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?
Gluten-free penne pasta
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!
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.
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.
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!
Review: Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub! »
Lanesplitter is a local pizza-and-beer chain in the East Bay that serves up some fantastic thin-crust vegan pizza. It’s not made with a traditional fake cheese, instead it’s like a ricotta style tofu mixture…sounds fucked but is actually pretty damn good. They have lots of veggies to choose from and everything mixed up tastes amazing. They also have vegan calzones which make a good grab-and-go item if you call ahead. The vegan eggplant bake is heaven for everyone.
I rarely eat in because the staff consists of incompetents, assholes, and incompetent assholes. I am told that their house-made micro-brews are pretty good but they just taste like beer to me. I dunno. Are you so fancy that you can tell? I can’t. If you put me in a blind beer taste test, I’d be able to recognize two beers: Bud Light, and everything else. I’d be taking shot after shot of beer, yelling out, “nope!”, “nope!”, “Bud Light!”, “nope!” Actually, that sounds like a lot of fun. Is anyone in? You buy the beer! Email me! So anyway, all their microbrews are on tap but if you want to enjoy them, you have to drink there. Apparently Lanesplitter (and Johnny Law) don’t trust me to leave my pint of fancy brew untouched on the ride home. They are smart.
[photos via yelp]