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Living The Mediterranean Lifestyle With Local Food

Healthy Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

egg plant parm close up

There are a few tips to cooking a healthy eggplant parmesan and to living a Mediterranean lifestyle with Anita Heidema and Chef Dario Tomaselli couple from Passion Is Cooking.

First let’s start to be living a Mediterranean lifestyle. First off the Mediterranean lifestyle is not a diet but a way of living. It is summarized as a stress reduced life with healthy relationships and balanced nutrition.

Check out our video from the Jacksonville Buzz https://iwantabuzz.com/community/cuisine/grab-a-bite/the-jacksonville-buzz-with-anita-heidema-and-dairo-tomaselli-from-passion-is-cooking/


3 Tips to a Mediterranean Lifestyles locally.

1. Look to eating more fruits, vegetables (like our in season local eggplant recipe below), whole grains and of course extra virgin olive oil.

2. Enjoying time with friends and family living life.  We have created our International Dinner Club community for travelling foodies to connect. Fun dinner party nights themed packages that are easy to create and to encourage.

dario and anita picnic

3. Being active is so important. Change a few of your daily activities to be more active and build those habits and change that mindset. We realized a few years back that take the bike or walk to 80% of our errands is possible. We schedule time to walk together (walk and talk) and catch up with the day and important for our relationship with each other, family and our friends. Take the stairs whenever possible to increase your activity instead of sitting and watch tv as an activity.

Simple improvements every day for success to a healthy life you feel good in.


Healthy Eggplant Parmesan Recipe + added 3 secrets for success

Video Link

egg plant parm close up

Anita is not a cooked eggplant fan. This version she devoured!!!

Tips- Check out some more tips in this video

  1. Air Fry the larger slivers of the eggplant plant instead of fry.
  2. Drain the eggplant before you air fry.
  3. Let sit for an hour minimum so that is will keep its shape and flavour.

Ingredients: Click here for the Full Recipe with serving adjustments

  • 4 medium size eggplant peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 lt passata di pomodoro
  • 150 gr grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 250 gr grated mozzarella
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 5 gr dry oregano
  • 10 gr of salt for pressing the water out of the eggplant
  • Extra virgin olive oil for seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ clove of garlic thinly sliced


  1. Place the slice eggplant on a colander, sprinkle the 10 gr of salt, lined a paper towel and press them for 2 hours.
  2. In a medium size bowl add the passata, season with salt pepper, dry oregano, garlic and olive oil and set aside.
  3. After 2 hours remove eggplant from colander pat them dry and remove the bitter water
  4. After the eggplant is completely dry you can fry them into a pot with olive oil or air fry them in order to cut down the amount of fat.
  5. Line an oven proof Pyrex, drizzle some olive oil and a small amount of season passata and begin to line the crispy eggplant.
  6. Begin the assembly: eggplant, tomato passata, mozzarella, parmigiano and fresh basil.
  7. Repeat the assembly in order to create 4 layers.
  8. Finish the top layer with tomato passata, grated mozzarella, grated parmigiano and fresh basil.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 400 degrees F. oven for the first 5 minute then lower the oven to 375 degrease F for a remaining 20 minutes.
  10. After the 20 minutes turn your oven to a broiler and let it crisp on the top for 2 to 3 minutes uncovered.
  11. Remove the Eggplant Parmigiana from the oven and let it rest for 2 hours before cutting it, in order to allow all the liquid to set.
  12. Buon Appetito.

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Meet Anita & Dario

As a a Rich Life Strategist & Health Advocate (Anita) and World-Renowned, Multilingual Italian Chef (Dario), we have so much to share with you! Our healthy and passionate Mediterranean lifestyle and mindset initiatives will inspire you to create a lifestyle focused on simple changes that brings you joy and lead to health, happiness, and longevity.

We’ve integrated our skills with global culinary techniques, recipes, nutrition, and mindset adjustments to show you exactly how to do this. It’s time to feel more confident and have more fun in the kitchen again, while re-discovering the world and re-connecting with the ones you love. Best of all, this creates a ripple effect and re-ignites other facets in your life.

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