Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Crispy eggplant parmesan was one of my favorite dishes before going vegan. I’ve attempted to recreate it a few times and think I finally nailed it! My cheese loving partner and our one year old daughter also really enjoyed last night’s preparation so I am excited to share with all of you! I like this dish because I can prepare the eggplant ahead of time for my partner to pop in the oven on nights I am teaching at the yoga studio. I love coming home to dinner on the table and having something ready to go make its that much easier on all of us.
The “parmesan” crust with pepita seeds is what made this dish for me. However, if you are short on time you can use bread crumbs (make sure they are vegan!) for the crust. I suggest adding nutritional yeast to the bread crumbs to get that cheesy flavor.
This recipe calls for “zoodles”, spiralized zucchini that looks like noodles. A spiralizer is a stable in my kitchen. After going vegan, I noticed I was eating noodles ALL THE TIME. The spiralizer allows me to sub vegetable noodles for pasta at least once a week. However, if you don’t have a spiralizer you can usually find pre spiralized veggie noodles at a co-op or in the health food section of a grocery store. Otherwise, angel hair pasta is great!
1 large eggplant
½ red onion, chopped
4 Zucchini (or pasta of choice)
Marinara Sauce (We use Aldi’s Smart Choice, Organic Tomato Basil)
2 cups pepita seeds (plain)
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2-3 tsp herbs of choice (Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Thyme)
Optional: 1 tsp red pepper flake for spice
2 cups almond milk
1 cup flour
2-3 tbsp herbs of choice (Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Thyme)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper
Peel eggplant, cut in half long ways, thinly slice
Sprinkle salt on each slice of eggplant, put in colander and let “sweat” in sink or on top of a bowl for 30 minutes
While the eggplant sweats prepare parmesan crust and batter.
For parmesan crust add all ingredients to food processor or blender. I used a mini food processor. Combine until most of the pepitas are crumbs, with a few larger or whole seeds remaining.
Whisk together batter ingredients.
Shake ½ cup of parmesan crust into shallow dish
Dunk each eggplant slice in the batter then press each side into the crust and set on baking sheet.
Repeat until all slices are covered. Adding more parmesan crust to the plate as you need.
Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 10 more minutes.
While eggplant is cooking, prepare zucchini noodles in spiralizer.
Heat skillet with coconut oil over medium high heat.
Once hot, add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.
Add more coconut oil to skilled if needed then add zucchini noodles
Cook until tender, but be careful not to overcook or your zoodles will be mushy.
Toss zoodles with marinara sauce and top with eggplant. Enjoy!
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