I'll readily admit it - I'm a carnivore. Meat, meat, meat makes my world go round. And, if this were only all about me, I'd probably only write about meaty food.
But it's not.
I've got friends that are vegetarian, some that are vegan. There are the lactose, tree nut, gluten, casein, fungi, dairy, GMO, HFCS intolerant... so it takes more than a pile of hamburger meat to make a banquet.
And, since the garden is kicking out the goods in high output these days - I've got a lot of produce to find ways to use.
My thinking was - to finely chop eggplant and porcini mushrooms together, season them with fennel and seasonings (like Italian sausage and add it to a pasta sauce.... Taste-wise, it works. But, eh - textural wise, not the greatest mouth feel.
So the next option was use it as the "meat" filling in a lasagna.
This recipe is Lactose Free, but not Dairy Free - I still haven't been able to find a suitable substitution for Parmesan or sharper cheeses....yet. The Gluten Free rice blend lasagna noodles work well with the recipe - but you'll only need to cook then for 5 minutes - tops - before you assemble.
Mushroom and Eggplant
Serves 4 to 8 (depending how hungry you are)
1 Large Eggplant
8 Ounces Baby Portabella or Porcini Mushrooms
1 Onion - Chopped
1 18 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Clove Garlic
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
8 Dry Lasagna Noodles (Rice Blend if going GF)
1 Cup Lactose Free Milk (or Soy)
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Tablespoon Flour (Potato Flour if going GF)
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Cup Daiya Vegan Mozzarella
1/2 Cup Extra Sharp White Cheddar
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Large Sauce Pan
10 x 6 x 4 Baking Pan
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Grate the Cheddar and mix with the mozz and parmesan - set aside
- Peel and dice the eggplant and add them with the mushrooms to the processor - chop until you have 1/8" ish pieces
- Add the olive oil and onions to the sauce pan and saute over medium heat until they softer, add the eggplant mixture
- Add the fennel, salt, pepper, sugar and thyme and saute until the eggplant is soft - 5 to 7 minutes - set aside
- Cook the pasta until it is 1/2 done (5 minutes for rice, 7 to 10 minutes for wheat) Drain and set aside
- Rinse the processor and add the tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and pepper and process until smooth - set aside
- Rinse the sauce pan, heat the oil and flour until it begins to bubble, add the milk and wine and cook over medium high heat until it thickens - stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and set aside
Bake at 350 for 1 hour
Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before serving