Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Easy Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Eggplant Parm

 Last week we got the most delicious looking eggplant in our farm share.  For me to say "delicious" and "eggplant" in the same sentence is really saying something.   Until I experienced my first fresh, local, organic bought-at-the-farmer's-market eggplant a couple of years ago I thought eggplant was the most foul mushy grey veggie known to man.  But on a whim I bought one, made ratatouille, and realized I hadn't given it a fair chance.

I looked at my luscious, shiny, purple eggplant and decided it wanted to be Eggplant Parm.  It was so yummy, I had seconds.

with a side of quinoa pasta

While I love making food totally from scratch, there wasn't time for that today with errands and taking the munckin to his swimming lesson... so I relied on some of my favorite gluten free and dairy free brands for this dinner.

Gillians Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
Dayia Mozzarella
Gluten Free Bisquick
Bove's Marinara Sauce ( I really enjoy making marinara, but when I don't make my own this is my go to, it is really delicious!)
2 large eggplants,
Enough egg to help the breadcrumbs stick (While I'm eating mostly vegan, I happened to have pasture raised eggs from a nearby farm on-hand, to make this vegan omit the egg and use whatever breading method works best for you)
oregano, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast- personal preference, I tend to have a heavy hand with herbs.
A neutral flavored oil that can hold up to higher heat- I used canola, enough to thoroughly cover the bottom of the pan.

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Cut your eggplant into thin slices (about a 1//4 inch)

3. Salt the eggplant and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  Seriously! This is the best trick I've learned for drawing out the excess moisture in the eggplant and avoiding that soggy mushiness that I don't like about eggplant.

4. Combine your herbs into the breadcrumbs (or use Italian style breadcrumbs) Bread the eggplant slices- I do a layer of gf bisquick, then dredge in egg, then coat in breadcrumbs.  

5. Heat your oil to medium high. Pan fry your eggplant slices- it takes about a minute each side

I suggest wearing an apron- this can be messy. I particularly enjoy my "baking is science for hungry people" apron.

6. Layer your eggplant, daiya, and sauce.  I also sprinkled some more of the herbs on top with a nice pinch of nutritional yeast for more of a "cheesy" flavor.

7. Bake for 30 minutes.

Munchkin approved!

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