Sunday, September 23, 2012

Eggplant Parmesean

Listen!  When I find a good vegan counterpart for any dish, I have to make it known.  And this one is it.  There is something very wonderful about food that I have realized.  All the wonderful flavors that make any dish delicious and satisfying really come from the vegetables and herbs.  Flavors can be recreated through different combinations.  So you can get a meaty flavor from some combo of beans and fresh seasonings or a cheesy flavor from something like cashews and other ingredients.  I think what your taste buds are really looking for is simply the flavor and it doesn't really matter how it gets it. This dish is some deliciousness.  Let's do this:

What you will need:

A jar/can of marinara sauce ( I bought mine from Trader Joe's)
1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
1 eggplant
1 slice of bread
1 cup of cashews
juice of one lemon
1 -1 and 1/2 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 red bell pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil for brushing

Opening a can of marinara sauce yardie (Jamaican) style.
Please do not try this at home!......if you've never done this before.  
I'd rather not get a call from a lawyer.  :)

Heat sauce on the stove until steaming.  I like to infuse my sauces even more if I think it needs it so I added 2 cloves of garlic, garlic powder, a little more Italian seasoning and a tiny bit more salt.  The sauce you buy may be good as gold, so this may not be necessary.  I'm just obsessed with garlic.

Meanwhile, blend cashews, water, lemon, nutritional yeast, salt and red bell pepper until smooth.   

 Blend bread, flour and Italian seasoning in a food processor into crumbs. 

Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Brush the eggplant with olive oil on one side.

Cover the eggplant slice in crumbs until eggplant is coat.  Repeat coating and crumbing for other side.

 Place coated eggplant on a baking tray and bake for 15 - 20 mins at 375 degrees.

Lay breaded eggplant in the same arrangement in the baking dish and cover with the hot sauce.   Pour cashew cheese sauce over the marinara sauce and bake at 400 degrees for 3-5 mins or until cheese darkens.  Once out of the oven, let sit for 15 mins.

It almost looks like cheese, doesn't it?  Craziness.

Serve with whole wheat or any other grain pasta.  The Garden in a Bowl salad goes great with this.

*Eggplant is a delicate vegetable, so you don't want to overcook it. This is why I am keeping it to 20 - 35 mins max.  If you cook it too much, it will become a bit rubbery. It will still taste great but texture won't be as wonderful as it could be.
Time to eat!


Now, I'm happy. 


Thank you for reading!  My people, I appreciate you all so much.  Be healthy and happy.  Ciao!

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