Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan & "Regular" Chicken Parmesan for the kids

Well, BACK in the land of the living! YEAH!!! Took me long enough to get over that illness. Can't believe we got a big snow storm this weekend when everyone else I know has 70 degree Spring weather!! I am very happy to report that I have lost 6 pounds so far since I started eating vegan 2 weeks ago. My biggest problem is I don't drink enough water, and that was a problem even before doing this. For breakfast today I tried a cereal from Kashi, it was good-- with Rice Dream milk substitute. WAY better than soy in my opinion! First of all it is WHITE!! lol
Kids are ready for some new recipes from the cookbooks so now that I am feeling better, it's time to get busy!

Amazing Vegan Eggplant Parmesan -posted by Samantha Enochs on
(this is the title she gave it not necessarily me)

•Prep Time: 20 minutes
•Bake Time: 30 Minutes
•Serves: 6
You Will Need:

•1 Large Eggplant (Sliced medium thin- I’ll explain about the peel later)
•4 Cups your favorite bread crumbs (or homemade)
•3 Ener-G Eggs
•2 Cups your favorite tomato sauce (or homemade)
•1/2 Medium Red Onion (diced)
•Dried Mixed Italian herbs
•Oil (optional)
The “Parmesan” part:

•1 Block Extra Firm Tofu (Sunrise is a great brand)
•1 Tbs. Lemon Juice (for the cheesy tang)
•2 Tbs. Nutrition Yeast (for more cheesy taste)
•1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
•3 Tbs. Vegenaise
•1 Tsp. Each fresh (or dried) Parsley, Marjarom, Basil and Chives

1.First, make up the Parmesan part. It’s really more like a ricotta, but this is a very simple mix I use in many dishes, and it goes perfect with this. Crumble the tofu. Make sure it is very fine, like ricotta would be. Once you have it ultra fine, add the herbs. You could just shake in some Italian seasonings until you’re happy, but I prefer the mix listed above. Add the Vegenaise, it makes the mix a little more creamy. Then add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Mix it well.

2.Before you slice the eggplant, decide if you want the peel on or not. I know texturally it might be better for it to be off. But here’s the thing about the peel; The purple part of the eggplant is chalk full of antioxidants which, as we all know, are awesome for your body. So it comes down to this, if you don’t want the peel- take it off! But, if you want a little more of a nutritional bang, don’t peel your eggplant.

3.Once the big decision is made and the slices are sliced, get your breading ready. In two separate bowls, put the bread crumbs (also, herbs and salt and pepper) and Ener-G eggs and take each slice and coat in ‘egg’, then in crumbs.

4.There are two ways to cook the eggplant. You can either fry it (but that is the fatty way to do it) or you could broil it for 2 minutes on each side. This is effective, but the breading doesn’t always stick fantastically. Trial and error.

5.Get out your favorite glass baking dish and pour a little sauce in the bottom. Cover the bottom with layers of eggplant, onions, and finally the tofu ricotta. Pour on a little more sauce and a drizzle of olive oil (if desired) and repeat the process. When you have two layers, cover with tin foil (or a lid!) and bake for 25-30 minutes.

6.Dish is done when the sauce is a little bubbly and tofu on top has crisped up. Best served with spaghetti ala marinara, fresh baked french bread and a tossed sala

MY COOKS TIPS: I didn't realize I had soft tofu in fridge not the extra firm it called for, and I wasn't about to make another trip to store, so decided to use it. I put all the ingredients listed under "parmesan" part into my food processor along with the red onions. Resembled ricotta cheese with seasonings when I gave it a few whirls. Also, we decided to leave the eggplant peel on for more nutrients. My husband Scott cut them into circles. I think next time we will try cutting it the opposite way so they are longer pieces, as it would be if it had been chicken. I have never made eggplant parmesan ever before, vegan or otherwise. I baked my eggplant on parchment paper on my sheetpan, for 20 min. each side, as I saw on a few other recipes online. I drizzled a little olive oil on parchment first. Nicely golden brown and crispy. I also made some homemade bread crumbs quickly in my food processor, as wheat bread crumbs are crazy expensive. I simply toasted some bread in toaster then threw them in food processor with some italian seasonings. Fast and yummy.

FAMILY CRITIQUE: My husband and I were the only ones that would eat this, the kids wouldn't even try it. I had to make them regular chicken parm. as well as buffalo chicken wings for the 12 year old as she is spoiled rotten by her father and that's what she wanted. So it was quite challenging trying to get everything done at the same time with only one oven. But I did it! My husband Scott said it was quite good and I noticed he had two helpings. I just made a small dish of it (to make more room in the oven for everything else!)and put the rest of the eggplant in the fridge for later use. I didn't know what to expect, but I actually enjoyed it. It was amazing that it actually tasted cheesy to me. Weird, but true! I will have no problems eating these leftovers.

Chicken Parmigiana
- by Candy on

1 egg, beaten
2 ounces dry bread crumbs
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
2.Pour egg into a small shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then into the bread crumbs. Place coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
3.Pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 7x11 inch baking dish. Place chicken over sauce, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top and return to the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

MY COOKS TIPS: Well I have to be honest and really didn't measure any thing out. Don't tell the kids but I used egg beaters instead of "real" eggs. I had made homemade breadcrumbs for my other dish so just used the remainder of those and threw in a little parmesan cheese to that. The bread crumbs I had already put italian seasonings in. My husband pounded out the chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer. And I didn't have the oven space so I cooked them quickly in a very little canola oil mixed with a little olive oil, in a skillet on the stove. It didn't take very long as they were so thin. I then put in a small dish and finished off in oven.

FAMILY CRITIQUE: Well, even tho my 12 year old wouldn't eat it this way-- she did steal a cooked chicken breast off the plate as I had a couple extras that wouldn't fit in the pan. She LOVED it! Said it was cooked perfectly and seasoned perfectly. I was so happy to hear that so I will use that in future for next chicken tender night and do the same thing. She was happy there was one more in the fridge for tomorrow. (she is on a current NO tomato SAUCE kick)My teens devoured it and said it was great. My son ate two huge pieces. The only complaint is that I cooked rigatoni intstead of spaghetti noodles. The only spaghetti noodles I had in cupboard were whole wheat and they wouldn't eat those. They ate the rigatoni and didn't complain further. I also made them vegan garlic bread. I didn't tell them it was the vegan earth balance spread. Just called it garlic bread. They ate it all. :)
Scott tried a bite of Ashley's chicken and said it was perfectly cooked and fabulous.

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