September 6, 2015 By This Vegan Girl
Sometimes, I find myself in a pasta rut. During this time, I’ll rely too much on pasta to get by. How can I not? Just add vegetables to sauce and you have yourself a solid dinner and a filling lunch for the next day.
Well, the truth about pasta is that it can get repetitive. Sometimes, it’s fun to switch it up. That’s why I’ve created this recipe in the style of a sandwich. It’s a fun way to eat eggplant Parmesan, vegan style. You can eat it as a sandwich, burger, or even a sub!
This recipe can be a hybrid of other recipes and my own combined. For the “Parmesan” cheese, you have two options. If you have Chao cheese at your grocery store, using a slice on your sandwich is easy and delicious! If Chao cheese isn’t sold at your local grocery store of if you’d prefer to create something homemade, I have attached a moxarella cheese recipe, as seen by My Wife Makes and inspired by Vedged Out.
Lemon Pesto Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 4 patties for 4 sandwiches
For the eggplant patty:
- one large eggplant, sliced
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten-free and vegan (I use the brand Gillian’s Breadcrumbs)
- 4 pieces of rice paper
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the lemon pesto:
- 1 juice of a small lemon, squeezed (3 tablespoons of lemon juice)
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pinches of salt
- grape seed oil, as needed
- bread of your choice (sandwich bread, sub rolls, buns)
- Chao cheese slices (or homemade Moxarella cheese recipe, seen here)
- your favorite marinara sauce
- any other sandwich add-ons (onion, tomato, spinach, etc.)
Step 1: Slice the eggplant and decide what you are doing with it.
Cut your eggplant into thick slices. When cooked, eggplant loses its volume a bit, so cutting it a bit thicker will work out nicely in the final product. I suggest cutting up to 6 inch/15 centimeter slices.
After that, you have a big choice to make. Are you going to fry your eggplant or bake it? DECIDE NOW.
If you are going to fry your eggplant, see STEP 2.
If you are going to bake your eggplant, go down to STEP 3.
Step 2: Precook the eggplant in the oven.
Ah, so you’ve chosen to fry your eggplant. A fine choice for the taste buds. While taking photos of this entry, I chose to fry my eggplant as well.
You’ll want to precook your eggplant in the oven to make it softer before frying it. Preheat the oven to 350º F / 176º C. Coat your baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil and bake for 15 minutes. Allow the eggplant slices to cool before Step 3.
Step 3: Wrap and bread your eggplant.
Without egg, it can be difficult to keep breadcrumbs on whatever you’re trying to cook. My favorite solution is to first wrap it in sticky rice paper, which will hold breadcrumbs beautifully. Plus, rice paper has a fantastic texture that can hold any flavor.
Speaking of flavor, on the list of ingredients, I put “salt and pepper, to taste”. The breadcrumbs are where you really get that flavor in. Your breadcrumbs might already have an amazing flavor; in this case, you don’t need to add anything to it. In my case, the breadcrumbs I buy don’t have any flavor, so I need to add salt and pepper on my own. Feel free to get creative here. You can amp up your breadcrumbs by also adding garlic powder and/or Italian herbs.
Set up an assembly line for your work station: a large, flat dish filled with warm water, a plate to wrap the eggplant, a dish with the breadcrumbs, and a dish to place your finished patties on. To assemble, first submerge one piece of rice paper into the warm water for around 10 seconds. Next, transfer the softened rice paper onto the wrapping plate. Strategically fold the wrapping paper so all sides of the eggplant are equally covered. Lastly, take the patty onto the breadcrumb plate and cover the rice paper with breadcrumbs. Continue this process until all patties are complete.
Step 4: Cook your patties.
If you are baking your eggplant: Cook your patties at 450º F / 232º C for 20 minutes, flipping the patties about halfway through.
If you are pan-frying your eggplant: In a deep skillet, coat the bottom with 4 tablespoons of grape seed oil at medium heat. Once the oil is heated, use a spatula to gently place the patties in the skillet. You may have to turn the heat down to medium low, depending on your stove. Flip patties over when they have cooked to golden brown (5-10 minutes). Cook the other side of the patty for 5 minutes. When both sides are golden brown, place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.
If you created the homemade moxarella cheese, the patties taste delicious if the moxarella cheese is browned. After the patties are done cooking, add the moxarella cheese into the oven on broil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, keeping your eye on it to prevent burning.
Step 5: Prepare other toppings, including the lemon pesto.
If you haven’t done so by now, begin to heat up your marinara sauce in a saucepan on the stove. Cover and stir occasionally.
If your bread is gluten-free and vegan, you probably need to thaw and toast. This bread by Food for Life is expensive, but so delicious!
If you are adding any vegetables to your sandwich (such as onion, tomato, or spinach), prepare.
To make the lemon pesto, put all lemon pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender. Spread it on your bread when ready.
Step 6: Assemble and enjoy!
Put it all together, and you have delicious sandwiches!
If you tried it and liked it, tag me on social media. Also, add me!
August 31, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
If you care about something, you want to improve it and make yourself better, right? For me, this blog is a constant reminder of that. I get to see how far I’ve come with not only vegan cooking, but cooking in general. In fact, some of my earlier posts are a bit embarrassing for me to look at.
On that note, here is a specific recipe in particular that I’ve made slight improvements to over the past year, and that’s the Buffalo Quinoa Salad recipe. This is a staple recipe in our household, as it’s one of Matt’s favorites. This version is less processed, less work, and more delicious. You can’t argue with that!
Buffalo Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes (mostly completed during cook time)
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the Tempeh Tenders
- 1 8oz package of tempeh, diced
- 4 tbs Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce
- 1/3 cup GF vegan breadcrumbs
- 1 15oz can of garbanzo beans
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1 cup quinoa
- your favorite hummus
- Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce (for drizzling and such)
Step 1: Prepare and roast chickpeas.
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain the chickpeas and pat them dry. Get an oven pan oiled and ready, place chickpeas onto the pan, and dress them with 1 tbs of olive oil. The ONE TABLESPOON is crucial, people. If you add more, your chickpeas will turn out either too mushy or burnt. Move your fingers along the tops of the chickpeas until every chickpea is coated with a bit of oil.
Now, you’re ready to place them in the oven for about 50 minutes. Your result should be crunchy, roasted chickpeas. It’s a great GF crouton, and way more nutritious!
Step 2: Prepare and cook tempeh tenders.
Here is a step that I’ve changed about the previous recipe that will save you lots of time, is less messy, and produces better-quality results. Plus, it’s more fun this way, as dancing with food is involved.
Take your diced tempeh and place it in a tupperware container. Next, pour in the buffalo wing sauce and GF bread crumbs. Put the top on the tupperware container and shake it up! Dance and have fun with your tenders.
When you open up your container, perfectly-coated nuggets will be revealed, without getting a single finger messy!
Grease a baking sheet, pour the tempeh tenders on top, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. It’s okay to share the oven with the chickpeas. I do it all the time.
Step 3: Cook the quinoa.
Two cups of water and one cup of quinoa will go into a pot. Bring the pot to a bowl, lower the heat to simmer, and cover the pot for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Cut the vegetables.
With three things cooking at once, you’ll have one more task: cutting the vegetables. CHEF STATUS! Lol, just kidding. Real chefs start prepping their food at 8am.
Step 5: Combine ingredients in a big bowl.
As things start finishing up, start placing them in a big bowl. Mix it all together.
I like to save the hummus for “garnish” in my own bowl. I like to use Publix’s Jalapeño Cilantro hummus in this dish, as it amps up the kick. However, I’m sure every hummus, store-bought or homemade, works just fine here. Add a heaping tablespoon of your favorite hummus in your own bowl, mix, drizzle some hot sauce on top, and enjoy this heavenly dish.
Add a heaping tablespoon of your favorite hummus in your own bowl, mix, drizzle some hot sauce on top, and enjoy this heavenly dish.
I hope you all give this improved version a try!