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Quick & Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

I was speaking with a good friend this morning, and happened to mention making Eggplant Parmesan for dinner last night in passing.  She was stunned, not only that I made an elaborate meal, but that I had the time with two under three.
Meal prep shouldn't rob you of your precious time!
That's all it took for me to launch into recipe-share mode - one of my favorite modes to be in.
Eggplant Parmesan doesn't have to steal away your afternoon/evening.  And it definitely doesn't have to be calorie-laden and heavy.
Read on for a quick and easy healthy version of one of my favorites.

Healthy & Quick Eggplant Parmesan:

1 med-lg eggplant (~ 2-3 lbs), washed and ends trimmed

1 (24 oz) jar preferred pasta sauce, OR make your own*

4oz natural, shredded Mozzarella cheese

Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

1 box pasta of choice (Spaghetti, Angel Hair, and Penne make great choices

1. Slice your eggplant to desired thickness.  In my opinion, the thicker the better.  I often cut rounds of about ½ inch each.

2. Lay rounds in a single layer over a generously sprayed/oiled piece of foil, or a non-stick cookie sheet.  I find that the foil helps them brown nicely and quickly, so that’s my go-to method.

3. Bake on 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until very tender, flipping half way through with a spatula.

4. While your eggplant is baking, cook your pasta according to directions on the box.

5. Once your rounds are very tender (you should be able to slice right through the skin with a fork or butter knife) remove them from the oven. 

6. Ladle ½ cup of the sauce into a Pyrex or other baking dish to prevent the eggplant from sticking and layer the rounds in any fashion you’d like.  Top with a drizzle of sauce across all of the rounds and sprinkle the mozzarella.  Bake for 30 minutes uncovered to allow the cheese to melt and brown a little.

7. Serve with a side of the pasta and sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan, and maybe a generous helping of salad.
* If you desire to make your own sauce, this is also very quick and easy to do.

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 small Onion, finely chopped

4 cloves Garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1 cup Vegetable or Beef broth

1 (28 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes

1.  Heat the oil on low-medium heat.  Toss in onions and garlic and cook about 5 minutes until onions are tender and translucent.

2.  Add the broth and tomatoes.

3. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
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