I’m packing my bags and getting ready to fly to Portland early tomorrow morning for Vida Vegan Con, the largest gathering of vegan bloggers ever to invade a conference center. I’m so excited to get to teach a photography workshop with two of my idols, Isa and Hannah, and to sit on a panel of Special Diets bloggers that includes the fabulous Kittee, Gena, and Fran. If you’re there, please introduce yourself; I’ll be the woman carrying a box of Kleenex because I’m fighting off a big cold. (You may not want to shake hands!)
With all my travel preparations, I haven’t had much time to cook, but since my family will be fending for themselves while I’m gone (and probably eating too much take-out), I wanted to get one last healthy meal on the table before I go. I had an eggplant that needed using and several basil plants that needed pruning, so I threw together this easy one-pot meal. My husband raved about it (and especially loved the Almond Parmesan) while my daughter grumbled about the eggplant but wound up eating every bite. If you use canned or already prepared lentils, you can have this homely-looking but tasty dish on the table in about a half hour.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large eggplant (about 18 ounces) cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 15-ounce can lentils, rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils)
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika or cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 cup tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (if yogurt isn’t available, try 1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk mixed with 1 tsp. lemon juice)
- 1 cup fresh basil, minced
- “Almond Parmesan,” see below
- Saute the onion in a large, non-stick skillet until it begins to brown. Tip: Add a small pinch of baking soda to speed up browning. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the eggplant, water, and herbs and stir well to coat the eggplant with the seasonings. Cover tightly and cook until the eggplant begins to soften, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the fresh basil and Almond Parmesan. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until eggplant is tender and sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt, add fresh basil, and serve over pasta or brown rice or other whole grain. Top with Almond Parmesan, if desired.
- To make Almond Parmesan, process 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 1/3 cup whole raw almonds in a blender or food processor until crumbly. Store in refrigerator.