Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 December, 2013: Eggplant Parmesan

It’s the last Daily Vegan Lunch!  No. 365!!

vegan eggplant parmesan IMG_3932
This recipe uses a modified version of tofu parmesan from Jo Stephaniak’s Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, which I highly recommend.

“Normal” eggplant parmagiana at Olive Garden is 850 calories per serving, which is fairly staggering. It gets worse because there are 35 grams of fat in that serving, the majority of which are coming from carcinogenic cheese!  Now we see the reason vegans are an average of 40 pounds lighter than everyone else.

This recipe only gets fat from tahini (sesame seed butter) and from greasing the pan for the crunchy eggplant cutlets, which you don’t technically need to do.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium sized eggplant, cut into slices

1 tablespoon egg replacer plus 1/4 cup water OR 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 1/2 cup of water.  If using flaxseed meal, blend it in the food processor for a smoother consistency.

1.5 cups breadcrumbs or panko
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste

FOR THE PARMESAN:

1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup firm tofu
2 tablespoons tahini or cashew butter
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the egg replacer or flaxseed meal with water, set aside in a small bowl.

Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, herbs, and salt and spread the mixture on a plate.

Cut the eggplant into 3/4 inch slices and coat first in egg-replacer or flaxseed wash, then coat with breadcrumbs as thickly as possible.

Lay the cutlets on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the parmesan sauce.  Combine onions, arrowroot, tofu, tahini, nutritional yeast, water, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until liquified and completely smooth.

Transfer the liquid to a small pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, 3 – 5 minutes.

Take the eggplant cutlets out of the oven, flip them over, and spoon thickened parmesan on them.  Put them back into the oven for about 10 more minutes.

Serve with cooked spaghetti and marinara sauce.

My husband said he really liked these.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 27 October, 2013: White Bean Hummus and Roasted Vegetable Pizza

I could have used store-bought hummus, I suppose. It can get expensive though as this recipe calls for 2 cups of the stuff. Considering how cheap beans are, you are better off making your own hummus, at least where this recipe is concerned.

I’m sure this would be just as good with chickpea hummus.

vegan white bean hummus and roasted veggie pizza

INGREDIENTS:

1 store bought pizza crust or pre-cooked pizza crust
1 eggplant
1 sweet red bell pepper
1 zucchini

HUMMUS INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a lemon’s juice (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the eggplant into small chunks, the red pepper into slices (discard the seed and the stem/core), and slice the zucchini. There is no need to skin the zucchini or the eggplant. Roast the vegetables on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Combine all hummus ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Spread the hummus on the pizza crusts and evenly top with roasted vegetables. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 15 September, 2013: Kimdian Eggplant Tomato Masala

vegan indian less oil eggplant masala

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon oil

1 eggplant, roasted and peeled

4 fresh tomatoes, chopped roughly

1.5 cup sliced onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)

SPICES

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1/4 teaspoon fennel

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

hot peppers, to taste or hot sauce

Salt to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

Why pre-roast eggplant?

I like to pre-roast eggplant because if you just fry raw eggplant, eggplant absorbs oil like there’s no tomorrow.  If I pre-roast it, I feel I have much more control over how much oil is in my final dish so I don’t end up with a gross oily pool.  As much as I like Indian restaurant cuisine, it usually has way too much oil for me, case in point the last time I ordered Indian cuisine.  I don’t like super-oily food because not only is it fattening, it upsets my stomach.

Poke holes in eggplant with a fork.  Roast whole eggplant on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for one hour.  You can roast it for less time if you like a firmer eggplant.  Once the eggplant is out of the oven and cool, peel the skin off, chop it, and set it aside.

In the meantime, fry onion in oil on medium heat, add all spices.  Add tomato chunks, stir, and allow to cook while the eggplant roasts.  Once tomatoes are bright red and juicy (about 10 minutes) add the garlic.  Allow it to cook about 5 minutes.

Chop the peeled, roasted eggplant and mix thoroughly, serve with bread (I like toasted pita bread) or rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 12 July, 2013: Eggplant Caponata

vegan eggplant caponata

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INGREDIENTS:

5 cups eggplant, chopped
3 cups tomatoes, chopped (I used grape tomatoes)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

Angel hair pasta

DIRECTIONS: In a large covered fry pan or skillet, cook eggplant on medium-high heat with no oil or water. Roast the eggplant, stirring it to flip the pieces every two minutes until sides are sufficiently browned. In a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes and garlic and pulse until they are the texture of chunky salsa. Alternately, chop the tomatoes into a near mince and mince the garlic, set aside. Rinse capers in water, drain. Add tomatoes and garlic to the eggplant pan along with capers, herbs, and salt. Lastly add olive oil, if using. Stir frequently. Cook for 2 minutes or until tomatoes turn bright vibrant red and give off some of their juice.

Serve over angel hair pasta.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 11 July, 2013: Smoky Eggplant Shiitake Stirfry

vegan smoky eggplant shiitake stirfry

vegan smoky eggplant shiitake stirfry

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups eggplant, cubed
1 cup onion
1.5 cups whole shiitake mushrooms, soaked if dried
1.5 cups Beyond Meat chicken or other unchicken chopped small (optional)
2 teaspoons oil

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 Tablespoon vegan Worchestershire sauce (substitute extra T. of soy sauce if unavailable)
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar or 1 teaspoon agave nectar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 drops liquid smoke
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch

Soak the mushrooms at least 10 minutes. Once they are soaked, cut them in half or quarters and set them aside. Chop all ingredients and make the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mixing, set aside. If you want a less-salt version of the sauce, replace soy sauce with reserved soaking water from the mushrooms. In a large skillet or fry pan on medium-high heat, add eggplant to pan with no oil or water. Cover the skillet with a large lid for 2 minutes. Uncover and flip browned eggplant and cover again for 2 more minutes. Repeat the process as many times as you need to brown eggplant evenly. Turn heat to high. Add onion and Beyond Meat, if using. Cook about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and sauce and stir until it thickens. Serve over rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for July 6, 2013: Roasted Walnut Pesto and Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

This is the type of sandwich that you see in restaurants around my area as their sole vegetarian option — often they want to put asiago cheese or parmesan pesto on it (gross) rendering it non-vegan. This uses a delicious dairy free walnut-basil pesto. These sandwiches travel particularly well.

pesto, eggplant, zucchini, and grilled peppers sandwich

IMG_3090

SANDWICH INGREDIENTS:

For each sandwich:

2 slices of wheat bread
1 slice of roasted red bell pepper (I use organic roasted red bell peppers from a jar)
3 slices of baked sliced zucchini
About 1/2 cup worth of roasted eggplant slices
2 tablespoons walnut pesto (recipe below)

PESTO INGREDIENTS:

1.5 to 2 cups fresh basil, washed and plucked off the stems
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Roast the eggplant and zucchini by slicing them in 3/4 inch slices and laying them on an oiled cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, flipping once at 10 minutes, though I usually forget to flip them! If you are using fresh red bell pepper, you can roast that too, just take out the seeds and white pith first. No additional oil is needed on top of the vegetables to make them roast.

Make the pesto by combining all pesto ingredients in a blender. Don’t puree the pesto completely, just puree until it is just smooth, about a minute to a minute and a half. You might have to scrape down the sides as this recipe is for a very thick pesto spread.

Make the sandwich by laying out a small layer of each vegetable and spreading one of the bread slices with 2 tablespoons of pesto.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 4 July, 2013: Clean Dirty Rice

IMG_3082

IMG_3083

vegan dirty rice with eggplant, walnuts, and jalapeños

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked long grain rice (I used basmati)

2 teaspoons oil
1.5 cup onion
2 cups eggplant, unskinned, chopped into 3/4 inch bite size pieces
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers (I used the kind from a jar or can) OR 2 tablespoons green bell pepper

1/4 cup roasted red peppers, minced
1 tablespoon sundried tomatoes, minced OR tomato sauce
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 cup vegetable broth (I used 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon mixed with 1 cup water)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large pan on medium-high, add 2 teaspoons oil. Add walnuts and toast them until browned and fragrant, about two minutes, stirring them to make sure they don’t burn. Add eggplant, onion, and jalapeños to the eggplant. Sauté for about 7 to 10 minutes until onion looks translucent and eggplant starts browning. Stir periodically. Make a well in the center and deposit the garlic in it, allow it to cook there. Dump the sundried tomatoes, red peppers, and thyme on top of cooking garlic and allow to sauté for about a minute.

Turn heat to Low.

Add rice to pan, stirring in gently to break up any rice clumps.

Lastly, mix vegetable broth and soy sauce and pour into the rice/eggplant mix. Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes more until liquid absorbs.

Finish with a sprinkle of black pepper.