Tuesday, February 19, 2008

SusanV's Vegan Eggplant "Parmesan"

Today is one of those days where I don't really feel like talking to anyone for some reason. So I had to psych myself up a bit to post.

Which means you owe me one.

You can reward me in the form of $100-bills sent directly to my house. Please contact me for my address.

Anyways, I made this lasagna a few weeks ago. And although it looks like something from a really bad B-movie like The Blob or something, it was really quite tasty.

(Ever notice that lasagna and anything with slippery lubed-up layers is a far cry from photogenic on the first day it's out of the oven? I hate that.)

This recipe is a very good one, though I will admit it didn't exactly satisfy my cravings for old-school eggplant parmesan. (However, SusanV says just that in her intro to the recipe, so I intend that not so much as a complaint as a warning, in case you were looking for something more traditional.) It's moreso the classy older sister of old-school eggplant parm, if you want to get technical. Instead of slabs of cheez, it has a decadent creamy sauce. Instead of breading, it is dusted with breadcrumbs. It kind of sashays when it walks. Wears heels instead of the typical Chucks. Doesn't slouch in its seat or chew on its hair. Etc.

So yeah: DO check the recipe out because it's well worth your while. (I actually found myself a bit smitten with the tomato sauce alone--it's tasty over plain ol' spaghetti noodles.) Just don't whip it up on a day where you haven't combed your hair or crawled out of your pajamas and just feel like eating brethren of comfort foods like mac n' cheese, peanut butter crackers, or toast.

Oh, and one more head's up: The only issue I had with this recipe was regarding the breadcrumbs. I must've used the SMALLEST two pieces of whole-grain bread for my breadcrumbs because they BARELY covered anything. So I would suggest overdoing it and going for 4. Unless you have bread the size of a small baby, in which case two should suffice.

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 2-4 pieces of whole grain bread, toasted and made into breadcrumbs

  • 2-3 T. soy parmesan (or ground almonds)

  • fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

  • olive oil spray

  • Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 1 t. oregano

  • 1/2 t. basil

  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth

  • 2 t. tomato paste

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • "Cheese" Sauce:

  • 1/2 c. extra-firm silken tofu

  • 1/2 c. unsweetened soy milk (I used plain soy milk, and it tasted just fine)

  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth

  • 2 T. cashew butter or tahini

  • 1 t. onion powder

  • 1.5 T. nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 t. salt (optional)

  • 1/8 t. white pepper

  • 2 t. corn starch


Salt the eggplant slices and put them in a colander to drain.

Prepare the tomato sauce by sautéing the onion in a non-stick saucepan until it becomes translucent (you may use a little water if you like). Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the remaining tomato sauce ingredients, and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Prepare the cheese sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Blend again right before using to make sure that the ingredients haven't separated.

Rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with paper towels. Spray a baking sheet lightly with olive oil and place the slices on it (you may have to do this in two batches). Spray the tops lightly and place under the broiler. Watch carefully, and remove when the slices start to brown, about 3 minutes.

Assemble the casserole: Preheat the oven to 350. Spray or wipe an 8x8-inch non-metal baking dish with a small bit of olive oil. Place half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish, edges overlapping. Sprinkle with half the breadcrumbs. Spoon half the tomato sauce and pour half the cheese sauce over the breadcrumbs and sprinkle lightly with soy parmesan. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients (reserving some bread crumbs for on top, as mentioned above). Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, until
slightly browned on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving.

Serves 4.

(Original recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen)

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