a few weeks ago. Those eggplant “steaks” came out so deliciously crispy and tasty, I knew I had the perfect base to build a deliciously healthy eggplant Parmesan.
Surprisingly, in all this time, he has not once asked to go back to eating meat at every meal. With delicious recipes like this one, I can’t say I blame him. The eggplant is extra crispy even when topped with sauce and broiled. The sauce is scrumptious with its roasted tomatoes, onions, and garlic and simmered with Italian herbs and spices. The cheese is low fat to keep the cholesterol down even more and it ties all these ingredients together into the perfect Baked Eggplant Parmesan. As if all this wasn’t heart healthy enough, I served mine over whole wheat pasta.
So, do your heart and your family a favor and make this Baked Eggplant Parmesan for dinner. They will not say, “Where’s the meat?”
There are so many heart healthy recipes this week. Make sure you visit some of the other bloggers participating this week. It’s a tasty line up of heart healthy goodness.
- 56 ounces canned, whole tomatoes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 2 medium eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups egg substitute
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 8 ounces whole wheat linguine
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Drain the canned tomatoes, reserving the juice for later. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Add the onions and the garlic cloves. Roast in the oven 20 to 30 minutes or until the onions and garlic are tender.
- Place the reserved juice and the crushed tomatoes in a Dutch oven. Add the roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic cloves and the remaining Italian seasoning and simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Place half of the mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Repeat with second half and return to pan to continue to simmer until the eggplant is cooked; stirring occasionally.
- Place the panko on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Toast in the oven 10 to 15 minutes or until the panko are lightly browned. Place in a shallow dish. Pour the egg substitute into a second shallow dish.
- Dredge the eggplant in the egg and then the panko and place on baking rack. Continue until all the eggplant is coated. Bake at 350 until the eggplant is cooked through and golden brown; approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
- Whole the eggplant are cooking, cooked the pasta according to the package directions omitting salt and fat. Drain and toss with a ladle full of sauce and keep warm.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Top the eggplant with 1/4 to 1/3 cup of marinara sauce and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbly and browned.
- Place 1 cup of pasta on each of four plates. Top with 1/2 cup of marinara then serve with 2 to 3 pieces of eggplant depending on their size. Serve with garlic bread and a simple side salad.
Better for you breakfasts:
- Apple Pie Oatmeal by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Scones by Brunch with Joy
- Create-Your-Own Overnight Oatmeal by Rhubarb and Honey
- Orange, Mango, Lime & Ginger Smoothie by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Pear Bran Muffins by Magnolia Days
- Stovetop Fruit & Honey Granola by What Smells So Good?
Jump start your health with these appetizers and snacks:
- Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets by Momma’s Meals
- Chipotle Black Bean Dip by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Lemon Aioli with Spring Vegetables by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Mala Baked Tofu Bites by Palatable Pastime
- Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips by The Texan New Yorker
Soups that’ll win your heart:
- Asian Soba Noodle Broth Bowl by Hip Foodie Mom
- Kale, Spinach, and Bean Soup by Ruffles & Truffles
- Mushroom Quinoa Soup by Pies and Plots
- Quinoa Chickpea Soup with Roasted Garlic & Veggies by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Turkey and Black-Eyed Peas Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Veggies, Sides, & Salads your heart will thank you for:
- Collard Greens with Cumin and Paprika by Nik Snacks
- Salmon Caesar Salad by Casa de Crews
- Kale Roasted Beet Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing by Noshing with the Nolands
- Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Roasted Teriyaki Green Beans and Mushrooms by NeighborFood
- Salmon Salad Niçoise by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Seasoned Spinach & Bok Choy by Nosh My Way
- Spinach Berry Salad by Country Girl in the Village
- Sweet & Smokey Cauliflower Salad by Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Winter Citrus Salad with Avocado-Basil Dressing by Foxes Love Lemons
Healthy is the center of attention in these main courses:
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Celeriac Noodles with Mushroom Ragu by The Joyful Foodie
- Gluten Free Roasted Chicken and Kale by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Heart Healthy Salmon Bento by The Ninja Baker
- Lemony Grilled Chicken by Peaceful Cooking
- Moroccan Salmon Tagine by Curious Cuisiniere
- One Pot Mexican Quinoa by Have Fun Saving
- Oven Baked Tilapia Tacos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Piperies Yemistes me Pligouri – Bulgur Stuffed Peppers by Food Lust People Love
- Salmon with Mango Salsa by Cooking Chat
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake by Food Done Light
- Vegetable and Ginger Congee by eating in instead
- Vegetarian Cuban-Style Black Beans & Rice by MealDiva
- White Bean, Corn, Tomato and Rice Skillet by Family Foodie
Staying healthy doesn’t mean giving up desserts!
- Baked Figs with Vanilla and Honey by Happy Baking Days
- Caramelized Pear Tart by PancakeWarriors
- Cherry-Blueberry Trifles by The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
We heart wine.
- Wine Pairing Recommendations for Heart Healthy #SundaySupper by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog