vegansaurus!

10/18/2011

Vegan MoFo: Cheesy Eggplant Casserole!  »

It’s Vegan MoFo time—that special time of day when you get to see what your favorite¬† vegan bloggers are eating for dinner. So exciting! Today—Cheesy Eggplant Casserole, a.k.a my version of eggplant parmesan.

Blob of casserole

Usually when I make this dish, I make Italian-style cheese, but today I made a tofu ricotta. Mine came out tofu scramblish; I should have looked up a recipe, but we learn from our mistakes, right?


I
ngredients
Italian seasoning
Vacuum-packed tofu
Huge eggplant
Gluten-free penne pasta
Spinach
Tomato sauce
Red onion
Mushrooms
Not pictured: olive oil, salt, pepper, agave syrup, wine.

This is a multi-stepper, as it calls for cheese, eggplant, pasta and marinara sauce. An easy way to cut down on the prep of this recipe is to buy pre-made marinara and vegan cheese, but I wanted to show you all of it from scratch!

Instructions
Boil your pasta. I used gluten-free because I could use a little less gluten in my life. Preheat oven to 375.

Cut eggplant into 1/3-inch slices and lightly coat each slice with some olive oil, salt and pepper: I did this by putting tossing them together in a bowl. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, or until eggplant is tender and lightly browned. This will cut down on your bake time dramatically. When they are done, crank up oven to 400!

While that’s going on, make your marinara, or doctor up a jar of the pre-made stuff! I like onions, garlic, mushrooms,* and spinach in mine. I sauteed all that stuff together, in olive oil with, then added a 28 oz. can of tomato sauce. I then filled the empty can 1/4 of the way up and added that, plus a drizzle of agave nectar. I let my sauce come to a boil and simmer until reduced ever so slightly. Season to taste! I used 1 1/2 Tbsp. of both Italian seasoning and salt, plus 1 tsp. pepper.

Tofu ricotta time! I mushed up my tofu and added salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Italian seasonings, garlic, olive oil and pepper to taste. It’s all right. Send me your tofu ricotta recipes, please and thank you.


Assembly

Find a casserole dish. Put in a bottom layer of pasta, then a layer of sauce, a layer of eggplant, a layer of cheese, a layer of eggplant, a layer of sauce, and a top layer of cheese. DONE! Now bake at 400 until eggplant is fork tender, especially the bottom layer. I like mine practically falling apart with tenderness. This takes about 20 minutes, sometimes a little longer.

Going in.


Done! Layers upon layers of deliciousness.

*Mushrooms! I sauteed mine before everything else, with red wine. It’s an extra step but worth it if you have the time.

Cooking on medium high until all wine is absorbed!

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