In a previous post I mention my feelings towards eggplants, and how they’re usually negative. Recently however, I’ve been venturing out and giving them another chance to win me over, and win me over they are. They don’t have much in the ways of nutritional value – but they’re great little vessels for flavor, and definitely not bad… (well unless you believe nightshades are bad, which some people do – but I’m not going to go there :] )
The recent recipe that won me over was Eggplant Fries crusted in a flour mixture comprised mostly of Almond Meal, some garbanzo bean flour and brown rice flour. This time I wanted to convert that recipe into a full meal, and go eggplant parm style. There isn’t any parmesan in this recipe though… .so I guess technically it’s more of an almond crusted eggplant with squash and potato noodles topped with marinara..but that’s just too silly of a title :)
This recipe uses GHEE – which I’ve been reading a lot about and wanted to give it a whirl. Certainly not needed in the recipe. You can cook the noodles with oil, or just lightly heat them stove top without any oil if you prefer.
I use a small chunk of Pecorino cheese, which is basically a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. I opted for that because it was more affordable at my location, and cheeses derived from sheep/goat tend to be easier on my digestion as opposed to cow’s milk, which I find I have a hard time digesting with ease.
If you want this to be vegan – simply omit the cheese, and don’t cook with ghee.
Anyway, on with the show.
Ingredients (Makes 4 Portions)
- 1 Large Eggplant
- ~1/2 C Almond Meal
- ~1/2 C Quinoa Flour
- Generous Amount of Italian Spices + any other seasonings you’d like to add to your crust – basil, garlic, etc – etc (I use a spice blend that is intended to be added to vinegar to make a quick easy italian dressing, it contains salt – so I do not add any salt to my recipe aside from this – but if you don’t use any salted seasonings, feel free to add a dash or two)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 C Spiralized or Shredded Butternut Squash (Or you could just do a Spaghetti Squash here instead!)
- 1 Small Sweet Potato Spiralized or Shredded
- 1 T Ghee (or any oil – or none at all)
- 1 T Sage
- Marinara of Choice (For an easy homemade, grab a can of organic Muir Glen Chopped Tomato with Basil & Garlic, add in a small can of tomato paste, about 1 T Agave (optional) – about 1 C vegetable broth – simmer for 20 mins)
Directions for Eggplant Parmesan
- In a bowl, whisk together about 1/4 C Oil & about 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar until emulsified. I just whisk together more as I go if I run out – sorry I don’t have an exact amount needed.
- In a separate bowl, combine Almond Meal, Quinoa Flour and Spices, mix well and pour onto a flat plate.
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peal your eggplant and cut it into large coin shapes, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Dip each eggplant piece in your oil/vinegar mixture, really getting it covered well, then dredge it in your flour mixture, being sure to well cover each piece top, bottom and sides.
- Repeat until each piece is well covered and on your parchment lined baking sheet. (If you run out of oil/vinegar mixture, or flour mixture, just a make a little more as needed – I prefer running out as opposed to making too much and wasting).
- Place in oven for about 20 – 25 minutes.
- Flip each piece, they should be nicely browned on the opposite side.
- Cook for an additional 15 – 25 minutes, or until nicely browned on each side.
- While your eggplant is cooking, shred your cheese, use as much or as little as you’d like.
- Once your eggplants are crispy and golden, top with cheese, return to oven until cheese has melted.
- Remove and let slightly cool.
Directions for Squash & Sweet Potato Noodles
- Spiralize (if you have one) or shred 1 Sweet Potato, and about 3ish Cups (I just did a portion of a Squash).
- Heat Ghee or Oil over a medium/high heat, add in about 1 T Sage. Add in your sweet potato and squash “noodles” and mix well and cook until tender. If you are not using oil, lower the heat and just cover the pan and let the heat soften the noodles.
Finally! Serve your Eggplant Medallions over a bed of Squash & Potato Noodles, and top with a bit of Marinara.
Serve warm. :)