Eggplant Parmesan

This casserole is much better if it has sat overnight in the refrigerator.
So, you may choose to do the preparations on one day and the baking and
serving on another day. This casserole freezes quite well.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

3 small eggplant, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup bread crumbs (Italian seasoning one - onion, garlic, oregano,
basil, parsley, thyme, mint)
Non-stick cooking spray
Tomato sauce mixture (see below, or use a well-seasoned
prepared jar/canned version)
6 tbsp nonfat Parmesan/Romano cheese, shredded
6 tbsp nonfat Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Tomato Sauce Mixture:

1-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (depending on your preference)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 tsp oil
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
1 large can of tomato puree
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp each of oregano, basil, parsley. thyme, mint (optional),
crushed red pepper (optional)

Pour half the vegetable broth in one shallow bowl and pour half the bread
crumbs into another shallow bowl. Have an empty plate beside these two
bowls. Dip the sliced eggplant in the vegetable broth. Dip slice into the
breadcrumbs, coating each side evenly. Put the breaded eggplant in the dish.
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray & preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put one layer of breaded eggplant in the pan. Cook each side until golden brown.
(Since slices are so thin, they cook quite quickly--less than 5 minutes if the
oven is preheated.) Line a flat plate with paper towels. Using a fork put cooked
eggplant in the paper lined dish to drain. Repeat above steps until all the
eggplant is baked. Once all the eggplant is cooked & drained, you have the
choice of stopping here & refrigerating the eggplant overnight or continuing
the process. Lightly spray a casserole with cooking spray.. Pre-heat oven to
375 degrees. Using a large cooking spoon, put a thin layer of the tomato
sauce mixture in the casserole pan. Place a layer of the cooked eggplant on top
of the sauce mixture. Add a thin layer of the sauce mixture over the eggplant.
Lightly sprinkle grated parmesan/romano cheese over the sauce. Depending
upon how cheesy you wish this to be, you can now add a thin sprinkling of
mozzarella cheese or reserve the mozzarella only for the top of the casserole.
Continue (eggplant, sauce, cheese, eggplant….) until the casserole is about 1/4
inch below the rim). On the top layer of the casserole, completely cover the
top with mozzarella cheese (slices, slivers, etc are okay). Bake in a 375 degree
oven for approximately 20-25 minutes. Do not let top layer of cheese burn.

Tomato Mixture: Put oil in the bottom of a sauce pan with the finely chopped
onion & garlic. Sauté until the onion and garlic are lightly browned. Depending
on your preference you can keep the garlic & onion in the pan or remove at
this point. Slowly, add the crushed tomato, tomato puree, & tomato paste. Sprinkle
the oregano over the top of the tomato, covering the surface. Mix it in. Repeat
using the parsley. Lightly sprinkle in the remaining ingredients. Mix in. Cover
pan, lower heat. Cook at a medium-low heat for 3-5 hours, stirring frequently.

POINTS: 4