Bulgur Eggplant Parmesan
This traditional Italian favorite gets a new take on health for a total of 15 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein, thanks to a special side. Plus, it's freezer-friendly for up to 4 months!
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Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat panko or bread crumbs
- 6 tbsp low-fat Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 globe eggplants (about 2 1/4 lb total)
- 1 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup bulgur
- 2 medium tomatoes (about 14 oz), cut into large chunks
- 1 tbsp no-salt-added tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic
- 12 large basil leaves, divided
- 1 cup part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place egg whites in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine panko, Parmesan, oregano, garlic powder and salt. Trim ends off eggplants and cut each eggplant crosswise into 6 3/4-inch slices. One at a time, dip eggplant slices in egg whites, then panko mixture, arranging coated slices on prepared baking sheets. Bake until eggplant is tender and golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over high heat, bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in bulgur, cover, turn off heat and set aside for 30 minutes.
- While eggplant is cooking and bulgur is softening, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and 8 basil leaves in a food processor and pulse to make a chunky sauce. Transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove eggplant from oven and preheat broiler. Arrange an oven rack about 8 inches from heating element.
- Spoon tomato sauce over eggplant slices, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella over tomato sauce, dividing it evenly. Use a spatula to place 6 eggplant slices on top of 6 others, making 6 2-slice stacks on 1 baking sheet. Broil until mozzarella is browning on top and melted in the middle, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop or thinly slice remaining 4 basil leaves. Stir basil and pine nuts into bulgur. Serve alongside Eggplant Parmesan.
Nutrients per 1 Eggplant Parmesan stack and 1/2 cup bulgur mixture: Calories: 340, Total Fat: 13 g, Sat. Fat: 2.5 g, Carbs: 54 g, Fiber: 15 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 19 g, Sodium: 410 mg, Cholesterol: 10 mg
Nutritional Bonus: Globe eggplants – aka black bell, purple globe, Western eggplant and American eggplant – are the large dark-purple variety that most people commonly associate with the vegetable. Just don’t confuse them with Italian eggplants, or small globe eggplants, which are a similar purple but smaller and rounded. Nasunin, a potent antioxidant found in the skin of all eggplants, helps protect cell membranes, thus contributing to the healthy functioning of the brain. It is also an anti-aging phytonutrient, aiding in the neutralization of free radicals that cause our bodies to age.
FREEZE THIS RECIPE:
Store Eggplant Parmesan stacks apart from bulgur – in resealable bags or freezer containers – then freeze both for 3 to 4 months. Ideally, leave basil out of any bulgur you’ll be freezing, but it’s not critical. To reheat, defrost in fridge overnight, then wrap Eggplant Parmesan in foil packets, place packets on a rimmed baking sheet and rewarm in oven at 325°F to 350°F until heated through. Bulgur can be reheated in a saucepan over medium-low heat with a little water.