Eggplant lasagna

Another great find on the reduced produce shelf at my local Giant supermarket.  This beautiful eggplant was less than $1.00.  My favorite use for eggplant is in eggplant lasagna.

INGREDIENTS:

Veggies:

1 large eggplant

About 4 cups of baby spinach (do not measure, just use as you go when layering)

About 2 cups of cremini mushrooms, sliced (do not measure, use as needed for layers)

Sauce:

28.2 ounce can of organic whole peeled tomatoes

28.2 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews, drained and rinsed

2 TBSP dried minced onion

2 TBSP dried minced garlic

2 TBSP dried parsley

2 TBSP dried oregano

2 TBSP dried basil

2 TBSP nutritional yeast

2 TBSP coconut sugar

2 TBSP coconut aminos

1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicier)

“Cheese” for top layer:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes (but preferably overnight)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp basil

water

INSTRUCTIONS:

First, peel the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise.

Then cut each half into thin wedges.

Eggplant is sometimes bitter and too thick and crispy to use in lieu of lasagna noodles, so I typically soak it in water overnight at room temperature to take out the bitterness and to soften it.  Sprinkling it with salt also has this effect, but I do not typically use salt so that was not an option for me.  Keep the pieces submerged in water by placing a plate or pot lid on top of the eggplant pieces until none of them are sticking out of the water.

Also, soak a half cup of raw cashews overnight in water.

The next day, drain and rinse the eggplant pieces and set aside while you make the homemade sauce.

.           

Put all sauce ingredients except the diced tomatoes into a Vitamix or other blender and blend until frothy.  Stir in the diced tomatoes so that the sauce is a little chunky.

Pour a thin layer of the sauce into a large casserole dish (I used a Pyrex 4.8 quart oblong baking dish).  Layer with eggplant pieces (single layer).

Add a layer of fresh spinach, then a layer of chopped cremini mushrooms, then another layer of sauce.

Repeat the process of layering with sauce, then eggplant, then spinach, then mushrooms with the last layers consisting of eggplant then sauce.

  

Blend “cheese” ingredients in a Vitamix or other high speed blender, adding water until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.  Pour/spread “cheese” batter on top of last layer of sauce then bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Let stand for about 15 minutes after it is removed from the oven so the sauce can thicken.

Serve topped with garlic powder and vegan Parma.  

Since all I had eaten earlier in the day was a personal watermelon fo breakfast and 4 oranges for lunch and I had just gone for a run, I ate this entire tray of lasagna for dinner!  Then later, as a late-night snack I ate an entire bowl of fresh strawberries. High-carb ultra-low fat vegan living is definitely not for people who don’t like to feast on huge amounts of delicious food every day.  Why would anyone want to eat a restrictive diet instead of thriving on all-you-can-eat food that your body craves and was meant to consume?  Did I mention low-sodium and no cholesterol?  GO VEGAN!

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