This low calorie eggplant casserole recipe is super healthy and super delicious. Forgo fattening pasta and cheese and experience intense flavor that is equally as satisfying. This is perfect as a side dish or a main meal and counts as a few veggie servings.
Yesterday, I made a trip to one of my favorite places to shop – our local farmer co-op community market. They carry all sorts of fresh produce, dairy, eggs, meat and even baked goods. It’s so much fun to go a few times a week and see what they have available as their inventory is always changing. For example, yesterday I picked up 1 lb organic ground beef that is grass fed. Grass fed beef is an incredible meat without added hormones and guess what? It’s low calorie and low-fat. Most cows are fed corn and corn fattens them up (one of the reasons why I try to avoid corn at all costs!), these cows were fed grass and their meat is very lean yet very tender and flavorful. Just 4 oz run around 200 calories with a lot less fat than regular ground beef. I also picked up some eggplant and some freshly picked swiss chard, which is one of my favorite braising greens. On my drive home, my creative juices began flowing and when I got home, I threw together the following recipe for dinner. It’s so good and so healthy that you’ll feel incredibly full and satisfied.
This recipe is very organic friendly, I urge you to use as many organic and locally-grown ingredients as possible.
Serves: 2 or eat it all for a large guilt-free dinner or lunch.
- 1 small eggplant (about 5-6 inches long)
- 1 cup of braising greens (this could be swiss chard, spinach, kale, etc.)
- 1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese
- 1/2 cup of low calorie marinara sauce
- 3 diced kalamata olives (little itty bitty pieces)
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup low-fat bread crumbs
- 1 minced garlic clove
- extra virgin olive oil
- Wash and slice eggplant into 1/3 inch slices.
- Pat slices dry and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake eggplant slices at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until they get brown and are fully cooked.
- Sautee onion slices and minced garlic until they’re caramelized.
- Set onion mixture aside in a bowl.
- In the pan you just used, add more olive oil and sauté braising greens. They’ll be done when they’re wilted.
- Stir back in onion and garlic mixture. Remove from heat.
- When done, remove eggplant from oven and arrange in a baking pan.
- Spread the greens and onion mixture over the eggplant.
- Evenly spread the marinara sauce on top.
- Sprinkle on the minced kalamata olives and feta.
- Add a thin layer of breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs look nice and brown.
Notes and variations:
You can also sneak in additional veggies, such as sliced carrots, steamed green beans, roasted cauliflower, etc. Just cook them first and mix them in with the sauce. I plan on making this later on in the week with another layer of roasted cauliflower – yum!
This low calorie eggplant recipe would also make a fantastic side dish with some baked chicken and a side-salad.
If you want extra protein, add grass-fed organic beef or veggie soy crumbles.