I remember, my Grandma, serving eggplant casserole on special occasions. She didn't make it all the time, but it was one of my favorites. My dad had a garden most summers, and we'd use his home-grown eggplant. I didn't make it very often as an adult because it's quite fattening and not too healthy. I've figured out a way to adapt the recipe to make it less fattening and a lot healthier. I now enjoy this comfort food more knowing it won't add to the waistline.
Grandma's Healthy Eggplant Casserole
I usually make large batches at one time. I have 5 in my house. Two of them are teenage boys. They eat a lot! You can cut the recipe in half if you only have 3 or 4 in your house. I always say, adapt your recipes to suit you.
2 Eggplants~ I like mine eggplants firm, dark purple, and blemish-free. I know that's a tall order, but I'm picky. You can use a slightly older eggplant as long as it's not mushy and spotty.
Salt~ Use several tablespoons. I'll tell you what to do with it later.
½ a Small Onion~ Finely chopped
1 cup Cheddar Cheese~ This is where the recipe can get dicey. You could use regular full fat sharp cheddar cheese. Since this is a recipe for Healthy Eggplant Casserole, we'll have to make a change with the cheese. You have a couple of options. 1) You can use skim cheddar cheese. 2) You can use shredded veggie cheese. I like to use the veggie cheese it has a better flavor to me than the skim cheddar cheese, but the choice is yours.
Black Pepper~ To taste
2 Eggs Beaten~ You may use regular eggs, but I like to use Eggland's Best or any brand that is hormone, antibiotic, and cage free. You may also use egg beaters if you'd like less cholesterol.
Cracker or Bread Crumbs~ There are several options for this one. My grandma used Ritz Crackers or the French's Fried Onion Rings, both, not so healthy. I have used toasted Genesis Bread Crumbs. I love this bread. It's whole sprouted grain bread. You can find it in the freezer section of the health food section of the grocery store. Ritz now has a whole wheat cracker that tastes really good, and is not as unhealthy as the regular Ritz. What ever choice you make for crumbs make sure you have plenty on hand. I can't give exact measurements, but you'd probably be fine with 2 cups or so.Preparation:
Peel eggplant and cut in chunks. I use a paring knife. The skin is too tough to use a vegetable peeler. Get a bowl and put the chunks in a bowl. Cover the chunks with water and lots of salt like Anne Burrell from the Food Network does. Soak the eggplant in the salted water for about15 minutes. Dump the eggplant in a colander and rinse in cold water. Boil the eggplant in water for about 5-10 minutes until tender. Take out a casserole dish and the eggplant, salt to taste, onion, pepper, cheese, and some crumbs (Make to save some for the top.) Pour beaten eggs over all and top with the remaining cracker crumbs. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350° or until the crumbs are golden brown.
Makes about 6-8 servings.