Friday, July 6, 2012

Lightened Up Eggplant Tower

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Servings: 5
Serving Size: 1 Tower plus 1/4 cup Sauce
WW Points+: 5        Calories: 191.8        Total Fat: 6.2 g

Crispy baked eggplant slices are layered with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese then topped with a cheesy ricotta marinara sauce.

I love eggplant parmesan but wanted to do something different with the eggplant I bought at the little farm stand down the road. So I decided to do a sort of deconstructed/towering eggplant parm :) The fresh tomatoes and fresh basil really gave it a lot of flavor and the ricotta marinara sauce was perfect for dipping. You'll notice that the recipe calls for shredded mozzarella cheese. I used shredded and sliced simply because I didn't have enough of both. The Sargento reduced fat shredded mozzarella has less points and is easier to divide evenly among the towers, so I also used it when calculating the nutritional information. Next time I make this, I'm going to use all shredded cheese. 

These little towers would be perfect alongside whole wheat pasta or with a salad. I had one, by itself, for lunch and it was just the right amount. I reheated them for Matt when he got home from work and they reheated really well in the microwave, but if you have time, I suggest reheating them in the oven so they don't get too soggy. 



   For the Eggplant
  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 3/4 cup Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup Seasoned Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • Cooking Spray
  • 6 oz (1 1/2 cups) Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 12 Basil Leaves
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced (12 slices total)
For the Sauce:
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Onions, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 14 oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup Sargento Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place wire racks onto two large baking sheets and lightly spray with cooking spray. 

Peel the Eggplant and slice it into 18 slices. Mix together Panko Breadcrumbs, Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs, Salt and Pepper into a shallow dish. I used a pie plate. In a second shallow dish beat together Egg Whites and Water.

Dip each slice into the Egg Whites, shake off any excess, then dip in the breadcrumbs and coat them evenly. Place onto the wire racks. Once all slices have been breaded, lightly spray the tops with cooking spray and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. 

While the eggplant slices are baking, begin the sauce. Heat Olive Oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Saute Onions and Garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add Crushed Tomatoes, Oregano, and chopped Basil. Reduce to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in Ricotta Cheese and stir until it has melted. Keep heat on low until ready to serve. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Remove the Eggplant slices from the oven. When slightly cooled, remove the wire racks from the baking sheet. Place 6 of the largest slices onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each slice with the Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, and top it with a Basil leave and a Tomato Slice. 

Top each one with another Eggplant Slice, Cheese, Basil, and Tomato. Then top that with the last Eggplant Slice, and the remaining cheese. You should have 6 towers each with 3 eggplant slices, two basil leaves, two tomato slices, and 1 ounce of cheese. Return to the oven and bake at 400 F until the cheese is melted. 

Pour a little sauce onto the bottom of the plates and place an Eggplant tower in the center. You can drizzle the remaining sauce on top or simply dip the eggplant as you eat it. 

Love, Monica

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  1. This looks delicious. Can't wait to give it a try!

    1. Thanks Julie! I hope you like it! :)

  2. I just want to dive into a plate of that right now! I've always liked eggplant parm, but it's too heavy for my delicate digestion. I can't wait to try this out!

    1. Haha thank you! It is much lighter than traditional eggplant parm and tastes really fresh and light because of the fresh herbs and tomatoes. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. I have made this countless times since seeing it last year...for my husband, aunt and uncle, my coworker, and my grandparents! Every time it's a huge hit and I can't thank you enough for helping me feed my family healthy, yummy foods. This recipe IS WICKED YUMMY! -JD


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