When you look at me, sometimes it’s hard to tell what my nationality is – I love to play the “What am I?” game with people. I usually get an abundance of interesting answers, but never the right one: Puerto Rican and Italian. Because of my interesting mix, I grew up with a lot of different kinds of food as a kid. Pasta was definitely a staple in our house, sometimes with meat and sometimes with veggies. For this recipe, I channeled my Italian roots to make a healthier version of a classic dish – eggplant parmesan. The main ingredients are still the same: eggplant, breadcrumbs, sauce, and cheese; but, of course, I veganized all of the non-vegan items!
Start by cutting your eggplant into rounds that are about an inch or so thick – try to get them around the same thickness so that they cook evenly.
Once the rounds are cut, you need to set up your breading station. I usually use two long tupperware containers – one for the egg replacer and one for the breadcrumbs. I don’t necessarily use the measurements on the egg replacer box; my mix is usually much more watered down and just tacky enough to coat the eggplant and make the crumbs stick.
After your pieces are coated in egg replacer and breadcrumbs, it’s time to fry them. I try to use as little oil as possible, and you only want to brown each piece on each side. It’s alright if they aren’t cooked all the way through because they will finish cooking while in the oven. As you fry your pieces, start setting them in a baking pan that has a layer of tomato sauce in it. I used an 11×7 pan because I had a huge eggplant – I have also used a square pan with a smaller eggplant.
Once you have a complete layer, top it with more sauce, some grated mozzarella cheese (Teese) and fresh basil. Start again with a second layer, following up with all of the same toppings. Here’s what mine looked like before the oven:
Cover your pan with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. You can tell that it’s done when the cheese on top is melted and the sauce at the bottom is bubbling – plus, it will smell AMAZING! This is my absolute favorite eggplant recipe and I hope it will be yours, too!
- 1 eggplant
- 1.5 jars of your favorite vegan pasta sauce
- 1 package of Teese mozzarella cheese (you could use any vegan cheese substitute), shredded
- 2 cups of your favorite vegan breadcrumbs
- ½-1 cup of egg replacer
- ½ cup of water
- 10-15 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- 1 package of whole wheat spaghetti
- Oil for frying
- Slice your eggplant into rounds, about 1 inch thick each
- Using two tupperware containers, fill one with the bread crumbs and the other with ½ a cup of egg replacer and ¼ cup of water. Make sure the egg replacer mixture is fairly thin, but still thick enough to coat the eggplant.
- Dip each eggplant piece into the egg replacer mixture, coating all of the edges, and then into the bread crumbs.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a small amount of oil over medium heat, fry the eggplant slices until brown on each side.
- Cover the bottom of an 11x7 pan with a layer of tomato sauce, then place a layer of fried eggplant on top of it. Add another layer of sauce, a layer of shredded mozzarella and half of the basil.
- Add another layer of fried eggplant, and top with sauce, cheese, and the rest of the basil.
- Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is boiling.
- While the eggplant is baking, boil a pot of water and cook the package of spaghetti according to the directions on the package.
- Serve eggplant on top of pasta and enjoy!