Lightened-Up Eggplant Parmesan

POMODORO SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion (peeled, finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano (tied with kitchen twine)
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (crushed with your hands, 28 ounces)
  • 1 bunch basil (torn, to garnish)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Eggplants:
  • 2 medium eggplants (sliced 1/4-inch thick, peeled)
  • olive oil (spray)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
CASHEW PARMESAN:
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • For the Pomodoro Sauce: Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the onions and garlic. Season with salt. Cook until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove oregano and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree on low to preserve the red color. Add basil and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • For the Eggplant: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place two racks inside of two baking sheets.
  • On the racks, place the eggplant rounds and lightly spray both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • For the Cashew Parmesan: In the bowl of a food processor, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder, and pulse to combine until it becomes a fine meal.
  • Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium-low heat and add the bread crumbs. Allow to toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the basil, parsley, and oregano and toss to combine. Pour the panko bread crumbs into a large bowl, add the cashew mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To Assemble: Decrease the oven temperature to 325ºF.
  • Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with olive oil, place one eggplant round and top with one heaping tablespoon of the sauce, followed by a heaping tablespoon of the cashew parmesan. Top with another eggplant round and repeat the process 2 more times, finishing with a fourth eggplant round with sauce.
  • Assemble the remaining eggplant parmesan stacks in the baking dish with the rest of the eggplant rounds. Place in the oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the cashew parmesan over each eggplant stack.
  • Tip: The cashew parmesan will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator or freezer stored in an airtight container. Use to garnish pastas, soups and salads just like you would Parmesan cheese!

Jacked-Up Vegan Ribs from blog.fatfreevegan.com/

    • 10 ounces young green jackfruit (1 20-ounce can), rinsed and drained
    • jackfruit-vegan-ribs11/4 cup barbecue sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten (150 grams)
    • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, approximately
    • Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the rinsed jackfruit, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, and 1/4 cup water. Lower heat, cover and simmer, stirring every few minutes and mashing jackfruit with a spatula or fork, until jackfruit is tender about 10 minutes. Remove cover and mash jackfruit, allowing water to evaporate. If any large or tough pieces of jackfruit remain, put them on a cutting board and chop with a knife. Allow the jackfruit to cool completely.
    • Preheat oven to 375F. Oil a 8×8 or 9×9-inch Pyrex baking dish.
    • Combine the vital wheat gluten and all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well. Add the water, soy sauce, and cooled jackfruit. Stir or knead well until all ingredients are evenly distributed and all wheat gluten is absorbed. If there is not enough moisture, add one or two tablespoons of water, no more.
    • Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Use a knife to loosen the seitan along the edges of the pan. Spread barbecue sauce evenly over the top and flip over in the pan. (It’s easiest to do this if you divide the seitan in half first and flip one half at a time.) Coat the top with barbecue sauce and return to the oven. Bake for 15-20 more minutes, until ribs are firm and cooked in the middle but not hardening along the edges.
    • Cut into 16 “ribs” and serve with additional barbecue sauce.
Notes

Make sure you buy young green jackfruit in water or brine, not sweetened jackfruit. You can find it in 20-ounce cans in Asian grocery stores for about $1.50 per can.

Brands of jackfruit vary. Some can contain pieces that are tougher than others and may require additional cooking time or even chopping with a knife. Of the brands I’ve tried, I have found Chaokoh to have the most tender jackfruit.

Calories, sugar, sodium, as well as other nutritional data will depend on the exact brand of barbecue sauce used.