She’s here! (Some of you are probably confusedly thinking–“who is ‘she’ and what on earth does ‘she’ have to do with baked eggplant parmesan stacks?!?!?!”)
“She” is our new–as in 6 weeks new–baby girl K.
Yes, my giant abouttopopforthelast4months belly has finally expelled one of the sweetest baby girls that I’ve ever seen (and I’m not biased at all). While I don’t anticipate taking any more 2-month-long breaks from making up recipes, I can’t say that I’m fully back yet either. Not gonna lie–being a full time stay-at-home-mommy to a 2-year-old and an almost 2-month-old is both wonderful and TOUGH. My goal is to put out a new recipe with pictures at least once a week. That’s the goal. We’ll see if it actually happens. All you mommas out there know exactly what I mean, yes?
When my day has been a messy mix of spit-up on my shirt, poosplosions, breastmilksplosions, a very cluttered living room, and downright exhaustion; I’m very much in need of something consistently knock-your-socks-off delicious.
There’s something about vegan baked eggplant parmesan (okay, so it’s not really parmesan) stacks that is a welcome break from the craziness of newborn + toddler care.
Soooo eggplant. It hasn’t always been my friend. Now it is–thanks to this recipe and my mom.
Basically, the story goes something like this. Mom has eaten a 99.9% vegan diet (she does occasionally use honey) for the last 22 years. In the last few years, she has become more and more conscientious of her refined oil intake, and, most recently, has largely eliminated refined oils from her day-to-day dietary routine. I have always been really skeptical of 100% oil-free cooking. I mean, obviously smoothies, fruit salad, and oatmeal don’t need oil in them. But every once in awhile, I just want to caramelize some onions with a splash of olive oil. Ya know what I mean?
So, a few weeks before baby K entered the outside world, Mom introduced me to her eggplant “parmesan” recipe–only it wasn’t a recipe, just a method. Annnnd, it was delicious, even without added oils (minus some oil that I found on the ingredients list of the panko bread crumbs I used.) I must say that I was pleasantly surprised, and I think I might be able to reduce my own oil intake a little bit without compromising on taste.
Here’s what she did (full recipe below):
1. Peel (optional) and slice a large eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
2. Generously paint both sides of each round with vegan mayo (recipe for oil-free version below).
3. Spoon bread crumb mixture onto mayo’d (??) eggplant and tap off the excess.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes on each side (30 minutes total).
- 1 medium-large eggplant (sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds)
- ½ cup raw cashew pieces
- ½ brick extra firm tofu (or about 7 ounces)
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons water
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (see note below)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- ½-3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste, depending on brand of panko used)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Tofu Ricotta:
- ½-3/4 cup remaining mayo from recipe above (or whatever is left after painting/breading your eggplant rounds)
- ½ brick extra firm tofu (or 7 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt to taste
- Marinara sauce (to serve)
- Prepare eggplant by washing, peeling (optional), and slicing it into ¼ inch thick rounds.
- Prepare mayo (or use your favorite vegan mayo--about ½ to ¾ cup needed, depending on the size of your eggplant) by blending all mayo ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. If you don't have a high-speed blender, soak your cashews for a few hours before-hand, and use only 3-4 tablespoons of water.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix all breading ingredients together and set aside in a bowl.
- Paint each eggplant piece with generous amounts of mayo on both sides.
- Spoon the breading mixture over both sides of each eggplant round, tapping off the excess.
- Place eggplant rounds on 2 lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes, then flip each eggplant round over, and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender and crumbs are a light golden color.
- Serve eggplant alone, with pasta and marinara, or in stacks (as shown) with vegan ricotta made out of your leftover ingredients (remaining oil-free mayo and ½ brick tofu).
- To make the tofu ricotta, use a fork to mash together oil-free mayo, tofu, lemon juice, yeast flakes, basil, and salt in a bowl.
- Layer eggplant rounds with marinara and tofu ricotta to desired height. Top with fresh basil if desired.
2. This recipe tastes best when it is fresh out of the oven. In my opinion, this is not a recipe that you'll want to make in advance.
I hope you each have a fabulous weekend!
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (King James Version)