Happy Friday! We've all made it to another weekend, thank goodness. I've got a lovely vegetarian recipe for everyone today, one that will definitely not have you asking, "Where's the meat?". I was experimenting with this recipe last week, and the hubby loved it to so much he didn't mind me experimenting with it this week. As a result, I was able to get the recipe exactly where I wanted it.
You may have noticed I've been cooking a lot of vegetarian meals lately. Or meals with lots of vegetables and little meat. The hubby has been having a lot of stomach related issues lately that have caused us to reevaluate what I feed him. We've also been doing a lot of research on organic and sustainable farming. Research that includes horrific information on hormones, antibiotics, and horrible living conditions for commercially farm-raised animals. As a result of all this, we are drastically changing what we eat. Call me crazy, but I've committed to not buying anymore meat from the supermarket. We are going to use up what I have in the freezer, and then go semi-vegetarian. Meaning, if we can get our hands on some locally raised meat we'll take it, but if we can't, then we just can't. Meat will become a once-in-awhile luxury vs something we eat every day. We are going to hit up the farmer's market every Saturday for local produce. The hubby has also starting juicing in the morning for breakfast, eating homemade salads for lunch, and cutting out processed food. Where he was sick as a dog and in-and-out of urgent care 2 weeks ago, he's feeling almost 100% since he's changed his diet. He goes through phases with his diet, so I'm hoping he really sticks to it this time!
I talked about this recipe last week. I was planning on making Eggplant Parmesan, but the hubby was having stomach distress. Tomato sauce never helps anyone with tummy problems. So I switched out marinara for Alfredo. My sauce turned out perfectly this week with the correct butter/flour ratios. I used mostly almond milk to make my sauce, but I did finish it off with a touch of cream to give it a little richness. Breading the eggplant is one of the easiest and most delicious ways I've prepared it.
I like to dip the eggplant rounds in egg, dredge them through a combination of panko and corn meal, and then bake them in the oven till they are crispy and browned. I whole-heartedly believe that even a picky eater would eat eggplant in this manner. It's that good!
To get the hubby his daily veggies, I served a salad on the side. Chopped green leaf lettuce, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, cucumber, goat cheese, and homemade poppyseed dressing. It was a perfectly light accompaniment to the eggplant.
One side note- I thoroughly enjoy leaving the skin on my veggies. If you do not share my fixation, you can, by all means, peel your eggplant. I will add that there are tons of vitamins and nutrients in the skin, though. Your mom would tell you to eat it. Just as mine always told me to eat my potato skins!
Does anyone have fun plans for the weekend? I don't know about fun, but I'll be remedying my hummingbird situation here at the homestead. I've only got 1 feeder at this time, being a newbie with the hummingbirds. I'm quickly learning that the nectar I make goes bad very fast. It's been getting cloudy after only 1 day in our heat. I was outside yesterday morning to retrieve the feeder so I could clean it and refill it. I was taking it off the stand when there was a very loud buzz over my shoulder. I slightly turned to see the hummingbird. He did not seem pleased, LOL. I took the flower part off the feeder and set it on my porch, so I could go empty the chamber in the ditch on the side of the house. When I turned around again, the hummingbird was on the porch, perched on the flowers. I was immediately filled with angst as I was taking his nectar and he wouldn't get any for a couple of hours. I've now decided that we must have 2 feeders so I can immediately put out a new one when I clean the old one. I just can't have those hummers mad at me :)
Have a great weekend friends!
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
1 large eggplant, sliced into rounds
2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
garnish: minced parsley
1. Preheat oven to 425º. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cookie spray. Set aside.
2. Dip an eggplant round in egg, shaking off any excess. Combine panko and cornmeal. Dredge eggplant through panko mixture. Press crumbs into the eggplant. Place round on cookie sheet. Repeat with all eggplant rounds.
3. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Flip all the rounds over and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn oven off and turn broiler on. Keeping an eye on rounds, pull the eggplant when all the rounds are browned and crispy. Set aside to slightly cool.
4. Make the Alfredo sauce- melt butter in a large skillet. Add flour, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Combine almond milk and cream. Add about 1/4 cup of almond milk mixture to skillet. Whisk constantly. Mixture will clump together, and this is normal. Cook for 1 minute (you are trying to cook out any raw flour taste). In slow additions, keep adding milk mixture until milk is completely incorporated. Add salt and pepper. Turn heat off and add cheese to skillet. Whisk until cheese is melted and incorporated.
5. To serve, place egg plant rounds on a plate. Drizzle Alfredo sauce over rounds. Serve immediately.