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Vegan Eggplant Parmesan (Gluten-Free)


Photo: CC/R.B. Boyer

It's so hard having intolerance to gluten, and dairy especially when it comes to Italian food. I haven't had eggplant Parmesan since going gluten-free, but I finally found a  gluten-free, dairy free eggplant Parmesan I can actually eat! The following recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, meat-free, and sugar-free, with the option for nut-free. However, it is not soy-free as I don't tend to have problems with soy, especially if it is organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free, tofu which is hard to find but very worth it.

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Vegan Eggplant Parmesan (Gluten-Free)
Serves: 4 hungry people

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 pieces of gluten-free bread, toasted and made into breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy Parmesan (or ground almonds)
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn (optional)
  • olive oil

Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Vegan Cheeze Sauce:
  • ½ cup extra-firm silken gluten-free tofu
  • ½ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter or tahini
  • 1 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Pinch  white pepper

Directions:
  1. Salt the eggplant slices and put them in a colander to drain.
  2. Prepare the tomato sauce by sauteing the onion in a non-stick saucepan until it becomes translucent (you may use a little water if you like). Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
  3. Add the remaining tomato sauce ingredients, and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Prepare the cheese sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Blend again right before using to make sure that the ingredients haven’t separated.
  5. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with paper towels. Spray or grease a baking sheet lightly with olive oil and place the slices on it (you may have to do this in two batches).
  6. Spray the tops lightly with olive oil and place under the broiler. Watch carefully, and remove when the slices start to brown, about 3 minutes.

Assemble the casserole:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray or wipe an 8×8-inch Pyrex baking dish with a small amount of olive oil. Place half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish, edges overlapping.
  3. Sprinkle with half the breadcrumbs.
  4. Spoon half the tomato sauce and pour half the cheese sauce over the breadcrumbs and sprinkle lightly with soy Parmesan.
  5. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients (reserve some bread crumbs for the top, as mentioned above).
  6. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving.

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