Friday, February 09, 2018

Eggplant with Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

We're vegan and occasionally eat some vegan cheese (rarely for my wife who never liked cheese and once in a while for me as it tends to be high in fat and processed). I do like Miyoko's Kitchen (I met Miyoko at a conference where I was also presenting) products and recently found their vegan version of mozzarella, and thought I'd make an eggplant dish with this. Here is what I did.

  • 1 1/4 cups onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 4 cups eggplant cut into 1/2" cubes (about 2/3 of a medium eggplant)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") minced - 15m 5m more
  • 1 1/4 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t dried oregano
  • 3-4 ounces of vegan "mozzarella cheese" cut into small chunks as per chef's preference (mine were approximately 1/2" chunks)
  1. I put, in this order, the onion and then the eggplant into a large Saladmaster stock pan. I cooked waterlessly - i.e., I covered the pan and heated it on medium high until the vapor release started jiggling, then I reduced the heat to low till the jiggle stopped. I let it cook for about 15 minutes.
  2. The eggplant was already nicely cooked and soft. I added the garlic and re-covered the pan for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. I mixed in the marinara sauce and mixed.
  4. I let the pan continue on low heat, but now uncovered, for just a few minutes till the sauce was nice and hot, stirring occasionally.
  5. I mixed in the salt, pepper, and oregano, then plated, along with baby lima beans and slices of Korean watermelon radish.
  6. I tossed the cheese pieces atop the main course and served.

My whole family quite liked the cheese with its mild flavor. It went great with the eggplant. I wish that I had olives or at least capers, as they would have nicely contributed to the main dish.

In the Food for Life classes that I teach, we recommend that, as a rough rule of thumb, no course have more than about 3g of fat. I was a little high, but not greatly so. The 8 ounce packet of cheese has 56g of fat. I used a bit less than half divided among three plates, so each plate had about 9g of fat from the cheese. It was a bit decadent, but given that the other dishes were no added fat, not so bad.

Ideas for the future

I could have gotten away with a bit less cheese, though the main course was quite good as I served it. Olives or capers would definitely have been good. I should explore some caponata preparation that includes vinegar. I'd like to make a Margherita pizza sometime soon, especially if I can find large fresh leaves of basil.

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