Tag Archives: eggplant

Easy Baked Eggplant Fries

It wasn’t too long ago that I cooked eggplant for the first time.  And, yeah, I’m a little obsessed with it now. Neal even jokingly mentioned to me the other day — you know, you don’t have to put eggplant in everything right? So of course I then decided to make something that featured eggplant and only eggplant…muahahahaha!

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These panko-crusted baked eggplant fries from Oh My Veggies were devoured by the both of us in less than an hour. These were soooo good. Yup. A quadruple “o” so good! That’s how good these eggplant fries were. They were also really simple to make. Think cutting-mixing-double dipping-baking simple. The only things I did differently to the recipe were as follows:

  • I used one large eggplant and peeled it. I know. I was scared ok? The skin still scares me a little…this love is still blossoming between aubergine and I.
  • I threw in a lot more seasoning in the flax egg mixture as well as in the panko bread crumbs (I used the same smoke seasoning mix that’s in this post).
  • I used more flax egg mixture (about 2-3X) and more panko because I had a bigger eggplant. Or I was being overzealous with it. Probably the latter.

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I recommend eating these eggplant fries straight from the oven because that is when they are crispiest on the outside. Then for each lovely bite you will experience crispy seasoned panko followed by melt-in-your-mouth, roasty, earthy eggplant. I dipped mine in Isa’s Sanctuary Dip but truly they are delicious as is.

What other veggies do you use to make “fries”?

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Creamy Mushroom and Eggplant Strudel that Tastes Stroganoffy

We recently discovered that we get the Food Network.  So I turn it on every now and then. As long as they aren’t showing something too overtly non-vegan, I can usually put on my vegan goggles and pretend everything they are making is vegan and cruelty free. It’s like vegan food cosplay.

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The other day I saw Ina Garten making crab strudels using phyllo dough. It looked easy so I decided to make my own. Instead of crab, I used what we had in the fridge which happened to be shiitake mushrooms and an eggplant.

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The creamy part of this comes from cashew cheese, though I think the roasted eggplant played a part too. When I began mixing everything together, it straight up looked like raw pork or sausage. I’m still not sure if this was cool because it wasn’t actually pig, or not-cool because it looked like it. *shrugs*.  I continued with it anyways because I was in too deep at that point. Kinda like Walt in season one of Breaking Bad.

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This recipe makes two strudel logs (about 18-20 pieces) and was easy to make. The phyllo dough was a bit annoying at first until I said *screw it* and stopped caring if the layers weren’t perfectly placed over each other or if some pieces broke. It all worked out in the end.

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The end result was pretty bad ass. Again, much like Walt from Breaking Bad. It tasted like cream of mushroom soup or stroganoff encased in a buttery flaky crust.  I couldn’t really pinpoint the eggplant in each bite…everything just kinda blended together into a comforting creamy and savory taste in my mouth.

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Creamy Mushroom and Eggplant Strudel

Ingredients

  • 9 oz of shiitake mushrooms with tough stems removed (this is about 2 1/2 to 3 cups)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion
  • small eggplant (peeled, sliced into disks and ends cut off)
  • 2 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs cashew cheese (click here for the recipe)
  • 10 sheets of phyllo dough
  • melted vegan butter to brush on phyllo layers
  • bread crumbs

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Directions

Throw the mushrooms, garlic, onion and eggplant into a food processor and pulse until it’s crumbly and resembles stuffing.  Stir in the green onions.  Transfer to a lightly oiled or buttered pan and cook on medium high for about 10-12 minutes cooking away most of the liquid. As it cooks, season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the cashew cheese. Let it cool so it can be handled safely. I stuck it in the fridge while I worked with the phyllo.

Lay out a piece of phyllo. Brush with melted vegan butter and then sprinkle with bread crumbs. Repeat this four more times, laying each phyllo sheet on top of the other. It’s okay if they aren’t perfectly lined up or if some crack. Then take the mushroom/eggplant mixture and form a log about an inch or so wide on one end and roll it up. Seal the roll with melted butter. Brush more melted butter on the outside and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Score the strudel into 1 1/2 inch pieces and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. The phyllo should be golden and crispy.

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This would make a great party appetizer or snack. Or just eat it straight up by itself like we did.

Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese

This dish was totes inspired by my desire to start liking eggplant. I don’t hate eggplant. But if someone said–here, you can have this eggplant for dinner or you can have this *insert almost any other plant here*.  I would no doubt choose the other plant.eggplantlasagna-7588-1 Part of my indifference to eggplant is that I just don’t know what to do with the big purple bulby plant. So my first, yes first, foray into cooking with it was to make the most clichéd eggplant-y dish ever. Cheesy eggplant lasagna. This dish is stacks on stacks of earthy, tender eggplant with basil ricotta, cashew cheese and tomato marinara sauce stuffed in between. A crusty layer of panko crumbs offers a nice textural contrast to the tender eggplant. eggplantlasagna-7521-2 Since I already had my cashew cheese made and used store bought marinara sauce, it wasn’t too difficult or time consuming to put this together.  And layering lasagna is always fun!

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Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • about 5 1/4 cups of tofu ricotta (I did 1.5X the basil-ricotta recipe in Isa’s Veganomicon. Don’t have Veganomicon? Just google “tofu ricotta” and pick a recipe that looks good!)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew cheese
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • oil (for sauteeing eggplant)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • panko bread crumbs for sprinkling on top
  • 3 tomato slices (optional)

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare the tofu ricotta. Stir the cashew cheese and spinach leaves into the ricotta. Next slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin layers. In a pan lightly coated with oil, cook the eggplant slices until lightly browned and mostly soft on each side (~5 minutes each side). Now it’s time to layer everything in a 2.2 qt glass baking dish (7×11). This is how I did the layers: marinara on the bottom, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, marinara, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, eggplant, lots of marinara and panko bread crumbs. eggplantlasagna-7573-5 Then I placed three slices of tomatoes brushed with a little oil on top. I baked this for 30 minutes covered with foil and then about another 30 minutes without foil. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and how thick your eggplants are sliced. I checked the tenderness by sticking a bamboo skewer in the eggplant slices. I considered it done when the skewer easily went through all the layers. eggplantlasagna-7593-6 Was this dish enough to change my mind about eggplant? Well I bought another purple beauty this week and I’ve got my mind set on some eggplant fries.

What’s your favorite way to cook eggplant?

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