I go on kicks where I crave Italian flavors or Mexican flavors... or whatever else I feel and they usually last for a few meals, but sometimes as long as a whole week. Well this week I started craving Italian. And like CRAZY! I had a work lunch function at Carrabas where the only thing they were serving was their infamous Chicken Marsala. Let me tell you, it was SOOO worth the calories. I thoroughly enjoyed the penne pasta with marinara and grilled chicken with marsala sauce. De-lish.
Since I try to limit my pasta intake to when I'm really wanting it, I decided to forgo the pasta in this recipe. However, I did have spaghetti squash on hand to have with it that you can certainly add. A friend was in town so we were already snacking on appetizers and didn't need the squash.
The only other time I've made eggplant parmesan I baked it. This time I wanted the real deal. I decided to try pan frying it in coconut oil since research shows it's a more healthy oil, especially for frying. Coconut oil has been said to be linked with weight loss, healthy skin and some even claim it's the healthiest oil on Earth. It's great for cooking at high temperatures too. So here's the recipe.... Please comment if you try it!
Eggplant Parmesan Stacks with Goat Cheese
1 medium eggplant
1 container crumbled goat cheese (about 8 oz)
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1 large can crushed tomatoes (be sure the brand you buy does not have added sugars! Check the ingredients. I buy Hunt's.)
2 cloves garlic chopped (I use a garlic press)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil
3 Tablespoons Fresh Oregano
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley
2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
Fresh ground pepper
- Cut both ends off of the eggplant. Since the skin of eggplant is kind of tough and waxy, use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to remove some of the skin. Place the eggplant with on of the cut sides down on the cutting board and thinly slice off the skin from top to bottom. Your eggplant will look striped after you're done. Slice eggplant into slices just thicker than a 1/4 of an inch and place on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let eggplant sweat at room temperature for about 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
- Wisk eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Mix bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon basil, Parmesan and a dash of salt and pepper in another bowl and set aside. In large skillet, combine crushed tomatoes, garlic, about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper and all of the rest of your herbs. Simmer on medium-low heat until ready to serve.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon oregano and goat cheese in a separate small bowl and set aside.
- Place coconut oil in a large skillet and heat on medium for about 5 minutes. Pat eggplant with a paper towel to make sure it's dry before beginning your batter process. Dip one slice of eggplant at a time into the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture. Place battered slice in the heated oil. Cook on each side about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Place one slice of cooked eggplant on a plate and spread goat cheese mixture on top. Place another slice of cooked eggplant on that piece to create your stack. I stacked 4 pieces of eggplant because we were sharing it off of one plate, but you can stack as many or as little as you wish.
- Cover your eggplant stack with desired amount of sauce and ENJOY!
Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be Balanced.