Thursday, June 17, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

My husband and I were very excited about eating our salad last night, because the lettuce was fresh from our own garden. This is our first year to grow lettuce, and I have to say it was delicious! The broccoli, green beans and squash were fresh from the farmers market. This is the first year I have really enjoyed going to the farmers market. I guess because my eating habits have changed so much. Also, this was my first time to try fresh broccoli. Wow, I am going to be having a lot of "first times" on my new vegan journey. I get so excited when I try new things, and it actually tastes really good. :o) Here’s a picture of our salads. I should have taken a picture of the lettuce before I made it into the salad (it was so pretty), but I didn’t think about it until it was too late. Yes, I had to take a picture of my husband’s salad too. His has chicken on it, but he enjoyed it and that’s all that matters. ;-)

My main entree was eggplant parmesan. I got the recipe from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. I actually made my own version of the sauce though. I had some left over veggies in the refrigerator, so I just threw some things together to make the sauce. Believe it or not, it still turned out great. I also omitted the soy parmesan, as I didn’t have any. I have to tell you that this was my first time ever to eat eggplant parmesan. I know… it’s hard to believe. :o)

For my non vegan friends…feel free to use mozzarella cheese in place of the cheese sauce. Here’s the recipe.

1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick 3 pieces of whole grain bread, toasted and made into breadcrumbs 2-3 tbsp. 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 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Cheese Sauce

1/2 cup extra-firm silken tofu
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. cashew butter or tahini
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. 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 (I used a little olive oil for sautéing). Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the remaining tomato sauce ingredients, and cook for 15-20 minutes.

For 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 8×8-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.

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