DDD #117 – Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice & Sausage

Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 1.36.18 PM.png

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

9-22-16-68

9-22-16-89

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

eggplant-parm-rice-casserole-%25283%2529

Photo from The Iron You.

Click the image above to watch the video.

The photo just above is from the wonderful blog – The Iron You.  It is their Eggplant Parm Rice Casserole and it is that recipe that inspired mine here.  There are a few subtle changes but the primary difference is that I used cauliflower rice rather than real rice and I made it vegan.  That way – this dish is very light & nearly guiltless.  Is is very easy to make & comes together in less than 45-60 minutes – 30 of which are in the oven.  It is a surprisingly tasty recipe & chock full of fresh vegetables.

9-22-16-85

9-22-16-63

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower

2 eggplants – cut into 1/4 inch slices

Olive oil

1 cup basil – chopped

2 large shallots (or 1/2 small onion) – diced

2 cups cherry tomatoes – quartered (reserve a few extra to garnish)

2-3 cups vegan mozzarella – according to your preference (I used 3 cups)

1-2 cups grated vegan Parmesan – according to your preference

S&P

1 TBS oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)

1 cup vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce

3 (or more) vegan sausages – cooked

Parsley or basil – chopped as garnish

9-22-16-40

9-22-16-42

9-22-16-45

DIRECTIONS

If you have a grill or grill pan, spray some olive oil on the eggplant (or toss them in a light coating of olive oil or dressing) & grill on each side until a bit charred & soft.  Set aside.

If you do not have a grill or grill pan – follow Iron You’s oven method directions:  Preheat oven to 400°F  and place a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease them with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until it dissolves completely.
Add eggplant slices and let them sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.  Fish the eggplant slices out of the water, pat them dry, and arrange them on a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the slices turn deep brown on top.
Remove the slices from the baking sheets and carefully transfer them on a plate to cool.

9-22-16-46

9-22-16-47

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cook sausages & chop.

Cut the florets from the cauliflower & either grate them on a box grater or using the grater of your food processor (the FAR neater way to go).  Set aside.

Toss the tomatoes with basil, a pinch or S&P & the oregano & crushed red pepper & set aside.

9-22-16-41

9-22-16-43

Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a large frying pan (large enough to hold all the cauliflower rice) & saute the shallots or onion until soft.  Add the cauliflower rice & the stock.  Over high heat – saute until the cauliflower is soft & the bulk of the stock has evaporated.  Stir in the tomato & basil mix and the sauce.

9-22-16-49

9-22-16-50

9-22-16-51

9-22-16-52

Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray) and layer 1/3 of the rice on the bottom.  Top with half the eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese and 1/2 the sausage.  Add another 1/3 of the rice, remaining eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese & the remaining sausage.  Top with a final layer of rice & cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the casserole is heated through.

Let sit for 10 minutes & then serve with parsley or basil & maybe extra diced tomato.

9-22-16-53

9-22-16-54

9-22-16-55

9-22-16-56

9-22-16-57

9-22-16-61

9-22-16-72

9-22-16-88

9-22-16-92

Deconstructed Vegan Shepherd’s Pie or Broccoli & Mashed Potato Casserole

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

12-23a-16-88

12-23a-16-86

bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

12-23-16-38

This dish takes a few steps but all are easy.   I adapted this recipe from One Green Planet’s MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE WITH BROCCOLI AND A CAULIFLOWER GRAVY.  I already had gravy in the freezer – leftover from my effort at poutine – seen just below.  It was a leek & sage brown gravy & the recipe is HERE.  When I end up with more of something than I need for a recipe – I often freeze the extra in Ziplock bags that I store flat – so they take up very little space in my freezer – as seen just below the poutine here.  Just squeeze the air out & place it on top of a frozen pizza or some other flat item (a cookie sheet) until it freezes.  It thawed quickly in the bag when placed under hot running water.  You can use this gravy recipe or your own favorite one or the easiest one ever – HERE.

dsc_7652

12-23a-16-41

12-23a-16-45

12-23a-16-49

I wanted to use one of the vegan cheeses I recently bought from Soledad Goat Sanctuary…seen just above.  It is creamy & has a tang sort of like sour cream & I thought it would add a nice layer of flavor & some richness to the potato level.  You can use any soft cheese you like (cream cheese or whatever) or eliminate that ingredient with no real negative impact on this dish.

The nice thing about this dish is that it combines potato, broccoli & gravy in one decadent dish & it is easy to transport to a family or friend’s house as your vegan contribution to an otherwise potentially non-vegan meal.  Meat eaters will love it & vegans could really get away with eating only this & not feeling too ripped off.

I used fresh broccoli but frozen will do – if you prefer it.

12-23-16-14

12-23a-16-82

Deconstructed Vegan Shepherd’s Pie or Broccoli & Mashed Potato Casserole

INGREDIENTS

2 large heads of broccoli – cut into florets

10 small red potatoes – cut into large chunks (I left skins on)

1 (14 oz) can of white beans – drained & rinsed

2 cups gravy of choice (two recipes are linked above)

4 oz soft vegan cheese (optional) OR 2-4 TBS vegan butter (or both if you are feeling decadent!)

2 garlic cloves

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1/4 cup parsley

1 large rosemary sprig – leaves removed

small handful of fresh oregano

few sprigs of fresh thyme

2 TBS olive oil

S&P

12-23a-16-46

12-23a-16-49

12-23a-16-50

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make your gravy.  Set aside.

Prepare the broccoli (try very hard not to overcook it).   Steam or boil it for 2-3 minutes & drain it under cold water   When cool enough to handle – chop it pretty small.  (I take the steamed stalks & blend them into wet food for my dogs.)  Chop the thyme & oregano & toss with the broccoli & 1 or 2 TBS olive oil.  Season with S&P.  Set aside.

12-23a-16-51

Puree the beans and 1/2 cup almond milk in a high power (or regular) blender until smooth.  (I REALLY love my Magic Bullet that I recently bought at Bed Bath & Beyond for $30 & I recommend them.)  Add the rosemary & parsley & puree them into the bean mixture.  Set aside.

12-23a-16-53

12-23a-16-54

12-23a-16-55

12-23a-16-58

12-23a-16-59

Boil the potatoes and the garlic cloves until the potatoes are very soft.  Drain.  Return to the pan.  Add the bean puree, soft cheese or butter (or both) & blend with a hand mixer or immersion blender.  Add as much additional milk as you need to make them thick but creamy.  Season with S&P.

12-23a-16-60

12-23a-16-62

I sprayed my casserole pan with cooking spray but that probably is not necessary.

Spread the potatoes on the bottom.  Top with as much gravy as you like (I used about 2 cups – which was A LOT (though not too much for ME) – so add as much as feels right to you) & then the broccoli.

12-23a-16-63

12-23a-16-64

12-23a-16-65

Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.  Let it rest a few minutes & serve!

If you have extra gravy, either put it on the table or freeze it.

12-23-16-2

12-23-16-9

12-23a-16-79

Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

12-4a-16-67

12-4a-16-92

bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

12-4-16-20

12-4-16-26

So – I am several days into eating only food I already have in the house.  I have WAY too many frozen leftovers & dry pastas & beans etc taking up space & yet I keep going to the store to buy more food. It is ridiculous & wasteful.  Today’s recipe was inspired by a huge butternut squash I had & some other veggies rapidly reaching the end of their shelf life.  I used jarred salsa because I had one open but made the enchilada sauce because I did not already have some in a jar or can.  You can choose to go all jarred or all homemade – your call.

I also roasted a whole butternut squash.  You might want to buy some already cubed & roast those – or just boil them.  This can be as labor-intensive or as simple as you care to make it.

The real star of this dish is this newer vegan cheese I found.  It tastes great & does a fair job at melting – so – I recommend trying it if you see it or can find it online.  It is from Parmela Creamery and you can definitely buy it – and loads of other vegan cheeses – from them.

12-4-16-2

Oh – as an aside – TJ Maxx is a great source for kitchen items.  They always have loads of olive oil marked way down.  I stock up every time I go there.

12-4a-16-39

12-4a-16-40

12-4-16-27

12-4-16-33

Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Serves 6 well

INGREDIENTS

2 cups red enchilada sauce (my recipe HERE) or your favorite brand or recipe

16 oz salsa – homemade or your favorite brand

olive oil

1 small butternut squash

1/2 medium red (or any other kind) onion – diced

1-3 jalapenos (optional) – seeded & diced

3 tomatoes – diced

2 carrots – diced

1 cup corn

1 12 oz can black beans – drained

1-4 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

15-20 taco-sized corn tortillas

Up to 1 lb grated vegan cheeses of your choice ( I used both cheddar & mozzarella)

S&P to taste

GARNISH: cilantro, sliced scallions, avocado slices, additional salsa or hot sauce

12-4-16-1

12-4a-16-38

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

I roasted my butternut squash unpeeled & halved.  It was a sorta messy business doing it this way.  In the future, I will peel & cube it first.  Whatever you decide – roast it naked for 20-40 minutes, turning at least once, until it is soft.  If you cooked it like I did – let it cool in the sink & peel & cube it once it is cool enough to handle.  OR – you could peel, cube & boil it until the cubes are soft.  I had a large squash – so I put some extra mashed up into my dogs’ dinner.  They loved it!

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan & add the chopped carrots & onions.  When they start to soften, add the tomatoes, jalapenos, corn & black beans.  Add the spices & cilantro.  Heat through.  Add the garlic & saute 1 minute.  Stir in the cubed squash.  Season with S&P & set aside.

12-4a-16-41

12-4a-16-42

12-4a-16-43

12-4a-16-44

12-4a-16-46

12-4a-16-48

12-4a-16-71

12-4a-16-72

Now – assemble the casserole.  Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray).  Put the salsa on the bottom.  The rest can be pretty random – as long as you end with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce & 1/3 of the cheese.

12-4a-16-50

12-4a-16-51

12-4a-16-52

12-4a-16-53

12-4a-16-54

Layer some corn tortillas & top with 1/3 of the veggie mixture, 1/3 of the cheese & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

12-4a-16-55

12-4a-16-56

12-4a-16-57

Add another 1/3 of the veggie mixture.  Layer with  1/3 of the cheese, more tortillas, the final 1/3 of the veggie & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

12-4a-16-58

12-4a-16-59

12-4a-16-60

12-4a-16-61

12-4a-16-62

Add another layer of tortillas & the rest of the enchilada sauce & cheese.

12-4a-16-63

12-4a-16-64

12-4a-16-65

I used the casserole glass lid to cover it.  You can do this or use foil.

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, remove cover & bake another 10 minutes or so.  Let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Garnish with cilantro or scallions & maybe salsa, hot sauce or a few slices of fresh avocado.  Enjoy!

12-4a-16-75

12-4a-16-86

12-4a-16-90

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice (Vegetarian or Vegan)

2 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

9-22-16-68

9-22-16-89

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

eggplant-parm-rice-casserole-%25283%2529

Photo from The Iron You.

The photo just above is from the wonderful blog – The Iron You.  It is their Eggplant Parm Rice Casserole and it is that recipe that inspired mine here.  There are a few subtle changes but the primary difference is that I used cauliflower rice rather than real rice.  That way – this dish is very light & nearly guiltless.  Is is very easy to make & comes together in less than 45-60 minutes – 30 of which are in the oven.  It is a surprisingly tasty recipe & chock full of fresh vegetables.  Use vegan cheeses, if you prefer.  There are enough flavors at play here that I think this dish would work very well vegan-style.

9-22-16-85

9-22-16-63

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower

2 eggplants – cut into 1/4 inch slices

Olive oil

1 cup basil – chopped

2 large shallots (or one small onion) – diced

2 cups cherry tomatoes – quartered

2-3 cups grated mozzarella (or vegan alternative) – according to your preference (I used 3 cups)

1-2 cups grated Parmesan (or vegan alternative) – according to your preference (I used 2 cups real Parmesan – I would have used less of a vegan Parm)

S&P

1 TBS oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)

1 cup vegetable stock

Parsley or basil – chopped as garnish

9-22-16-40

9-22-16-42

9-22-16-45

DIRECTIONS

If you have a grill or grill pan, spray some olive oil on the eggplant (or toss them in a light coating of olive oil or dressing) & grill on each side until a bit charred & soft.  Set aside.

If you do not have a grill or grill pan – follow Iron You’s oven method directions:  Preheat oven to 400°F  and place a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease them with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until it dissolves completely.
Add eggplant slices and let them sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.  Fish the eggplant slices out of the water, pat them dry, and arrange them on a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the slices turn deep brown on top.
Remove the slices from the baking sheets and carefully transfer them on a plate to cool.

9-22-16-46

9-22-16-47

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cut the florets from the cauliflower & either grate them on a box grater or using the grater of your food processor (the FAR neater way to go).  Set aside.

Toss the tomatoes with basil, a pinch or S&P & the oregano & set aside.

9-22-16-41

9-22-16-43

Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a large frying pan (large enough to hold all the cauliflower rice) & saute the shallots or onion until soft.  Add crushed red pepper (if using) and the cauliflower rice & the stock.  Over high heat – saute until the cauliflower is soft & the bulk of the stock has evaporated.  Stir in the tomato & basil mix.

9-22-16-49

9-22-16-50

9-22-16-51

9-22-16-52

Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray) and layer 1/3 of the rice on the bottom.  Top with half the eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese.  Add another 1/3 of the rice, remaining eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese.  Top with a final layer of rice & cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbly or browned.

Let sit for 10 minutes & then serve with parsley or basil.

9-22-16-53

9-22-16-54

9-22-16-55

9-22-16-56

9-22-16-57

9-22-16-61

9-22-16-72

9-22-16-88

9-22-16-92

Fennel, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Kale & White Bean Gratin (Vegan or Not)

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

4-16-16 (141)

4-16-16 (107)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-16-16 (117)

4-16a-16 (5)

I get Farm Fresh To You deliveries every other week.  You are allowed to customize the deliveries but, sometimes, I forget and the result is that I end up with an infinity of leafy greens.  This week: two kinds of lettuce, Swiss chard & kale.  And fennel.  And more.  But thatsalotta greens!  Plus, I already had fennel from the last delivery & about 5 pounds of spinach.  So – I decided to make something that would use as many of the greens as possible – this dish.  The greens you use can vary but you need a lot of whatever you select because they reduce dramatically.

I used real Parmesan in this (because I had it) but vegan Parm – or even another vegan cheese (like mozzarella or cheddar) would work.  I used almond milk but I think a thicker milk might have been better.

NOTE – Also – you might want to add some cheese to the veggie mix.  I didn’t because I was trying to keep this dish on the light side.

4-16-16 (109)

4-16-16 (115)

Fennel, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Kale & White Bean Gratin (Vegan or Not)

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

5 TBS vegan butter

2 small bulbs fennel – chopped

1 onion (I used 1 brown & 1/2 red onion) – diced

4 or more garlic cloves (I used 4 cloves & 2 stalks of green garlic) – chopped

1 bunch Swiss chard – ribs removed & chopped

1 bunch kale – ribs removed & chopped

2-4 cups spinach

2 TBS fresh thyme

3 TBS flour

1 cup Parmesan (vegan or otherwise) – optional – for adding to the veggies – see NOTE above

1 1/2 cup vegan milk (I used almond milk but a thicker milk might be better – or half & half, if you are not vegan)

2 14 oz cans white beans – drained & rinsed

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used Panko)

1 cup Parmesan (vegan or otherwise) – or other cheese (mozzarella or cheddar) for topping

4-16-16 (78)

4-16-16 (84)

4-16-16 (79)

4-16-16 (91)

4-16-16 (96)

4-16-16 (100)

4-16-16 (129)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt TWO of the five TBS of butter in a large stock pot.  Add the fennel and onion & saute until soft.  Add thyme & combine.  Add the garlic & stir for a minute.  Add the greens – in stages – adding more as each bit wilts.

4-16-16 (82)

4-16-16 (83)

4-16-16 (85)

4-16-16 (86)

4-16-16 (87)

4-16-16 (88)

4-16-16 (89)

4-16-16 (90)

Add the flour & milk & bring to a boil.  Reduce to low & simmer as it thickens a bit.  Add the beans & season with S&P.  If you are adding cheese to the veggies – do that now & stir to combine.

4-16-16 (92)

4-16-16 (93)

4-16-16 (94)

4-16-16 (95)

4-16-16 (97)

Meanwhile – melt the remaining 3 TBS butter & toss with the breadcrumbs and 1 cup of cheese.

Treat a 9 x 13 casserole pan with cooking spray or oil & put the veggie mix in.  Top with the breadcrumb mix.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs turn golden.

Let rest 10 minutes & serve.

4-16-16 (101)

4-16-16 (102)

4-16-16 (103)

4-16-16 (106)

4-16-16 (125)

4-16-16 (134)

4-16a-16 (4)

Cauliflower, Zucchini & Chicken Green Enchilada Casserole (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

3-2-16 (145)

3-2-16 (136)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

3-2-16 (128)

3-2-16 (143)

3-2-16 (147)

This is easy & delicious.  I used all vegan ingredients except for the 2 cups of cheddar that I topped this with.  You can use vegan cheddar & make this 100% vegan.  The bulk of the casserole is cauliflower & zucchini so it is lighter than your average casserole & likely a good way to get the kids to eat some veggies.

Cauliflower, Zucchini & Chicken Green Enchilada Casserole (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 4 as an entree – more as a side

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken (I always use Beyond Meat because it is just the best on the market) – shredded or cubed

1 head cauliflower – cut into florets

3 zucchini – cut into 1/4″ slices

1 cup (8 ounces) vegan mozzarella (or other mild, white cheese – Field Roast’s Chao is amazing)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) vegan cream cheese

1/3 cup vegan sour cream

3 large flour tortillas

3 cups green enchilada sauce (the higher the quality the better)

2 cups grated vegan cheddar (I used real cheddar but vegan is great, too) – or any other grated cheese you like (mozzarella or pepper jack – etc)

S&P

Cilantro as garnish

3-2-16 (83)

3-2-16 (84)

2-20-16 (111)

2-20-16 (110)

3-2-16 (104)

3-2-16 (118)

3-2-16 (125)

3-2-16 (130)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

Boil the cauliflower until just tender.  Add the zucchini slices & submerge them for a minute & then drain the lot & set aside.

3-2-16 (87)

Warm ONE CUP (only one cup – reserve the rest) of the enchilada sauce & add the mozzarella, cream cheese & sour cream & cook – stirring – until it blends into a creamy sauce.  Season with S&P.

Stir in the veggies & the chicken.

3-2-16 (85)

3-2-16 (86)

3-2-16 (88)

3-2-16 (89)

3-2-16 (90)

Pour the mixture into a casserole pan treated with cooking spray.  Quarter one of the tortillas & place the 4 pieces in the corners & then add the other two whole – as below.

3-2-16 (91)

3-2-16 (92)

3-2-16 (93)

Add an additional ONE CUP of the enchilada sauce (reserving the final cup for later) & top with grated cheddar and bake for about 30 minutes or until it looks done to you.  Vegan cheese might not melt & brown the way the real cheddar did – so – be careful not to burn your dish – if you went 100% vegan.  Warm the remaining enchilada sauce.  When the dish is done – let it rest at least ten minutes.  Serve & top with warmed enchilada sauce & cilantro.

3-2-16 (94)

3-2-16 (96)

3-2-16 (97)

3-2-16 (108)

3-2-16 (134)

3-2-16 (138)

3-2-16 (140)

10-Ingredient Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Mac & Cheese

2 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

1-27-16 (52)

1-27-16 (66)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

1-27-16 (47)

1-27-16 (54) copy

1-27-16 (70)

Honest to God – this might be the most fucking delicious vegan meal I have ever made!  Seriously!  And to think it only came together because I had a fridge full of random leftovers & ingredients that I needed to be done with.  I had a package of Tofutti American cheese, several slices of their mozzarella cheese (both of which I totally shit-talked in my vegan cheese review) & some leftover pasta.  Oh – and two Chinese eggplants.

1-27-16 (5)

1-27-16 (14)

1-27-16 (9)

1-27-16 (8)

I actually had this selection of vegan cheeses – seen above.  I opted to use the individual slices first because 1) they were getting old and 2) I thought this dish would make better use of (read: mask) their less than fabulous flavor.  Ultimately – I did use some of the other two cheeses, as well.  The result is AMAZING!  You can use whatever vegan cheeses you prefer but you are going to need about a pound of various cheeses – before all is said & done.

I used Chinese eggplant & I recommend them because they are less bitter & carry less moisture than regular eggplant.

I used nutritional yeast but a vegan Parmesan would also work.  Or use neither.

This takes a few steps but all are simple & the result is a decadent feast that nobody would ever guess was vegan – at least with this particular combination of cheeses.  I find some vegan cheeses taste more fake than others – so – the brands you use will matter – but I am certain lots of other brands would be just as yummy – especially the Field Roast Chao cheeses – my favorite of the vegan cheeses I have tried.

Whatever you do – get it together to make this – at least once.  It really is killer!

1-27-16 (43)

1-27-16 (61)

10-Ingredient Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Mac & Cheese

Feeds 4-6 depending on appetites

INGREDIENTS

4+ cups or so of cooked pasta

2 Chinese eggplant (or other variety) – sliced 1/2″ thick

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or vegan Parmesan)

1 TBS dry parsley

8 oz (or 12 individual slices) vegan American or cheddar cheese (or a mix) – PLUS SOME  EXTRA – just in case

4 oz (or 6 individual slices) vegan mozzarella – PLUS SOME  EXTRA – just in case

(Extra grated vegan cheese to top the casserole – one that melts would be prettiest)

2 – 3 cups unsweetened vegan milk

1 1/2 – 2 cups pasta sauce (I used Rao’s Arrabbiata)

Basil or parsley (or both) – chopped for garnish

Olive oil

1-27-16 (11)

1-27-16 (12)

1-27-16 (13)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast & dry parsley in a bowl.  Put about 1/2 cup milk in another bowl.  Heat some olive oil in a frying pan.  Dunk the eggplant rounds in the milk & then through the breadcrumbs and drop into the hot oil.  They should brown pretty quickly.  Flip & brown the other side.  Put on a cooking sheet & into the oven while you repeat the process until all the eggplant is cooked.  You will likely need to wipe out the burnt breadcrumbs & add more oil with each batch.

1-27-16 (15)

1-27-16 (16)

1-27-16 (17)

1-27-16 (19)

In a stock pot, melt the American and/or cheddar cheese.   Add vegan milk in small increments until it becomes creamy.   Stir in the pasta.  At this point – I decided it needed more cheese so I added two slices of this cheese (below) and a bit more milk & cooked it until it looked wet & yummy & creamy.   I am not giving exact directions as to the cheese-milk-pasta ratio because different cheeses might have more or less moisture – and everyone has a different idea of how wet mac & cheese should be.    I would suggest going a little wet – as the pasta & eggplant will absorb it & you won’t have a dry dish.

1-27-16 (7)

1-27-16 (20)

1-27-16 (21)

Look at that up there!!!!  Doesn’t that look just ridiculous?!  It was all I could do not to just start shoving it in my face.  But I used considerable will power & continued with the recipe.

So – when you get your pasta-cheese-milk ratio to where it looks creamy but still a bit wet (so it won’t dry out in cooking) – take it off the flame.

Grease a casserole pan & layer half the eggplant on the bottom.

1-27-16 (22)

1-27-16 (23)

Add another layer of eggplant with the rest of the slices & top with pasta sauce.

In the same pan you melted the cheese in – melt the mozzarella & pour it over your casserole & pop the pan into the oven.

1-27-16 (24)

1-27-16 (25)

1-27-16 (26)

1-27-16 (27)

At this point – I took my dogs for a walk – COMPLETELY forgetting I had this in the oven.  I think it needed 30-45 minutes in the 375 oven – but it got way more than that.  Don’t burn yours.  I kinda did.   Look – not so pretty.

1-27-16 (29)

1-27-16 (6)

1-27-16 (30)

So – in an effort to make it pretty again – I grated some of that cheese above onto it & popped it back into the oven for about ten minutes.  As you can see – it did little to make it prettier (that cheese did not want to melt) – but when I scooped it onto plates – it looked & SMELLED amazing!

So – maybe do not burn yours & it will be prettier but nobody needs to see it before it hits the plate, anyway.

So – scoop some onto plates & garnish with parsley and/or basil.  I swear – this will fool people out of suspecting it is vegan.  So yummy & comforting!

Waste no time & devour it!

1-27-16 (34)

1-27-16 (57)

1-27-16 (69)