Are you a stress eater? I tend to reach for goodies when I'm stressed out, but obviously that's not a good habit so instead I try to channel that desire to eat into something else. So instead I start cleaning like a maniac....now to some people who know me that may not sound surprising. However, the truth is that I am more of a "neat freak" not a "clean freak" - meaning my house is almost always tidy but it's not clean. For instance, if you were to look at the tops of my curtains there is most likely good layer of dust, or if you look closely at the ceiling in the half bath you'll probably see cobwebs. I like everything to be tidy and put away, but as far as the real cleaning goes.....I'm just not into it!
Anyway, I was a little stressed out recently, but I was tired too so cleaning to relieve the stress wasn't doing it for me. So I turned to food, but instead of unhealthy stuff I decided to make one of my favorite things to eat in hopes that it would give me a little comfort - eggplant Parmesan. I loooove eggplant Parmesan....it's like lasagna but better because it's healthier! Even though I bread my eggplant slices before cooking them and assembling the dish, I don't fry them - instead the breaded eggplant slices are baked in the oven. I don't really like breaded and fried eggplant....too greasy for me. Cook up some garlic bread to go with this delicious meal and I promise it will comfort you too!
2 large eggplants3 cups tomato sauce (homemade or bought is fine – I like to make a meat sauce with mushrooms in it for this dish)
8 oz sliced mozzarella
2-4 cups (start with 2 and add more if needed) of seasoned breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and coat each pan with olive oil (it’s easier if you spread it around with your fingers). Peel and slice eggplant about a ¼ inch thick. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs with about a tablespoon of water. Pour 2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs on a plate and set aside. You will dip all the eggplant in the egg mixture and then dredge in the bread crumbs and set each piece onto the baking sheets. Once you’ve finished this process you will need to drizzle a little olive oil on top of each piece of eggplant. Place in oven and cook for about a ½ hour, turning each slice of eggplant after 15 minutes. The eggplant should be a nice golden brown, so increase your cooking time if need be.
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon about a ½ cup of sauce onto the bottom of the pan, then add one layer of the cooked eggplant. Top the eggplant sauce and then the sliced mozzarella, and repeat process with more eggplant/sauce/cheese (mine is usually 3-4 layers high, depending on the deepness of the dish I’m using). The last layer will be just the eggplant topped with sauce, then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, and end with a layer of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for about a ½ hour or until hot and bubbly.