Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wickedly Wonderful Eggplant

Remember how I mentioned that I recently discovered my love of eggplant? Well I couldn't be happier that it's my new veggie of choice - especially with Winter coming around the corner (oh yes, I said it!). I actually fell in love with the idea of this eggplant dish when I saw it on We [Heart] Food a couple months ago. Chris and Lisa had adapted a Cooking Light recipe for a cheesy, crispy-baked eggplant lasagne type dish, reducing the cheese factor some more an adding extra veggies without losing the delicious, gooey-baked texture of the original. All I did was make a few more minor changes to make it vegan and suitable for my dietary needs (and tastes!). Instead of green pepper, I used some minced red bells from my garden, and instead of plain white mushrooms I added sliced creminis. I threw in an extra clove of garlic and my own Italian seasoning blend too, and instead of canned tomato sauce I used some of my home made passata. For the cheeses I subbed in Galaxy brand vegan mozzarella and rice parmesan - it was my first time using either of those products and I tell you, I'm in love! I also cut down on the breadcrumb content a wee bit, and used whole wheat crumbs.

I would call this a resounding success... I can't wait to chow down on it for tomorrow's lunch, and I'm definitely going to make it again for school meals throughout the winter! A big thanks to Andrew for his infinite patience and help today with the cooking, I couldn't have done it without you!

Veganized Veggie Bake
Serves 4
1 1/4 lbs eggplant, half-peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup water
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced thinly
1 medium red pepper, diced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
1 cup crushed tomatoes, divided
1 oz shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp grated rice "parmesan"
2 tbsp dry, whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  1. Heat a non-stick grill pan (or broiler).
  2. Salt and pepper eggplant slices lightly.
  3. Grill or broil the eggplant 3 minutes on each side, until browned.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. Heat water in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.
  6. Add onion through mushrooms.
  7. Cover and cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring mixture occasionally.
  8. Increase heat to medium-high. Uncover pan, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until almost all of the liquid evaporates.
  9. Spread half of pan mixture in bottom of a deep baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  10. Arrange half of eggplant slices over mushroom mixture.
  11. Top with half the pepper, half the tomatoes and all the vegan mozzarella.
  12. Spread remaining mushroom mixture over cheese.
  13. Top with remaining eggplant, pepper and tomatoes.
  14. Sprinkle with rice parmesan and breadcrumbs.
  15. Cover dish, and bake 1 hour.
  16. Remove cover, and return to oven for 10 - 15 minutes.
  17. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 132.7
Total Fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 491.1 mg
Total Carbs: 22.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.9 g
Protein: 10.1 g

Also, a shout out to David at Wish I Were Baking... for his interest in my garden! Good luck on your dissertation, and I can't wait to see what that goldfish scarf turns into!

7 comments :

Cakespy said...

Now this looks good!! I am a true eggplant lover. :-) Thank you for playing along with our poll!

Chris said...

Awesome, I like your mods!
Eggplant rules.

ttfn300 said...

Aww man, this is what I should've done with that eggplant!! :) looks fabulous

Anonymous said...

omg !!!! this was fantastic!!! had fun making it with you

Syrie said...

Looks and sounds delicious. I'm going to pass this on to some of my vegan friends. They'll go crazy!

Maggie said...

Looks delicious! I've been collecting pasta free "lasagna" to make and freeze. I'll give this a try.

Dee said...

I love eggplant, this one looks as good as it sounds!!