Friday, March 25, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan with a Kale & Broccoli Saute

Sometimes when Hubby is working or has a different schedule than I do, I have to try to cook for myself.  So much for the trying to cook for one this time!  I bought a large eggplant and even though the Hubby was not here, I was expecting to have someone over for dinner and planning on making Eggplant Parmesan.  Unfortunately, that did not work as I had planned, but I had already prepared and purchased all the ingredients I needed to make the dish and have been craving it for over a week.  When I was the Head Chef at this organic vegan restaurant in Brooklyn, I created this Eggplant Parm sandwich, which we ultimately ended up only making for ourselves for our family dinners because it was so labor intensive and unrealistic to make on a larger scale.  I remember it being amazing though, so searched through all of my old recipes, found it, modified it and ended up with Eggplant Parmesan over spaghetti.  It was so delicious that I ate about 1/3 of the eggplant, as well as a side of kale and broccoli. 

The recipe does have a few steps to it but they are so worth it and so necessary.  If you do not have the time or energy to make it in one night, you could definitely make the marinara sauce and pasta the night before and just reheat them.  I will definitely be making this again, and since I didn't listen to myself saying I need to cook for one, I'm going to pay for it by eating this for at least three more meals.  No problem - I'm remembering when I had so much lasagna left after making it for the Hubby and having him visiting his family in his country and being left with 2/3 of the lasagna, that I ate it for breakfast.  And damn was it delicious!

Eggplant Parmesan

Creamy Yet Crunchy (and delicious!)  Eggplant over Pasta

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2 " rings

16 oz. brown rice or wheat spaghetti, cooked till al dente

1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed with fingers
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bread Crumb Mixture:
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (use brown rice breadcrumbs to make gluten free)
1/3 cup Vegan Parmesan (1/4 cup each nutritional yeast and sesame seeds, 1 tsp. sea salt ground in coffee mill till fine, then measure)

32 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed with hands
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Kale and Broccoli Saute:

Crisp Broccoli, Fresh Veggies in a Tamari Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 bunch broccoli, florets separated and stems sliced
6 large leaves kale, tough stems removed and leaves sliced
1/4 red onions, sliced into strips
1/4 green pepper, julienned
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tamari
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1.  Begin by preparing the marinara: in a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in the oil until fragrant and lightly golden.  Add the tomatoes and lower heat.  Add the basil, oregano, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and stir to combine.  Cook till sauce has thickened and is fragrant, stirring periodically.
2.  In the meantime, prepare the veggies: bring a medium pot of water to a boil and blanch the veggies briefly till they become a vibrant green but maintain their texture.  Set aside to drain and cool.
3.  Cook the pasta and keep it hot. 
4.  Prepare the eggplant: set up a station - one bowl with the slurry, a second bowl with the breadcrumb mixture and a plate with the finished eggplant slices.  Heat a saute pan with a thin layer of oil and heat over medium heat until a piece of breadcrumb dropped in the middle immediately begins to sizzle.  Dip each slice of eggplant into the slurry mixture, being sure to press the center to allow the juices to penetrate.  Shake off excess liquid and immediately dredge through the breadcrumb mixture, being sure to get the top, bottom  and sides well coated.  Place on plate until ready to begin frying. 
5.  Line a plate with paper towel and once the oil is hot, begin frying the eggplant slices.  Fry for a couple minutes on each side, or until golden brown and fragrant - be careful that the bread crumb mixture does not slide off. 
6.  Finish the veggies: in a wok, add the oil over high heat and place the onions, peppers and garlic.  Cook till the garlic is fragrant, then add in the semi cooked broccoli and kale.  Saute for a couple minutes or until well flavored.  Add the tamari, toasted sesame oil and red pepper flakes, tossing to coat. 
7.  To serve, place a mound of spaghetti in the middle of a plate.  Top the marinara sauce over top, followed by the cooked eggplant slices and optional vegan Parmesan.  Serve the sauteed veggies on the side.  Yum!



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