Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vegan Eggplant Parmasean

These eggplants from my garden have long been eaten, but I saw eggplant in the store on sale this week. So it is time to post my long promised Vegan Eggplant Parmasean Recipe. It doesn't have a bit of cheese in it, nor is it fried, but we all think it is delicious. Maybe you will too.

Here's how you make it. Start with some slices of fresh eggplant. Use a spatula, or butter knife to spread some sesame tahini on each side of each slice. If you are needing to be very restrictive of fat, spread it on just one side. Have a bowl of nutritional yeast sitting nearby. Lay the slice of eggplant with the tahini on it in the nutritional yeast and coat each side. Use a spoon to help you if needed. Arrange the slices in a baking dish, as shown below. Make as many as you think the people you are serving will eat, and then a little more for left overs the next day. The tahini and the nutritional yeast make a very nice fatty cheese like flavor. We think it is much less heavy then the traditional form, and tastes more fresh.

Now spread on some of your favorite red tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce. This time I made my own by blending garden tomatoes, and adding onion, garlic, basil and oregano and salt. Other times I have used the sauce in jars. There is no magic recipe. Just get a generous layer of sauce that you like on top. If you like, you can put a layer of it under the eggplant before you put them in the dish. You could also add a layer of spinach if you like. Or mix in peas to the red sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees F, for around 45 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and smelling irresistable.

Serve with salad and steamed broccoli, or peas. Sprinkle some slices black olives on top if you wish.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nifty Nutty Cheese Bake AKA Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

I've recently discovered that I can't eat cashews or almonds anymore. Unfortunately I used them a lot in my cooking to make a cheese sauce substitute, Ranch style dressing, gravy and more. My son wanted Cashew Macaroni and Cheese for his birthday. I knew it would be very hard not to eat some, because I enjoy it too. Then he suggested that I make a second one out of walnuts. I was not sure if it would be good, but it was worth the try. The results? All the cashew eaters said that mine was better then theirs, that it tasted like I had added some Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce (another food that gives me a head ache.)

We think it is a great tasting recipe, but if you haven't gotten over your love for cheese, it might not work for you. Back in my cheese eating days, someone served some of this to me, and I thought it was terrible. But their mistake was to call it Macaroni and Cheese. It tasted nothing like the cheese I had ever eaten. I have since thought about that many times and now think that it has a lot to do with expectations. So if you don't expect it to taste like cheese, it is pretty good. Therefore, I give my recipe a new name. And if you are serving it to someone who is addicted to mac and cheese, use a different shape of noodle, such as a spiral, so they don't even begin to get their expectations up.

Nifty Nutty Noodle Bake AKA Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Cook 2 cups of noodles (spirals, shells, or elbows - I use Tinkyada gluten free pasta) in water with a bit of salt

1 cup walnuts or cashews (or other nuts?) in 1 cup of water until very smooth.

Add and blend:
2 oz jar of pimientoes or 1/2 cup of fresh red pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Drain macaroni and place in a baking dish. Pour sauce over the top and stir in. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and cover with bread crumbs if desired and bake another 15 minutes (bread crumbs are very optional and it is quite good with out them). Serve with green peas! Yum!