Friday, December 10, 2010

Vegetarian on the Farm

Once a week I prepare a vegetarian meal for my family.  It’s a lot easier and more frequent in the spring, summer, and fall with all of our fresh produce in the gardens.  You can’t beat a fresh salad or pasta dish.  Our vegetarian menu is a lot different during the winter months.  The family expects warm, hearty dishes on the dinner table.  One way I can’t go wrong is with my eggplant parmesan.  My husband loves eggplant, it’s always his request when we plan the garden; that and lima beans, which I refuse.  I can’t help it, I do not like lima beans at all.  Meatless meals are a great idea for growing families.  It’s a good way to get a lot of good proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  I’ve found that if we include meat in a meal, the veggies become second choice.  Along with a meatless meal at least once a week, I only prepare dessert once a week.  If my family had dessert on a nightly basis we would all be rolling everywhere because we wouldn’t be able to walk.  I have found it a lot easier to prepare more of an ethnic menu on our vegetarian nights, lots of rice, pasta, etc.  It’s easier to go around the world when dealing with food allergies, period.  With this post I have included my version of eggplant parmesan.  Sometimes I leave the skin on and sometimes I don’t.  It is healthier to leave it on.  I pair this with a salad or simple, steamed veggies like broccoli. 

Eggplant Parmesan

1 medium eggplant – cut into ¼ -1/2 inch slices.
1 egg
¼ cup milk
1 tsp hot sauce.

*combine egg, milk, and hot sauce and whisk together to make egg wash.  Add sliced eggplant to egg wash. 

2 cups allergy-friendly Italian style bread crumbs.
1 lb. can Delmonte diced tomatoes with basil and heat over medium heat.
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese.

Remove eggplant from egg wash into bread crumbs.  Add to greasesd rack resting inside baking pan.  Cook until browned; about 20 minutes.  Remove from rack and place in bottom of baking dish, top with tomato sauce and cheese.  Heat until cheese melted and heated through.