Healthier Eggplant Parmesan (GF and Vegan)

 I travel quite a bit for my job, and it can be pretty tiring, plus it means time away from Brett and Rogue. One of the perks (depending on how you look at it) though is that I get to eat out quite a bit. I love to cook if it wasn’t obvious from how much I cook, but getting to eat at salad bars or places like SweetGreen is a treat. As many yummy veggies as you can eat! And as long as I choose healthy choices, I don’t have to worry. Well, this past week I was in Richmond and stopped into WholeFoods to get their delicious salad bar for lunch. When walking into the store, there was an employee taste testing Rao’s marinara. They were having a 2 for $10, or 1 for $5 sale. Rao’s is a specialty sauce that I’ve always wanted to try, but could never justify the cost. It was delicious and it gave me an idea for an eggplant dish.

I was so excited to find this at 50% off, only $5

I was so excited to find this at 50% off, only $5

Eggplants are in season from the summer through the fall, and I found some delicious ones at the grocery store. In addition to the phytonutrients in eggplants, they are also high in fiber, low in calories, and high in the B vitamins and vitamin K.

Eggplants can have a slightly bitter taste, and salting them beforehand can take the bitterness out, plus add a uniformity to their structure while cooking. This isn’t necessary if you’d like to skip the extra salt, or the extra step.

Since eggplant parmesan is quite high in calories and fat, I wanted to make s lighter version. This one has much less oil, no breading and little or no cheese. I served the eggplant over portobello mushrooms, but I also brought some organic whole wheat bread for Brett.

Eggplant Parm over Portobello Mushroom or Whole Wheat Toast

Eggplant Parm over Portobello Mushroom or Whole Wheat Toast

Eggplant Parmesan over Portobello Mushroom

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled, and chopped into 3/4inch pieces
  • Salt if salting eggplant prior to cooking
  • 3 cups of marinara sauce
  • Spices to taste-black pepper is all I used
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Take one tbsp of the olive oil, and rub both sides of the portobello caps with it. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired. Set aside.
  2. Peel and chop the eggplant and place in a colander in the sink. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30min. Rinse the eggplant to remove the excess salt and pat dry.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast the mushrooms for 10 minutes on each side.
  4. While the mushrooms are cooking, saute the other 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the garlic to the oil and cook for :30. Add the rinsed eggplant and cook stirring frequently for 10min.
  6. Once the eggplant has turned from green to brown, add the marinara sauce and cook an additional 5-10min until heated through and mushrooms are done.
  7. Divide the eggplant into 4 servings. Put over the mushrooms or bread.
  8. Sprinkle with additional black pepper and parmesan if using.

Nutrition for 1 portobello mushroom with 1/4 the eggplant

  • 390 kcal
  • 8g of protein
  • 44g of carbohydrate
  • 10g of fiber
  • 21g of fat (from the olive oil, so mostly unsaturated)

Nutrition for 2 slices whole grain bread with eggplant

  • 503kcal
  • 63g carb
  • 23g fat
  • 13g protein


  • By Faith - on

    Cristina this sounds so good. I can’t wait to try it. Please keep the recipes coming… 🙂 I love healthy food! I especially loved the protein pumpkin pancakes…delish!

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