Ciao beautiful people! Today's Meatless Monday meal is one flavorful crowd pleaser. Let's hear it for, Eggplant Parm! Stop me if I'm wrong but, everyone loves Italian food . . . I guess it's safe to resume. . . Everyone loves Italian food and eggplant parmesan made Vegan with a spicy twist is sure to leave your taste buds and animals everywhere, feeling swooned.
To begin, prepare the three dishes you will use for battering your eggplant. I use a small bowl for Almond Milk (any milk alternative can be used but soy or almond milk work best due to their consistencies), a small plate for Unbleached Wheat Flour, and a small plate for Panko Bread Crumbs.
Next, you'll want to decide the width of your eggplant pieces. I like to use my pinky finger as a reference. When your slices are on the thinner side they tend to hold more of the batter and end up much crispier. Once you've got your eggplant slices and batter station ready, it is time to conjure the ingredient that makes this meal a spicy one . . . The Sauce!
Spicy Vegan Red Sauce
You'll want to begin by sauteing 2 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup of diced onion, and 1/2 a teaspoon of Italian seasoning (you could create your own or use your favorite previously made medley) in a pan with some olive or avocado oil. Meanwhile, heat one 12oz can of tomato paste on low and finely dice 1 large tomato. Pour your diced tomato and its juice over the tomato paste, add sauteed garlic and onions, and mix evenly. Last, add 1 teaspoon of fresh crushed red pepper for the added kick!
Leaving your sauce on very low, you'll need to batter and fry up those beautiful eggplant slices. First, dip one slice into the almond milk and then into the flour, covering it evenly. Next, dip your floured eggplant slice back into the almond milk and then into the panko crumbs. Do these steps as quickly as possible but make sure to cover each slice as evenly as you can. Place your battered slices on a plate together and once they're ready you can begin placing them into the frying pan. Flip those little eggplant patties once or twice until they are light brown in color. They should go from looking something like this . . .
To something like this . . .
The Final Steps
Top those glorious babies off with a spoonful of that spicy red sauce (which should be exuding a sensational aroma by now) and your choice of vegan cheese (I use daiya mozzarella style shreds).
Broiler Alert! If you can't wait to stuff your face and you need this "cheese" melted STAT, just place all those delicious looking bad boys in the oven and hit broil. Keep an eye on them as they should be ready in just a few minutes.
Pair your vegan eggplant parm with a nice green salad and some homemade grainy garlic bread! When you eat enough fruits and veggies, there is no need to fear carbs (unless you're gluten free, in which case I am terribly sorry). While you devour this lovely meal, keep in mind that just the mere SKIN of eggplant is rich in a phytonutrient called nasunin which is believed to fight aging as well as cancer by protecting our cell membranes. Google it! And that squishy stuff on the inside? Well that's packed with chlorogenic acid which aids against cancer, bad cholesterol, and viral activities.
There you have it folks!
Here is a list of the ingredients, uninterrupted . . .
Or, to make your own red sauce
OK, OK now go enjoy this meal and all its steamy glory!
Make sure you check out some more of Erica's recipes at The Naked Flora!