I’m never disappointed when I try a recipe from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I started this when I got home from work; we were eating it an hour later. Creamy and warming on these cold winter nights. I used much less hot spice than called for, but that’s my only modification. Oh, I also used panko bread crumbs instead of the whole wheat bread.
Creamy creole eggplant casserole
2 medium eggplants
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked or regular)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces silken tofu (1/2 package Mori-Nu)
1 ounce raw cashews (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise and place them face down on a baking sheet. Prick them several times each with a fork. Bake until they are completely soft (skin will be blackened and collapsed in the middle), about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully scoop out flesh from the skin, discarding any liquid. Set aside until ready to use.
Chop all the vegetables in your food processor. Spray a non-stick pan with oliv eoil and place over miedum-high heat. Add the onions, green pepper, and celery, and cook, stirring, until the veggies are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook on medium-low heat, stirring and scraping the pan’s bottom until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the reserved eggplant, chickpeas, parsley, thyme, cayenne, paprika, and black pepper. Cook, breaking up any large pieces of the eggplant with the edge of a spoon, over medium heat.
Meanwhile, prepare the tofu mixture. Place the tofu, cashews, onion powder, and water in your blender on high speed until cashews are blended and mixture is smooth. Scrape the mixture out of the blender and into the skillet with the eggplant-chickpea mixture. Stir well, add nutritional yeast, and salt to taste.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a shallow baking dish and pour the eggplant mixture into it, smoothing the top. Mix the breadcrumbs with the basil and oregano, and sprinkle them over the top of the casserole. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, until top is browned and casserole is hot. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.