I decided to take the last two weeks off and put aside updating or adding anything new to my blog as I was feeling uninspired, but now I am feeling refreshed and have a slew of great new recipes to share with everyone.
Todays recipe is kind of a” make up as I go along” dish. I sort of had an idea planned out with what I wanted to do and what ingredients I wanted to include but had not fully formed an actual recipe until I set out to make it.
I am calling this a vegan and healthier version of eggplant parmesan as it has similar components and tastes pretty much like the real deal. As I have previously stated I love eggplant and will eat it any way possible. I was lucky enough to find eggplant for sale and ended up buying 4 of them however this meant I would have to find some way to use them before they go bad. I also bought n eggplant plant for my patio so will not have to keep buying them! There is already a tiny one taking shape.
I have been grilling the eggplants so far and thought I would do the same for the last one. That done I now turned my attention to what I should do next (while grilled eggplant on its own is great I wanted to go an extra step). After rummaging through my pantry and refrigerator I decided to make a eggplant casserole dish. With the addition of some cashew cream cheese and cashew parmesan I finally had a better picture of what I was going to make.
While traditional eggplant parmesan is a delicious dish, unfortunately it is also not that healthy. I decided to forgo frying the eggplant and coating it in an egg and breadcrumb batter, instead I relied on the smoky and slightly charred eggplant to balance out the “cheesy” flavours I added.
As I wanted this to be a filling main course meal I also added some frozen spinach and white kidney beans (also knows as cannellini) for added protein and fibre. The beans were mixed with Yoso cashew cream cheese, some roasted garlic and fresh chives. I found this combination to be a perfect substitution to mozzarella cheese. To top it off I added my favourite vegan cheese substitute: Chao Slices.
I am really happy with how this casserole turned out and will have to make it again in the future.
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Head of garlic, roasted
- 1 Cup frozen or fresh spinach
- 1 Can white kidney beans, drained
- 1 Cup tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp chives, chopped finely
- Cashew cream cheese, regular
- Cashew Parmesan
- Chao Slices, plain
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Slice eggplant lengthwise into thin strips.
- Grill or roasted until soft and starting to brown. Roughly 15 minutes on grill or 45 minutes in oven at 425 degrees.
- Remove from grill and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In medium sized bowl mash kidney beans and roasted garlic. Add the cream cheese, chives and salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish. Add a layer of eggplant allowing each piece to overlap the last.
- Spread the bean and cream cheese mixture onto the eggplants, than a layer of spinach followed by more sauce. Continue to alternate the layers until you have a top layer of the remaining eggplant.
- Top with more sauce before adding Chao slices and cashew parmesan.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let site for a few minutes before serving.
- Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.