I needed a vegetable dish to go along with the Okara “Crab” Cakes, so Sunday’s dinner included this vegan version of the traditional Louisiana dish Shrimp Creole. I chose eggplant to replace the shrimp, not because it tastes anything like shrimp but because, unlike most vegetables, it holds its shape without becoming mushy and it absorbs the flavors of the sauce like a sponge.
This turned out delicious with just the right level of spiciness and enough of that Creole taste to satisfy this native Louisianian. I used Zatarains’ Crab and Shrimp Boil to give it the flavor that I associate with shrimp, but I have since discovered that it contains an ingredient (polysorbate 80) that may be animal-derived. I suggest you substitute Tabasco or another Cajun seasoning blend.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 15-ounce can salt-free diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp. minced parsley
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper (to taste)
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- 1/4 tsp. celery seed
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. powdered nori (or other seaweed)
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- salt, to taste
- Sauté onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking. Add eggplant and sauté for 5 more minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat, and cook until eggplant is completely tender, about 20-30 minutes. Serve over rice, garnished with additional parsley.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Serves 4. Each serving (without rice) contains 149 Calories (kcal); trace Total Fat; (2% calories from fat); 2 g Protein; 37 g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 102 mg Sodium; 4 g Fiber.