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Eggplant Parmesan Bake

Nothing beats a meal showcasing fresh summer vegetables and lots of cheese! Try this eggplant parmesan bake for an interesting meat-free meal. I like to serve the bake with a side salad and spaghetti tossed in oil and balsamic vinegar. You can easily use canned sauce, homemade sauce, or a mix between the two, like this recipe does.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs (or regular crumbs with a tsp of Italian seasoning added)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1/2 cup Italian cheese mix
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella (1/2 log)

Instruction:

  1. Peel and slice eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and layer into a colander, covering directly on top with plastic wrap. Place a heavy bowl or cans on top of plastic wrap. Let sit in sink for 45 minutes to pull out bitter liquid. Uncover and rinse with cold water.
  2. Preheat oven to 400º. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup bread crumbs with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, crack egg and lightly whisk. One by one, dunk eggplant slices into egg, coat in bread crumb mixture, and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip slices, and bake for another 5 minutes. Let cool.
  3. While eggplant is baking, add chopped tomatoes, minced onion, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil, chopped oregano, minced garlic, and cayenne pepper to a small sauce pan. Cook on medium-low until heated through, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a little water or stock.
  4. When eggplant and sauce are ready, reduce oven heat to 350º. Pour olive oil into a small casserole dish and swish around until surface is covered. Put about a 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Top with a single layer of eggplant slices. Cover with a sprinkle of each cheese (Italian cheese mix, fresh mozzarella, and remaining parmesan). Continue sauce-eggplant-cheese layering until it’s all used up. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Veggie Noodle Lo Mein

Prep time:  20 minutes

Cook time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 mins

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 baby bok choy, or 1 large bok choy, thoroughly washed, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced length-wise
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, ends removed and spiralized into noodles.  If your carrots aren’t big enough to spiralize thinly slice
  • 8 oz mushrooms.  I prefer baby portobello or crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 4-8 zucchini (around 2 lbs), spiralized into noodles – I find the medium size works best, but you could also do the fine or angel hair size
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Aromatics:

  • 3 tsp Ellbee’s Asian Zing Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons ginger, minced
  • Whites of the green onions sliced below

Sauce:

  • 1 ½ Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ½ Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Toppings:

  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced.  Separate the sliced greens from the whites.  Use the whites in the aromatics above, reserve the greens for topping at the end

 

Instructions:

  1. Make sure all your veggies are prepped before starting the stir fry.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and soy sauce until cornstarch is dissolved.  Add in sesame oil, mirin and brown sugar.  Set aside
  3. Preheat a very large skillet (at least 15″) over medium high heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil into the pan along with the garlic, ginger, and whites of the green onions.  Stir fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and the green onions have wilted.  
  4. Increase heat to high.  Add mushrooms and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.  Add bok choy, bell pepper, and carrots. Stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the veggies are starting to soften.
  5. Transfer the stir fried veggies to a large serving bowl
  6. Place the stir fry pan back over high heat, and add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and stir fry just until the noodles are beginning to soften, around 5 minutes.  Drain off the excess liquid.  
  7. Add the veggie mixture to the noodles and toss completely to combine. Add the salt and sauce mixture, stir to coat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.   Taste and adjust seasonings.  Remove the pan from the heat.
  8. Transfer to serving bowl, top with the greens portion of the sliced green onions, and serve. 

Notes:

  • You can easily add a cooked protein (chicken, shredded pork, etc) if desired.  Add the cooked protein in Step 4 with the mushrooms and other vegetables.