Gardein and Eggplant Marinara

Gardein Eggplant Marinara

Gardein and Eggplant Marinara over Brown Rice, with Stir Fry Veggies

Last night, I made this tasty Italian dinner while talking to my lovely friend Sarah. It turned out so well, I’m going to add this to my “regular” dinner meals rotation. I ate it with a side of stir-fried baby bok choy, red peppers, and onions. Next time, I’ll stir-fry kale and garlic instead, which I think would complement the Italian flavors of this dish much better than bok choy.

Gardein and Eggplant Marinara Ingredients:

  • About 2 cups Prepared Brown Rice
  • 8 – 10 Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • Olive Oil
  • Spices: Garlic, Italian seasoning, Parsley

Preheat oven to 430. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lightly brush or spray half of a cookie sheet with olive oil, then place a single layer of the eggplant slices on the oiled part of the sheet and lightly oil the tops of the slices. Sprinkle the slices liberally with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
Next, place Gardein tenders on the unoiled part of the pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, flipping everything once.
Assemble the final dish by layering the following (from bottom to top of pile):

  1. 1/2 cup brown rice
  2. marinara sauce
  3. 2 – 3 Gardein tenders
  4. 4 slices eggplant
  5. marinara sauce
  6. 1 tsp. nutritional yeast

This recipe yields about 3 to 4 servings. The result is a very easy vegan chicken and eggplant parmesan.  It was a yummy, satisfying meal and the whole process only took about 30 minutes, since I stir-fried the veggies while the Gardein and eggplant were cooking.

MSP Fave: Brown Rice Protein

MLO Brown Rice ProteinAs I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying my darnedest to cut back on my soy intake. So instead of soy protein powder, I’ve been loving this brown rice protein powder from MLO. I’ve been adding it to my breakfast smoothies, and it gives me a nice energy boost. Two tablespoons is 110 calories and 15 grams of protein. I usually do half a serving and it still keeps me full until noon. I haven’t tried it “plain” (just mixed into a glass of water or non-dairy milk) because I think that would taste heinous; I mean, who wants to drink brown rice flavored water? But in my smoothie, I can’t taste it at all. This is my favorite vegan protein powder so far. Is there a better one out there I should try?

These days, my breakfast smoothie consists of:

  • 1 tbsp. brown rice protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 whole ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup natural apple juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. stevia in the raw
  • ice

Black Bean and Kale Stir-Fry with Coconut Rice

Black Bean and Kale Stir-FryI made the most amazing stir-fry EVER last night, and I’m currently eating the leftovers (pictured). My bff over at Cuisine Vegan told me I’ve been eating too much soy, which is true, so I wanted to make something last night with no soy but lots of protein and fiber. I threw some brown rice in my rice cooker with coconut milk instead of water. Then I went to the gym, did the elliptical while watching Law & Order: SVU on my iPhone, and when I got back, my rice was so fluffy and sweet-smelling.

The stir-fry I just made up as I went along because I couldn’t decide whether to have something Asiany or TexMexy. What I came up with was/is the most delicious meal I have made in quite awhile. It is so filling, too! The rice really needs to be made with coconut milk to produce such a fantastic blend of flavors. Here is my stir-fry recipe.


  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 large kale leaves, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper, and let them caramelize a bit. Next, add the soy sauce, garlic, and black beans. Stir-fry for a few minutes, and then add the kale. Don’t worry if the kale is really leafy and it looks like you just put a shrubbery in your yummy food; the kale will cook down in about 5 minutes of stir-frying. Last, add the sriracha and seasonings, mixing well. Serve over a bed of coconut rice and enjoy!

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