Paleo Eggplant Parm – this is an 80/20 Paleo recipe.
I know what you’re thinking.
Is cheese paleo? Isn’t this a paleo food blog ? Can she use cheese??
Before you ditch me and my blog, I ask you to think a little deeper.
Are all cheeses made equal?
If you are NOT lactose intolerant, like me, can you eat cheese – good & real cheese – and still be paleo?
We are talking about raw, grass-fed, organic cheese here as opposed to the cheese slices that come in plastic wraps and contain vegetable oil and for some interesting reason, they have the same shape, size and form.
I found two helpful articles published on Robbo Wolf’s and Mark Sisson’s websites, discussing their takes on the paleo diet with dairy/cheese. I strongly recommend that you read them because these two articles will help you understand the essence of being paleo on a deeper level.
I tend to share topics on a lighter level – often involving my personal life – with my readers but today, I think it’s important to discuss the essence of being paleo, and where I stand on this diet, in broader strokes.
We all know that paleo encourages people to eat real, organic, non-processed whole foods and say no to frankenfoods, foods with added sugar, corn syrup, and other unnatural ingredients.
I think it’s safe to say that ancestors from different continents are very likely to have had different food available for consumption (i.e. ancestors from south East Asia v.s. northern Europe). So to judge paleo food lists solely based on what our ancestors ate seems to over generalized the true meaning/spirit of being primal.
Although growing up in Asia cheese and dairy were not major components in my diet, I do occasionally like to incorporate them in cooking such as this super yummy recipe below.
So if you are not lactose intolerant, depending on your sensitivity, this recipe definitely reminds me of pizza without the crust – gooey melting cheese, creamy buttery eggplant, garlicky and spicy chicken meat sauce.
Just don’t blame me if people call you non-paleo. :))
- 8 ounces grass fed organic mozzarella cheese sliced
- Additional basil leaves before serving
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Half one whole onion chopped
- 3 small cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme or dill weed or oregano
- 14.5 oz canned diced tomato
- 2 tsp tomato paste no sugar added
- 1 whole head garlic
- 3 tsp olive oil divided
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 3 medium size Italian eggplants
- 1 -2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the eggplants in half. Rub the cut side with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the cut side down in a large baking tray lined with non-stick parchment paper.
Bake with garlic clove (see below) in 425F for 40-45 mins.
Slice the head/tip of the garlic clove & drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil and sea salt. Wrap in aluminum foil wrap and bake with eggplants in the oven for 425F for 40-45 mins.
While the eggplants are in the oven: heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute garlic and onion until caramelized.
Add ground chicken, bay leaf and dry thyme. Continue to brown the meat until the color changes.
Add tomato and tomato paste. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 15 mins. Stir occasionally until the sauce is thickened. Set aside to cool.
Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves and mash with a fork. Mix well with chopped basil, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp olive oil, and parmesan cheese.
Rub the eggplants (cut side) with garlic basil paste. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese if desired. Bake the eggplants for an additional 5 minutes in 425F.
Then add meat sauce (stuff the meat in the middle of the eggplants). Layer on slices of mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 10 -15 minutes in 425F. Serve warm with fresh basil.