Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Where was I? If you’ve been keeping up with my blog or know me in any way, then you’re aware I am now living in Boston. Allow me to apologize again for the month of August. There was no Shameless Product Placement and ONE measly post for the entire month. Talk about slacking. See the opening paragraph of the last blog post for further explanation. Bottom line: August, like that three-year old I babysat when I was twelve, totally got away from me. At least I had hurricane Irene to welcome me to New England.I am happy to report I am alive and well.  Finally settled into my apartment, I’ve taken the subway, navigated the city streets on my bike and walked my mid-west butt all over the 2 mile radius that surrounds my overpriced, frat-house adjacent apartment. This new (terrifying) chapter in my life may have repercussions for this blog. I didn’t move to Boston solely for the beautiful Fall foliage and ‘wicked’ clam bakes. Obtaining a MS in nutrition and completing my dietetic internship are all on the docket for the next sixteen months. Hello anxiety.
I’m not one of those people who pretends to have it all together while the pieces of her life crumble internally. I’m more the openly paranoid, borderline neurotic, caffeine dependent type. One finals week during my college career I actually attempted to sleep in a lecture auditorium to negate the time-wasting activities of driving, eating, and bathing. It was going pretty well until the janitor showed up around mid-night and called the department of public safety on me.  Armed with nothing but Twizzlers, notecards, and 4 one-liter bottles of Mountain Dew, the three officers set me free with a warning for loitering. To this day I wonder why three officers were corralled. The greatest danger I posed to anyone in the immediate area would have been a legendary sugar crash. Moving on, I’m afraid the days of weekly blog posts may be on strike for a bit. My obligation is to school and the Stafford Loans keeping me here. I am hoping to continue the blog so don’t lose faith. I only ask for patience.
My relocation has already brought some new challenges in the area of, you guessed it, food. Don’t get me wrong, Boston has some pretty amazing food to offer.  But this girl is as single as it gets, not to mention on a budget, so you better believe I’m not wining and dining every night. Well, maybe a little wine. I have discovered that cultivating some of my familiar favorites isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Not only that, my apartment square footage has been chopped in half and yet I’m paying more in rent. Location, location, location. Yeah, I know. Did I mention my kitchen is less than ten square feet? And with no dish washer, I am quickly adapting to what it means to be kitchen efficient.
Over the last five years I’ve perfected batch cooking. The whole idea is to give myself some options when it comes time for dinner. It goes a little something like this. I make recipes that typically feed six or eight, divide it up into single portions, stick them into Tupperware and freeze. Cashew burgers, lasagna, homemade spaghetti sauce, chili, and chicken enchiladas are just a few of the various dishes I have on hand in my freezer at any one time. This eggplant parmesan is about the easiest thing in the world to make. It freezes, defrosts and reheats without a glitch. Making it in my tiny kitchen was no easy feat so if I can do it, so can you.
Easy Eggplant Parmesan
Serves: 6-8
1 medium-large eggplant
1 egg beaten plus 2 TBS milk
Dried Italian bread crumbs (at least one cup, may need more)
8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4-5 cups of marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. (NOTE: if you wish to peel the eggplant, do it before you start slicing)   Dip each eggplant slice into eggwash, followed by breadcrumbs. Place onto cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until underside is golden brown.  Flip slices over and repeat for another 15 minutes.
Remove eggplant from oven.  In a 13×9 baking dish, cover bottom of pan in marinara.  Next arrange eggplant slices in one layer (some overlapping may be necessary).  Top each eggplant piece with a slice of mozzarella, cover with marinara and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe Note:  I used a combo of italian breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs and it turned out very good.

Happy Cooking

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