Posts tagged italian

MSP Faves: Dominex Eggplant

Dominex-eggplantI’m an eggplant fiend, and I used to make eggplant parmesan for special occasions, layering eggplant with mozzarella and marinara like a lasagna. But the process of slicing the EP, dredging, battering, and frying in oil can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not in the mood.

I found this purple box of Dominex EP cutlets in the frozen foods section at Fresh Market, and snatched it up. I decided to try them on hoagie rolls with marinara and sauteed spinach, garlic and onions. Delicious! They might be even better with some Daiya mozzarella on top, but I don’t think it’s necessary. This makes a very hearty, filling, and quick meal. Perfect for a weeknight when you’re starving and want a fast hot “diner” dinner. Here’s a pic of my sandwich:

Eggplant Hoagies

Eggplant Cutlet Hoagie

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

Directions:
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.

Pesto Soy Chicken 3

Pesto Soy Chicken with Potatoes

Pesto Soy Chicken 1

Layering Complete

For Christmas, I got an awesome Cuisinart food processor from my parents. It is so badass that it actually came with an instructional DVD, which contains some cooking segments from a Culinary Institute chef. One of these segments shows an easy recipe for Salmon and Pesto Potatoes. It looked so delicious and simple, I figured I’d switch out the fish for faux chicken. I found the same instructional video on Cuisinart’s website, and you can check out the bit about this meal starting at the 7:00 minute mark. Here are the simplified steps that I followed, and the recipe for vegan pesto I made:

  1. Rub the center of the tinfoil lightly with olive oil.
  2. Place a layer of potatoes (maybe 5 or 6 slices) in a bed in the center of the foil.
  3. Add a few dollops of pesto to the top of the potatoes.
  4. Add a few pieces of thawed soy chicken to the pile.
  5. Top chicken with a few more dollops of pesto.
  6. Close tinfoil at top and fold sides in.
  7. Bake at 400º for 18-20 minutes.
Pesto Soy Chicken 2

Four Tinfoil Packets full of Yumminess, Ready for Oven

Creamy Vegan Pesto

Puree together the following ingredients:

  • 3 oz. fresh basil
  • 3 oz. fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp. Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
Pesto Soy Chicken 3

Pesto Soy Chicken and Potatoes with a side of Red Quinoa

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