Eggplant Parmesan is a dish I ate often growing up.
Because eggplant is in season right now, I decided to create a mouthwatering oil-free and dairy-free version!
Cashews and white beans make up a bulk of the “mozzarella.“ By replacing the dairy in the traditional recipe with plants, we are substantially boosting the nutrition while simultaneously removing harmful ingredients.
The best part is we don’t lose any of the cheesy gooey goodness taste!
This recipe is definitely one to serve at a party or bring to a potluck because everyone is going to absolutely adore it.
Eggplant Parm Towers
*Makes 4-5 Towers
2 medium Eggplant
1 cup Bread Crumbs (see recipe below for homemade option)
1 cup unsweetened Non-dairy Milk
3 cups Marinara (check out THIS recipe for an Easy Blender Marinara)
Basil or Parsley for Garnish
NOTzarella (or buy vegan mozzarella and skip steps 2-5)
1 cup Cashews
¾ cup Water
1 cup White Beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup Tapioca Starch
4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (unfortified)
¾ tsp Salt, or 1 tbsp Miso Paste
Slice the eggplant into 1 cm slices. Rub salt on each side and place between paper towels. Allow to sit to draw out moisture for 45 minutes.
While the eggplant is sitting, make the NOTzarella by draining and placing cashews and water into blender and blend on high until creamy and completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend on high until smooth.
In a small sauce pan over medium/medium low heat, add the cashew mixture.
Using a rubber spatula, stir constantly for about 5-8 minutes. The mixture will begin forming lumps but if you continue stirring, they will go away.
When the mixture congeals into one thick ball, remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
After 45 minutes, pat the eggplant dry and rub off the salt.
In a bowl, place the non-dairy milk. In another bowl, place the bread crumbs. Dip the eggplant into the milk and then place in the bread crumbs and cover completely. Shake off remaining bread crumbs.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
On a baking sheet or pan, add a layer of marinara sauce. Add one eggplant.
Using damp hands, take 2 tbsp of NOTzarella and flatten it into a circle. Place on top of the eggplant.
Add another layer of eggplant, a layer of NOTzarella, and another eggplant. Make additional towers until all eggplant is used.
Top with marinara and bake until warm, about 10 minutes.
Garnish with fresh herbs and serve!
Homemade Bread Crumb Recipe
2 slices Ezekiel Bread
1 1/2 tbsp Italian Spices
2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp Salt, optional
Toast the bread for 10 minutes at 300°F.
Flip and Toast again for 5 additional minutes, or until the bread is dry and hard. Allow to cool.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until the bread is crumbled to desired texture (no large chunks).