Girls on Food

Recipe

Girls on Food Prefer Blondies (by Bonnie)

I’ve finally achieved my idea of the perfect blondie. (A blondie is a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie.) While there may not be such a thing as a BAD Blondie, there are definitely sub-par ones.

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I was looking for a moist, chewy, chocolatey blondie with a salty crunch. Is that asking too much? NO!!! Tinkering around with a pretty good recipe, I decided to brown the butter rather than simply melt it, as directed. This added a deeper flavor.

I also found that removing them from the oven promptly at the 22-minute mark (cooking directions suggested 22-25 minutes) was key to a moist result. Even if you don’t think they are ready, fear not – they’ll continue to bake in the hot pan out of the oven.

A bonus feature of my Blondies is that they’re better the next day, once they firmed up a bit. I love recipes you can make ahead of time! (Don’t get me wrong – they’re DELICIOUS the same day! It’s just they’re still soft and gooey….not exactly a bad thing, but a little messy for guests.

Finally, I added 1/2 cup of 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli was best) AND white chocolate chips, then topped with toasted pretzel bits for a salty crunch.

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NOTE: For the flour and brown sugar I put measurements in both weight and cups. Weight is a far more accurate measurement, which is important in baking. So if you have a scale, use it.

BONNIE’S BLONDIES

  • 7 oz all-purpose flour (1 2/3 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 T salted butter
  • 10.5 oz dark brown sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts (or pecans, cashews) – chopped & lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup 60% bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I use Nestle’s)
  • 1/3 cup pretzel sticks, broken by hand into small pieces & lightly toasted (unless the bag is fresh)

NOTE: Take care when breaking the pretzels that you don’t knock off the salt.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, swirling often. Keep cooking until butter darkens and becomes aromatic, but doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Let cool a few minutes.

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Mix the sugar into the melted butter. Stir well, smashing out any lumps.

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Beat the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour approximately half the eggs into sugar mixture and blend. When smooth, stir in the rest of the eggs.

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Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit.

Pour in the flour mixture, folding gently until most of the flour is incorporated.

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Add in the chips and nuts, blending just until flour disappears – over mixing toughens the Blondie.

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Pour into a greased and floured 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Spread batter to cover entire pan, smoothing top. The batter is very thick, so take care when spreading that you don’t scrap off the greased/floured coating – just gently push the top toward the edges. Sprinkle the pretzels on top, lightly pressing into the batter so they stick.IMG_3276

Bake at 350º Fahrenheit for 22 minutes exactly.  Don’t worry if they don’t look quite done – they’ll continue to cook in the hot dish. Place on a wire rack to cool for, at least, 3 hours before slicing.

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Be sure to check out my blog for lots of yummy vegetarian recipes:  VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR CARNIVORES BLOG.

Brittaney’s Berry Yummy Summer Smoothie

Whether you’re out berry picking or buying loads of berries, I have the perfect smoothie recipe for you; it’s also very healthy!

Brittaneys Smoothie

Berry Yummy Summer Smoothie 

What you’ll need:

1 cup blueberries (blueberries are one of the highest foods in antioxidants in the world!)

1 handful of blackberries (high in vitamin C)

1/2 cup of pineapple (to make things a little sweet, also high in Vitamin C)

1 handful of mint (promotes digestion and clears your palate)

Juice of 1 lemon (perfect for detoxification and high in Vitamin C)

1/2 cup of ice

Throw it all in a blender, and blend until smooth! Sit in the sun, and cool off with this delicious smoothie.

Everything’s Peachy with Dawn

peach, mozzarella, basil, summer saladPeach season is in full swing. I prefer to wait until freestone peaches are available before I shop. I do not have the time OR the patience for the cling style. Too much waste. I always buy a half bushel. I freeze 2/3 of the bushel. I peel and slice the peaches then lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. After the individual slices are frozen, I transfer them to a freezer bag. I can then grab what I need! Here are just a few of my favorite peach recipes. Enjoy!

Peachy Caprese Salad
Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 peach, peeled and cut into dice-sized pieces
1-2 ounces fresh mozzarella
2-3 fresh basil leaves, torn
Balsamic glaze, drizzle

Gently toss the peaches, mozzarella, and basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy.
Options:
Add some vine ripe tomatoes.
Replace basil leaves with mint.

green tea, peach, smoothie, healthy, summerPeachy Green Tea Smoothie
Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 cup brewed and chilled green tea
1 peach, peeled and sliced
1/2 banana, frozen
1 tsp. agave nectar

Place all ingredients in a blender and blender until smooth.
Options:
Replace 1/2 cup green tea with 1/2 cup greek yogurt.
Add one scoop of vanilla protein powder.
Add one tsp of ground flax seed.

peach, almond, crisp

Smitten Kitchen’s Almond-Crisped Peaches
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
4 ripe peaches
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter cubed
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut peaches in half and discard the pit. Put peaches, cut side up, in a low-sided baking dish. Stir together almond flour, sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Add butter and combine with other ingredients with a fork or in a food processor. Spoon the mixture into the center of each peach and press flat. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the tops are crisped and fork tender.

I eat these babies for breakfast with an egg and a slice of toasted raisin bread or for dinner next to a yummy pork chop.
peach, almond, cinnamon

peach chutney, summer recipe

The Porch Restaurant’s Peach Chutney
from Southern Living Off the Beaten Path Second Helpings
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients:
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches

Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add brown sugar, black pepper and ground red pepper. Continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add vinegar and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in peaches. Process half of the mixture with an immersion blender. Stir the pureed mixture into the remaining peach mixture. Put in another bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.

The Porch serves this with fresh burrata and garlic toast. This chutney is good on everything! I have even put it on ice cream.

Jillian’s Gluten Free Banana Chia Pancakes

gluten free banana chia pancakes

I always thought pancakes were these elusive, complicated and hard to make breakfast foods and that’s why everyone always used Bisquick ?

It wasn’t until last year that I realized they are really simple to make in a healthy and entirely vegan/gluten free/delicious manner. I pretty much stick with the same recipe I use when making muffins because it works (and I’m lazy).

These Gluten Free Banana Chia Pancakes have 9 ingredients and in 4 easy steps you can have filling, moist pancakes topped with all the fresh fruit, nuts, coconut flakes, goji berries, maple syrup and chocolate chips you want. Plus, I have a trick for making one batch of pancakes at the beginning of the week that will last you several mornings because my laziness has made me resourceful ?

vegan pancakes

Here are the DRY ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt

Stir all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and get out any clumps.

Here are the WET ingredients you will need:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 2 sliced bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)

Optional: semisweet chocolate chips or any other add-ins.

In a separate smaller bowl, use a fork to mash up the bananas. Add in the butter, vanilla extract, and soy milk. Mix thoroughly.

Add your wet mixture to the dry and combine everything together, stirring until you have a smooth batter. Add chocolate chips or any other desired add-ins at this point.

Heat a little coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Pour batter into whatever sizes or shapes you want and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Top with coconut flakes, fresh fruit, nuts, goji berries, maple syrup, vegan butter or ALL OF THE ABOVE.

banana chia pancakes

BONUS! What’s my super awesome trick for extending the life of pancakes? Usually, I will cut this recipe in half when I make it in the morning. I use up maybe a third of the batter making a couple of smaller pancakes. I put the remaining batter in an airtight container and the next morning I add a little water to the mixture because it thickens in the fridge. Then I make a couple more pancakes, put the rest of the batter in the fridge and repeat the process. The batter will last me 4-5 days until I’ve my fill of pancakes ?

Pancakes 4 lyfe.

Jillian ?

Soups for the Summer: Chilled Strawberry Basil

balsamsFor a few years in a row, Christmas break was spent with my extended family at the Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch, NH. We would spend the week skiing by day, and enjoying the resort by night. This place is amazing – kind of a cruise ship on dry land, with huge breakfasts, formal dinners, and various activities in the evening – karaoke, movies, the best arcade room ever, and tons of other fun activities (take the memories with a grain of salt – I was probably 14 the last time we were there). The town’s claim to fame is that the first primaries every election year are held in Dixville Notch. It’s a beautiful little New England city, and this resort is gorgeous! (from what I can tell, the Balsams resort is in the process of revamping, and I am hoping they reopen to the public soon!  I can’t wait to take my family there!).

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strawberry soup 3As I mentioned, after a long day of skiing, and a relaxed lunch in the ski lodge, everyone would come back to the resort and get ready for a formal dinner. Men had to wear sports jackets, and the women had to be dressed up. Upon being seated, servers would push carts around with various options for appetizers, dinners, and desserts. To a little kid, this place was glamorous and indulgent, and one of my favorite appetizers every year was a chilled strawberry soup. It was so fancy and unexpected; refreshing after a long day spent bundled up on the slopes!

Every once in a while, I’ve thought back to that unusual soup, but it wasn’t until I was at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago that everything aligned! So, I’ll have to thank the kind cashier that insisted I take home an extra, giant box of organic strawberries…for comparison purposes! He swore up and down the bigger berries were sweeter than the smaller (he was right!). To me, it just meant we had way more strawberries than we could eat before they all went bad! Luckily, my brother-in-law and one of his kids were in town, so we invited a big group over for dinner. Nothing like experimenting when you have ten people over for dinner! I’m not going to lie – I was nervous about this one! But the feedback was incredible! A couple of foodies over and everyone loved it!

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My toddler loves to help out in the kitchen, and this is a great recipe for a little kid. I wanted something a bit more grown-up than what I remembered (which was basically a strawberry milkshake), so I went searching on Pinterest, and found a Chilled Strawberry Basil soup recipe. As usual, this is slightly tweaked, but here goes:

Chilled Strawberry Basil

Ingredients:

  • Blender/food processor
  • 4 cups rinsed and prepped strawberries (tops cut off)
  • 2 cups strawberry greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (and 1 lemon wedge thrown in for sweetness)
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend.
  • Chill or serve immediately.

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I topped this with a dollop of whipped cream, a sprig of basil, and a slice of strawberry. We served the soup as an appetizer before my husband pulled some teriyaki marinated pork tenderloin and bell peppers off the grill! Perfect accompaniment on a warm summer night! And don’t forget the perfect dessert for any grill night – s’mores! Hope you enjoy this cold soup on a summer night soon!

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Katie’s Take on Gwyneth Paltrow’s New England Corn Chowder

Living in North Carolina, I’m used to some hot summer weather! But that seems like a silly reason to give up one of my favorite food platforms for an entire season each year. So this year, we decided to find a couple of soups that are refreshing and use the best of the local produce. I’ll keep these coming as often as I find a new one. This corn chowder has to be credited to my favorite: Gwyneth Paltrow. My sister-in-law gave me Gwyneth’s first cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, for Christmas a few years back. I LOVE this cookbook. She lived in Spain for a time in her teens and had a lot of Spanish influenced meals. Most people who know me, know that my husband has been privy to many a sweet nothing whispered of an ex-pat retirement in Spain, ever since we spent two weeks there on our honeymoon. So, GP and I are obviously kindred spirits. Plus, she’s from Long Island, so… (Yay New England!!)

corn chowder 1

This corn chow-dah is perfect for spring and summer nights! It’s light but filling, and the corn is so delicious when it is in season! This can be the perfect start as an appetizer to some fresh seafood on the grill, or as a full meal. Whatever your preference, I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does! If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, follow Gwenie’s version, since mine uses a little meat.

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Katie’s Take on Gwyneth Paltrow’s New England Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • Food processor/blender
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter (or olive oil for vegan)
  • 6 slices diced bacon (skip for vegetarian/vegan – although GP recommends 1.5 tsp pimento)
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and roughly diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme (or 4 sprigs fresh thyme)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly diced
  • Kernels from 12 fresh ears of corn (After you slice off the kernels, use the back of your knife to scrape the juices off half the cobs – adds to the creaminess of the soup!) Reserve 4-6 cobs for simmering.
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 2 cups milk (or light coconut milk)

Recipe:

  • Melt the butter in a big soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon until it begins to brown, and then add the shallots, herbs, and onion. Saute until onion starts to become translucent. Add the corn kernels and salt and pepper. Stir everything together. Add the milk, stock, and corn cobs. Bring soup to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (you want corn to be cooked thru). Remove the cobs, and blend about half to three-quarters of the soup – really your preference here! You can serve immediately or reheat later. I prefer to let it cool and heat later; the flavors blend so well!

I usually serve this with some crusty bread and a small side salad. We bring it to BBQ’s as a side, make it as an appetizer on night’s my parents grill burgers/lobster/swordfish at the beach, and make it at home as a main dish, so we have a quick meal to pull out on busy nights! Enjoy!

Lauryn’s Barbeque Sauce Review By @SouthDallasFoodie

This week I was enlisted by my super awesome Editor, Julianne, to try out Lauryn’s Barbecue Sauce and try to come up with some recipes.

So much pressure you guys, but it was so worth it. I’ve spent the last three weekends messin’ around and now I am here to share with you, our loyal Girls (and boys) on Food, my findings.

south dallas foodie review
Lauryn’s Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce y’all.

Over the course of three weekends, I used the sauce in three different ways. My litmus test with all BBQ sauces is how well it works for chicken wings. I was not disappointed.

south dallas foodie
Maple Bourbon BBQ Chicken

Lauryn’s Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce is probably the best sauce I’ve ever used on wings you guys.

I’m not crazy about wing sauce that is super spicy or overly vinegar-ish, but this sauce has a kick to it and rounds the sweetness out so well.

It’s not too sweet, not too tangy. It’s perfect.

Then last weekend my adorable foodie husband bought a teeny new grill to play with this summer. We christened the grill with the sauce and a huge rack of baby back ribs.

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Step one – Sauce and Bake the ribs

Recipe for mouth watering, fall off the bone ribs By SouthDallasFoodie:

Salt, pepper then sauce them bad boys up.

Place ribs on a wire rack inside a roasting pan.

Fill the pan with water, about an inch deep. You don’t want the water touching the meat. Cover very tightly with foil and bake for two hours at 325.

You’ll know they’re ready when you can see the bones poking out.

Then sauce them again and either put them under the broiler on low (continuously monitored) for about 2 minutes, OR…

south dallas foodie
A little hickory wood smoke always does the trick.

…give them a few moments on the grill. All we’re trying to do is get these babies nice and caramelized so just about five minutes or so should do the trick.

Today, the hubs and I had friends and family over for Memorial Day. I decided to enlist one of my own little Girls On Food, my Goddaughter – Emma, to help me with the most fun and most delicious recipe in the whole experiment.

south dallas foodie
This gorgeous girl is going places in the kitchen y’all. She’s a natural Chef.

This recipe is not just delicious and fun but also super easy.

Take about 1/2 a cup of Lauryn’s Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce and mix in about 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

Now lay some bacon out on a roasting pan and brush the mixture on.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes then baste again…

south dallas foodie
My oven is a battlefield of charred food crumbs.

You’re gonna do a baste, bake five minutes, baste, bake five minutes thing here. About twenty minutes should do it; it just depends on how crisp you like it.

When you’re done, VOILA, you have Maple Bourbon Candied Bacon Strips. If you’re looking for a unique appetizer, then look no further.

The maple flavor with the bacon was off the hook. A super unhealthy/delicious snack for any occasion.

south dallas foodie
I love you, Lauryn.

Lauryn’s is available for sale online here. Other flavors include Honey Mustard, Pineapple Heat and Bite of The South.

Let Lauryn know Girls On Food sent ya! Happy cookin’.

Jillian’s Fully Loaded Vegan Mac n’ Cheeze

Cheesy! Cheesy! Cheesy! I love anything and everything cheesy, and thanks to the miracle of vegan cheese and nutritional yeast, I never have to live without it. #blessed ❤️

In all seriousness, this is a really yummy recipe that is perfect for those comfort food cravings that everyone gets, even gluten-free vegans ? Not only is it free of animal product and tons of over-processed ingredients, it’s kind of healthy and contains wonderful things like turmeric, veggies, and raw cashews. That means it also contains protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. High five!

This dish is great for lunch, parties, or to make a big batch and take to work with you. It’s incredibly filling and satisfying, and easy to reheat. Now that I’ve talked up this creamy, savory bowl of cheesy heaven, read on to see how simple it is to make Fully Loaded Vegan Mac n’ Cheez!

fully loaded vegan mac n' cheez

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 box of gluten-free macaroni (I used a quinoa based one)
  • favorite sauteed veggies
  • Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble

unnamed-1For the sauce:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight then drain and rinse
  • nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • ground turmeric
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • non-dairy milk (I like cashew milk)

Super simple instructions:

  1. Cook macaroni according to directions on the box.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews. Blend with the rest of the sauce ingredients until smooth.
  3. In a pan, saute your favorite veggies (I used mushrooms, broccoli, and kale) in a little bit of olive oil along with Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble. Season if desired.
  4. Put macaroni back into the pot, add the sauce and mix until evenly distributed. Add in the veggies & beefy crumble and stir.

Look how creamy this sauce is! Thanks, raw cashews. You da best ? You can stop there if you want, it’s delicious without the veggies and beef crumbles. You can top it off with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or if you’re super fancy some chopped parsley.

Even though I haven’t tested this recipe on kids, I’m pretty sure they’ll love it. Makes a great main course, but would also be yummy as a side dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Cheese it up buttercup ?

Jillian ?

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Summer’s Peachy Coconut Cream Popsicles

Spring is in the air; the temperature is rising, and there is nothing better than a cold sweet treat to keep you cool. My favorite kind of treat is ice cream. I LOVE ice cream. Like I love it so much, I would marry it. Seriously, I wouldn’t even need a ring. The problem is ice cream is all about that dairy. At least, the flavorful, good ones are. Since dairy is pretty much my arch nemesis, I needed to find an alternative. Something a little healthier without sacrificing taste. Enter coconut cream. Fluffy and smooth just like a pillow. Now, I have used coconut cream for many things, yet for whatever reason it never dawned on me to use it for a delicious frozen treat until now.

I started rummaging around my kitchen and found the following in my cupboard and freezer.

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It was a sign; I needed to make peaches n’ cream popsicles.

I kind of did everything by taste and eyeballing it… with that said here is an estimation of the actual ingredient measurements.

measurements

I like using maple syrup to sweeten things because it is healthier and vanilla extract is pretty much a no-brainer since it makes everything taste better. You can also use stevia or agave syrup.

I chopped up the frozen peaches so that they were more bite size.

I then put everything except for the peaches into a bowl and mixed it all up.

Mixing it

After that, I started spooning the delicious mixture into my nifty dollar store popsicle holders.

filling the container

After a few spoonfuls of the coconut mixture, I dropped a few pieces of peaches in and repeated the spooning, peach dropping process until the popsicle molds were full.

ready to freeze

Place the tops on and freeze overnight.

I was super excited to wake up and try out my delicious treat the next day. I’m not going to lie; they were a little tough to get out. (maybe I should have invested in popsicle molds that were more than a dollar) I had to let them sit on the counter for a couple of minutes to loosen up. I tell you what, though, they were worth the wait!!

me with popsicleThis recipe is totally customizable. I think strawberries, pineapple, kiwi would all be awesome choices as well.

Give them a try and let me know what y’all think in the comment section below!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Luck of the Irish: Bonnie’s Colcannon

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

I was trying to decide what Irish dish to make.  Luckily, I had a sack of potatoes (like a good Irish girl!), half a cabbage, and an onion.

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Hmmmm!

colcannon me text

Colcannon, of course!

So, get your green on and try this super easy dish.  The full recipe is at the end of the post.

Simply peel, chop, and boil 1½ lbs of russet potatoes in salted water.

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While that’s cooking, chop 3/4 cup onion and 2 cups green cabbage.

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Saute onions and cabbage in 1½ T butter for 5 minutes.  Add in 1/2 tsp salt.

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When potatoes are easily pierced with a fork – they’re done.  Save about 1 cup of the potato water.

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Drain potatoes.  Pour in 2 T melted butter and mash until smooth.  Add in reserved potato water, as needed, to achieve a creamy texture.

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Stir in the cabbage/onion mixture.  Add in another 1/2 tsp salt.

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You’ve now made colcannon!!!

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Slainte!!!

COLCANNON – makes 6 cups

  • 1½ lbs russet potatoes, skinned
  • 3½ T butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 cups green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp salt, divided

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Cut peeled potatoes into pieces so they cook faster. Add to boiling water and cook until easily pierced with a fork. Reserve 1 cup of the potato water, then drain potatoes. Return potatoes to the empty pot.

While potatoes are boiling, melt 1½ T of the butter in a saucepan. Add in onions and cabbage, and sauté until softened – about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt and set aside.

Melt the remaining 2 T butter and add to the hot, drained potatoes. Mash, using a potato masher or food mill. Pour in the cabbage mixture (heat, if it’s gone cold) and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Add the reserved potato water, as needed, to achieve a creamy texture.

NOTE: Much as I love my food processor, DON’T use it to mash the potatoes – they’ll turn out like paste.

To bring leftover colcannon back to life as leftovers, add a bit of the reserved potato water (or, just plain water or milk if you threw it out) and microwave.

Be sure and check out my blog at VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR CARNIVORES BLOG.

 

Jillian’s Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

eggplant parmesan casserole

Eggplants are my spirit animal ✨? I mean wait… but you get what I’m saying, right? Eggplants are my jam right now, not literally but maybe eggplant jam is an actual thing to look into ?

I’ve liked eggplant for a while now, but it wasn’t until I lived in Beijing and discovered a dish with white rice, potatoes, and eggplant smothered in a delicious sauce that I realized Hey, eggplants are super cool and a good meat substitute. I should eat them more often. Enter this saucy (literally) recipe for Eggplant Parmesan Casserole. Hearty brown rice, garlic sauteed eggplant slices, savory tomato sauce, and melted vegan cheese all in the form of a comforting and satisfying casserole.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled
  • a thick slice of yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • oil (extra virgin olive or coconut)
  • tomato sauce
  • vegan cheese of choice (shreds or slices both work)
  • seasonings (S&P, garlic powder, nutritional yeast)
  • water

Pretty easy, right?

Be sure to soak your brown rice for a few hours or overnight to help soften and ease the cooking process. Drain and rinse. Add to 2 cups of boiling water and turn down to low. If the rice absorbs the water quickly, add more as needed.

In the meantime, heat a large skillet with a thin layer of coconut or olive oil. Slice the eggplant into about 1/2 inch thick slices and place into pan. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder onto each slice and saute on medium heat until cooked. Because the eggplant absorbs liquids so quickly, add water as needed (or oil or chickpea broth). Repeat until all the slices are sauteed.

Saute diced onion & garlic in a small pan with some oil until translucent and brown. Add about 8 oz of tomato sauce to the onion and garlic. I use plain, organic tomato sauce that comes in a glass bottle from HEB. I recommend staying away from cans due to the high levels of BPA. Turn down to low heat and add seasonings. Remove from heat when the sauce is warm.

Season the brown rice with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Evenly apply a few drizzles of oil to the bottom of a casserole dish to avoid any food sticking. Spread a layer of brown rice down, then the sauteed eggplant, the sauce, and finally a layer of vegan cheese. Put in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, or about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

vegan eggplant parmesan

So filling by itself, but would be great paired with a salad or a side dish of steamed broccoli or some other green veggie. This is a healthier version of lasagna, but if you don’t want to use brown rice as the base, you can easily find a gluten free lasagna pasta and use that. You can also add other veggies based on your preference. If you want to get real fancy, you can coat the eggplant in gluten free bread crumbs and top the dish with vegan parmesan for a more authentic eggplant parm.

Enjoy this lasanga/casserole/eggplant parmesan hybrid! ?

Jillian ?

eggplant parmesan casserole