What’s this? Vegan eggplant parm you say? Well yes I do say! I was a bit afraid that the kids wouldn’t be too receptive to the idea, but interestingly, they all ate everything they were served. What I like about this particular recipe is that it’s vegan friendly. You can always sub in a protein of choice, however, this recipe is way cool because nothing went to waste. OK, here we go.
Allergy Status: Wheat/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Peanut Free, Cane/Refined Sugar Free, Sesame Free, Legume Free, Diabetic Friendly, Vegan, Paleo Compatible, GAPs Compatible, Nut Free Compatible
For Paleo: Use Parma! Vegan seasoning, or other Parmesan alternative.
For GAPs: Use a safe cheese.
For Nut Free: Omit the pine nuts. Consider adding a little sunflower seed for extra flavor.
A little heads up before we get started: There are a lot of layers and flavors involved. This isn’t a fast recipe, but it’s worth it… SO worth it.
21 ounces Organic White Onion, diced
5 TBSP Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pine Nuts (For Roasting)
1 small container Organic Pine Nuts
Eggplant Boat & Filling
2 medium Organic Eggplant
4 TBSP Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4.5 ounces Organic Carrots, sliced into small rounds
10 ounces Organic Strained Tomatoes (tomato sauce)
1 tsp Sea Salt
3 tsp Bragg Organic Herbs & Spices
2 tsp Organic Minced Garlic
9 TBSP Caramelized Onions (from above), approx. 4 ounces
4 TBSP Roasted Pine Nuts (from above)
To caramelize onions, start with a large pan on medium heat. Heat half of your oil, then add all of your onions. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. When the oil has cooked off, add the other half and continue to cook and stir. Towards the end you’ll be stirring more often to prevent burning. This process takes 20 – 30 minutes. Your onions will turn a nice shade of brown, smell amazing, and be ready to steal the show.
Preheat your oven to 400, and line a medium baking tray with parchment paper. Add the pine nuts, and once your oven is ready, bake them for 8 minutes. The should be a nice golden brown.
For the Carrots
On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, add your carrots and cook in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes, then increase the heat to 425. After baking for an additional 12 minutes, take the carrots out (but leave the eggplant in, see below)
For the Eggplant Boat
I started by cutting them in half lengthwise, and removing a lot of the inside. I left a good size border to ensure the filling wouldn’t spill out. Once it’s hollowed, add it to the oven with the carrots. Increase the heat to 425 when the eggplant goes in.
For the Eggplant Filling
Remember the eggplant you pulled out of the center? Good. Roughly cut it up into small pieces. Heat a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat (400) and add the eggplant pieces. Start with 2 TBSP of the olive oil and cook the pieces, then add in your seasonings. After 6 minutes, reduce the heat to 375, and add in the tomato sauce and pine nuts. Allow these to cook together, and when your carrots come out, add them to the mix as well. This process takes approximately 20 minutes.
For the Assembly
After you remove your hollowed eggplant from the oven, add the eggplant filling, then top with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Bake or broil until the cheese has melted. If you’re using a non-melting cheese such as Parma!, bake for several minutes, then serve.
Time for pictures, and a few more notes.