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Eggplant "Obama"san

“My dad is my favorite person in the world. This year he is not only my dad but also my 4th grade teacher,” says Jack. “A few years ago my dad was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Since then we have tried to change our eating habits and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Before his diagnosis, one of his favorite dishes was always Eggplant Parmesan. My mom and I decided to try to make a healthier version of this dish that we all could enjoy without feeling an ounce of guilt.” - Jack Newkirk, Age 9, Nevada

Makes 4 Servings


  • 2 eggplants, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil  
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound spicy or sweet turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a melon baller, remove the meat of the eggplant. Reserve the hollowed out eggplants. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the eggplant balls for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside on paper towels to drain.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and eggplant balls and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, for about 7 minutes, or until lightly brown. Add 1 ½ cups of the crushed tomatoes, and the breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. In a large baking dish, spread the remaining ½ cup of crushed tomatoes, and then top with the hollowed out eggplant. Scoop the cooked sausage mixture into the eggplants, and top with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with the basil leaves. Cover the dish with foil and bake about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and enjoy!  

362 calories; 7g fat; 22g carbohydrates; 30g protein

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