Low Carb Eggplant Parmesan With Goat Cheese

Hey loves!

I hope you all are doing well! I've been really testing out ton of recipes that are low carb/keto-friendly. My husband and I have been eating low carb for a couple months now in order to jump start our weight loss goals. For the longest time, we ate the typical Ketogenic diet staples; eggs, avocados, grass-fed dairy, fatty cuts of meat and copious amounts of green leafy vegetables. We found rapid success in our health. Both of us shed pounds like crazy, not to mention both of us experienced improvement in our blood pressure, blood sugar, mental focus and, most importantly, we both stopped snoring at night!

Now, 2 months later, we are getting tired of the staples. I started doing my homework and found out about the Keto-friendly hacks for low carb versions of traditionally high carb foods. Long story short, if you love breaded foods and are on a low carb diet, almond flour and coconut flour are your friends. Using these unconventional flours, I have learned how to make bread, cakes, cookies and more that are all good for a low carb lifestyle.

That leads me into the featured recipe. In the previous post, I mentioned that I was making Eggplant Parmesan. Among the dishes that I have missed for a long time, Eggplant Parmesan is up near the top. The crispy breaded and fried slices of fresh eggplant, served along with a tangy and savory marinara and topped with fresh basil and, of course, Parmesan cheese. Ah! So good!

So, when going low carb so one evening, I was craving some good pasta but I didn't want to kick myself out of Ketosis. I went in my fridge and asked myself "What can I cook to satisfy my craving for pasta?"

I saw two baby eggplants shining bright and purple in our fridge and decided to make Eggplant Parmesan. The end result is that I fell in love with this dish so much that I made my non eggplant-eating husband try it. He loved it so much that he had it for dinner and lunch the next day. With such a positive result I decided to share this recipe with all my low carb babes. Even if you aren't working the low-carb lifestyle, I promise you will still enjoy this! Let's get started:

List of Ingredients:

Eggplant - 2 Baby Eggplants (I find that baby eggplants have a softer skin and cut easier with a fork)
Goat Cheese - 1 Cup, Crumbled
Basil - 1 Cup, Thinly Sliced
Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 Cup, Shredded
Marinara Sauce - 1 Cup (I made my own low carb sauce in the previous post)
Grapeseed Oil - 1/2 Cup (I used it for frying the eggplant)

Breading Ingredients:

Almond Flour - 1 Cup
Old  Bay Seasoning - 1 Tablespoon
Garlic Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Pepper - 1/2 Teaspoon, freshly ground
Paprika - 1/4 Teaspoon
Salt - 1/3 Teaspoon

Eggs - 2 Eggs
Basil - 1 Teaspoon, Dried
Pinch of Salt

Darius Rucker sang about Fried Green Tomatoes, let us sing about Fried Purple Eggplant!

So, the first step is to get the ingredients prepped. Slice the Eggplant in uniform slices, about 1/4 inch thick if you can but not much thinner. Also, slice up the basil in thin strips and crumble your goat cheese.

Also, mix up the dry ingredients for the breading in a decent sized bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs to make an egg wash. With everything prepped, set up your workstation, starting closest to the stove: Get a pan on the stove on medium-high heat with the grapeseed oil warming up. Then set the bowl with the breading mixture next to it. Then the egg wash goes next to that. On the other side of the pan, you will want a plate, lined with paper towels, to catch the finished eggplant. You should also set your oven to preheat to about 340 degrees F and get your marinara sauce warming up slowly in a small pot.

With your assembly line ready to go and the oil heated up, go ahead and dip a slice of the eggplant in the egg. Let the egg coat the vegetable completely then transfer it to the breading. The egg wash will make the breading stick to the exterior of the eggplant. Then transfer the breaded eggplant to the hot oil. Be careful to avoid splashing the oil and accidentally burning yourself or setting fire to the pan. In fact, I would suggest using a pair of tongs to handle the food if you have trouble using your hands.

Once you've got a few slices in the pan, let them cook for a couple minutes. Using tongs, flip the eggplant slices when you start to see the breading start to brown around the edges of the bottom. The eggplant should look like the picture above, nice and golden brown. Let the eggplant cook for another couple minutes to brown the other side then take it out and place it on the plate with the paper towels.

And continue the process until all of the eggplant is utilized. If you need to do so at some point, add another egg to the wash or add some more flour and seasonings to the breading. I had plenty of everything to coat all of my eggplant but you never know.

Don't worry about the eggplant being cooked all the way through at this point because we are going to bake it now.

Eggplant Parm... with goat cheese!

Lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish. I actually used the pie dish that you can see in the above picture. Inside the dish, spoon in enough of your marinara to make a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Then, place a single layer of your eggplant on top of the sauce. Over the eggplant, put about a tablespoon of the marinara and spread it around a bit. Then on top, layer on some goat cheese, then Parmesan cheese, then sliced basil, then another layer of goat cheese. Once again refer to the above picture to see how it should look. If it looks like that, go ahead and slide the dish into the oven. Set your timer to 35 minutes and chill for a bit. Everyone's oven is different, so near the 20-25 minute mark, I would start checking it every few minutes.

Oh Em Gee Yummy!

At the end of your cooking time, get your eggplant out and let it start to cool. While it is cooling, slice up a few basil leaves and garnish your eggplants with it. Now take a step back and enjoy your work!

And that wraps it up for this recipe! They say that you eat with your eyes before you do with your mouth. If that is true, then don't fill up on sights alone! Close your eyes and take a bite and enjoy the soft and warm eggplant surrounded by the crispy coating of the breading, flavored by the (hopefully) homemade marinara, tangy goat cheese and slightly licorice-y flavor of the fresh basil.

This is a perfect date night dish, if I do say so myself, with a nice glass of sweet wine and an unseasonably cool summer evening. If you liked this as much as my husband and I, please leave a comment and share with your friends. Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

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