One of my favorite soups of all time has always been New England clam chowder, so much that I brought it for lunch in elementary school pretty much every day. From a can, no less, *cue barf noises* but it was cheap and we can’t forget the fact that I’m a product of the 90s where convenience was everything. However, my mom always made really good food, so for now I’m just going to blame canned clam chowder on the decade.
For the “clams”
- 1 large lion’s mane mushroom or 8 oz. container baby bellas, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
For the soup
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
- 3 celery stalks, small dice
- 2 C fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 medium russet potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 C vegan white wine
- 4 C veggie broth
- 1 16 oz can coconut cream (not milk!)
- 1 C soy milk
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp kelp powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp flour (all-purpose or GF)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 2 tbsp vegan butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for four minutes or until all liquid has evaporated. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Heat remaining butter + olive oil over medium high heat in the same pot that you just removed the mushrooms from. Add onions, carrots and celery, sautéing for five minutes. Next add garlic and cook for another two minutes, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn…burnt garlic can easily ruin a great soup!
- Next, add the corn and potatoes and sprinkle with flour. Stir for two minutes to incorporate it with the butter, making a lazy person’s roux.
- Throw in the broth, bay leaves, thyme, celery seed and kelp powder. Stir it well, and allow it to simmer at medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in the mushrooms, discard the bay leaves, and incorporate both the soy milk and coconut cream. Allow the soup to heat up for 5 minutes, then serve. You can serve the soup unadulterated, or you can do like I did and serve it with croutons. Oyster crackers pair well, and contrary to the name, no oysters were harmed in the making of the crackers.
So my original intent with this recipe was to make eggplant rollatini, but it didn’t stay rolled so it magically became eggplant parm. Growing up, my family never breaded and fried eggplant rollatini, but roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper instead so this is perfect for all my gluten free folks.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
For the eggplant
- 2 medium to large eggplants
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
- 1 C tomato sauce (homemade or otherwise)
For the ricotta
- 1 package extra firm tofu, drained
- 1/4 C nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried or fresh basil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 C sautéed spinach
- Preheat oven to 375°, ignite grill on medium heat. If you do not have a grill/do not wish to use one, you may roast the eggplant instead, I just prefer grilling because it gives it a little more of a complex flavor and it’s faster. Line the grill or a grill pan with non-stick foil.
- Cut off both eggplant ends so you can stand it vertically. Begin by slicing 1/4 in pieces longways, the entire length of the eggplant and set aside in a large bowl or pan. Discard the ends that are primarily skin. If some of your eggplant slices are short, fear not! We will still use them later.
- Brush your eggplant with olive oil (I used an herb infused, but regular is fine) and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place them on the hot foil on the grill and close the top. Periodically check to be sure the thinner pieces are not burning. When they are soft and slightly charred, remove from heat.
- While you have your eggplant on the grill, start making your ricotta by combining all ingredients except the spinach into a food processor and begin blending, scraping off the sides occasionally (obviously turn the processor off, I’m not trying to have you sue me). Once blended, scoop into a bowl and mix with the sautéed spinach.
- Take a glass baking dish (I used an 11×7 and it fit perfectly) and put a 1/2 C layer of tomato sauce at the bottom.
- Lay an eggplant slice on a cutting board or countertop, scoop a few tbsp of the ricotta mixture onto it and lightly spread it. Don’t worry about being neat, it’ll partially unroll anyway. Place the eggplant slice snugly in the baking dish and repeat until all eggplant slices are used.*
- Once all of the eggplant is in the dish, lightly spread the remainder of the tomato sauce on top, and finish with grated mozzarella. My favorite brand for this is Miyoko’s Creamery which can be found in a number of stores, including Whole Foods.
- Bake for 20 mins on the center shelf. Once the timer is up, turn on the broiler and carefully watch for the top to begin to bubble and turn slightly golden brown.
- Serve hot on a layer of tomato sauce and garnish with chiffonaded basil and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese.
*When you come across the smaller pieces of eggplant or pieces that broke, simply overlap the ends and roll, it’s basically like making a longer piece and reduces waste. Why throw away a perfectly good piece of eggplant?
And that’s that! If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!