Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grilled Eggplant Stacks

About 3 weeks ago my husband and I decided to greatly (re: nearly completely) reduce our intake of processed sugar and bad carbs. By bad carbs I mean breads, crackers, rice, white potato, pasta... pretty much my favorite food group. Our reason for doing this is to be healthier and to shed some pounds. This is not to say we won't have the occasional no-no, but for the most part this is our new way of eating. A couple of things I'm noticing is that I'm never "bloated" after a meal (and previously I was after nearly every meal), and I'm sleeping through the night and feeling refreshed in the morning. THIS was definitely not happening over the last year or so. I can only conclude that eating whole foods, not centered around starches & sugars, is a very healthy change to my world. I gave up artificial sweeteners last October. I can't imagine going back to those! I don't miss them. I still use 1 tsp. of raw or white sugar in my 1 cup of nespresso nearly every day, so I do take in a small bit of sugar. Considering the amount of sugar I previously consumed in a day, I'm feelin' fine with 1 teaspoon of sugar in my java!

So in our quest for cleaner, healthier, whole foods, I've started experimenting in the kitchen. This week I decided to make one of our family favorites, Eggplant Parmesan, without all the breading and frying. The inspiration was from a dish my husband ordered at a small eatery in New York state. The name of the place escapes me, sorry.

eggplant stacks ready for the oven!


  • Eggplant (sliced 1/4" thick)
  • 1/4 Vidalia onion diced
  • 4 strips of bacon (optional)
  • 1 jar low sugar pasta sauce (or make your own!)
  • 8-10 pc. fresh basil - sliced
  • fresh mozzarella - sliced
  • olive oil for your grill
  • 1 Tbs. fresh grated parmesan reggiano
  • salt, red pepper flakes and ground garlic to taste
Heat oven to 350°F. Fry the bacon and then coarsely chop and set aside, keeping the drippings for sautéing your diced onions. (If you're choosing to skip the bacon, simply use a tablespoon of olive oil in it's place.) Add diced onions to the bacon drippings and sauté on medium-high heat until transparent. While the onions are cooking, oil your cooktop grill, brush one side of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt & red pepper flakes adding them to the grill. Turn eggplant slices once you notice nice grill marks. (About 7 minutes each side.) When the onions are transparent, add your red sauce, fresh basil and chopped bacon. Bring to a simmer and turn off heat.

After all of your ingredients are cooked, it's time to create your stacks... 
I like to spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of my cooking dish. Next comes a layer of eggplant, then mozzarella slice, a little spoonful of sauce and repeat until you've stacked all of your eggplant slices. Top the stacks with fresh parmesan reggiano shavings and bake for about 10 minutes... just long enough to melt the mozzarella. 

Take from the oven, allow to cool a few minutes and enjoy!

I hadn't planned on blogging about this dish when I made it, so I only have one photo. In all honesty, I could have eaten the stacks without baking them, but the melted cheese makes it a bit more like the classic I was trying to mimic. 

Give it a try! If you do, please tell me how you liked it!

Buon appetito!


  1. Bacon is never optional. :) Looks yummy! I have the same feelings about carbs and sugar. I know they'd most likely make me feel better but they're so hard to give up!

  2. These look so yummy. Thanks for sharing how to make these xo