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Apr 01, 2012 - 6 comments

I enjoy cooking almost as much as I enjoy going shopping for clothes or shoes.. I am a vegan, but I do prepare meals for my carnivore family and friends when I host dinner parties. I thought I would share a few recipes with Medhelp members... Vegan or meat eaters :) ENJOY

Eggplant Parmesan (vegan)
Red sauce: Olive oil, 1 onion chopped, 1 bell pepper chopped, 8-10 mushrooms sliced, olives sliced, 1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes, 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce, oregano, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper
    Eggplant: 1 eggplant, sliced ½ thick, soy milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper, oregano, bread crumbs, vegan parm cheese or mozzarella
1. For sauce, saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil. Add in mushrooms, olives and garlic. Cook through. Add canned tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce and herbs, to taste. Let simmer while preparing eggplant.
2. Put a fresh skillet on the fire and heat 1/4" olive oil until smoking, turn down heat. Put milk into a plate for dipping. Mix together flour, some garlic salt, pepper and oregano for dredging; this can go on a sheet of waxed paper.  On a another sheet of waxed paper, spread out some bread crumbs.
3. Dip both sides of each eggplant slice into milk. Dredge in flour mixture. Dip into milk again, dredge again. Dip into milk and dredge through bread crumbs. Fry both sides in skillet, remove when done to paper towels to drain.
4. Place two or three eggplant slices on serving plate, cover with red sauce.  Sprinkle with vegan mozzarella and parmesan, if desired.
Serves: 4-6, Preparation time: 45 minutes

Vegan Bean Burgers
Ingredients: 2 cans black beans (rinsed) 2 grated carrots, ½ cup dry oats, ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, olive oil, ½ tsp cinnamon, cumin, coriander, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper
To Prepare:  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Next, add the oats and pepitas to your food processor and grind until coarsely chopped (they will still be a little chunky).  Let it run for roughly 10 seconds.  Grate the carrots, and then add to your mixture in the food processor.  Add 3/4 of the beans, all spices, and the olive oil.  Once all of this is in the food processor, give it a whir and mix it all together.
Spoon mixture into a mixing bowl and then fold in the rest of the whole, reserved beans.  Wet your hands and then form into 6 medium sized patties.  Place patties on a non-stick baking sheet or into a baking pan, and bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, turning once in the middle.  If you want to grill these, pre-bake them for 30 minutes at 300, and then throw them on the grill to reheat and get a little extra browning.

"Holiday Casserole"

This is a great recipe for leftovers. I call it "Holiday casserole" because it is perfect to make after Thanksgiving. I do not believe in waste so I prepare it for family (they request it every year)
It is very easy to make.. You can use Turkey or Chicken.

Chicken or Turkey leftovers
Mashed potatoes
Green beans
cranberry sauce (optional)
Brown gravy (also optional)
Turkey or Chicken dressing (stove top is best for instant)
Garlic salt
Crushed up Lays brand BAKED potato chips

Preheat your oven to 350
IN a glass casserole dish (standard size) layer the stuffing on the pre-greased casserole dish. Add the chicken/turkey, green beans, mushrooms, cranberry sauce on top of the stuffing and sprinkle with herbs and garlic salt (use little Rosemary as it is a strong herb) Use any left over dressing on top of the chicken/veggie mixture. Smooth mashed potatoes over the chicken/turkey and pour gravy. Sprinkle the potato chips on the top (as desired, I use a lot because my family/friends like it crispier)

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
Serve with a crusty bread (French bread)


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973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, Apr 13, 2012
Okay, so now I am hungry!  I like all three of these recipes!!  Each one is right up my alley.

I have a question regarding the bean burgers----  pumpkin seeds or pepitas.  These are not common in my area. . .  are they essential?  Can they be replaced with something do you think?  What aisle would they be in at the grocery??  (fresh, with nuts, ???  or is this just plain old pumpkin seeds that I just havent' bought before but area always there hanging by sunflower seeds??? )  I really like that I can bake these and then reheat on the grill too.  

Anyway, thanks for sharing!!!!!!1  Love all three of these and will give them a try (might have to wait until I make a dinner that will give me the ingredients for the holiday casserole though . . .  ).  Love it!

2088407 tn?1333849575
by vintagequeen, Apr 13, 2012
I think it would be okay to substitute the pepitas for something different. You can definitely make it your own :)
I do believe that the pumpkin seeds are sold seasonally so you could go to a whole foods kind of grocer (if you have such a thing in the area where you live) and buy an organic pumpkin and roast the seeds from it.

I love cooking so much. I am going to make the eggplant parm tonight. I am so excited!

For the holiday casserole, if you made a chicken dinner and have leftovers.. You can definitely use it for the casserole. All you'd have to do is go to the grocery store for the stove top stuffing.. It is very popular amongst my family and friends. It smells good, but I don't eat it. I have been a vegan for over 10 years :)
The burgers are so good to make on a summer evening.. Pair it up with some watermelon margaritas... YUM!  


973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, Apr 13, 2012
These are great ideas!  Okay, so what would YOU substitute for the pumpkin seeds if I can't find those?  

And really, I'd pair a watermelon margarita with just about anything.  YUM

Enjoy your eggplant tonight!

My son has a tough time eating meat . . .  so I am always looking for ways for him to get his protein by the way!  Send any recipes my way!  (he's picky . . .  he also has issues that make chewing hard for him.)

Avatar universal
by deadmemory, Apr 13, 2012
Hi Vintage and Speciamom!

Vintage- I didn't know you were vegan.. So am I :) I know you (specialmom) were directing the question about the pepitas.. But I have personally made these burgers (THEY ARE FABULOUS, VINTAGE) And you can use sunflower seeds instead of the pepitas! It is a very good substitute because as Vintage stated, the pumpkin seeds are seasonal.
My DD doesn't care too much for meat either (probably because I didn't eat it while I was pregnant) You can buy meat substitutes at any grocery store and they taste very similar to the real thing.
Does your son like spaghetti? If you don't mind Vintage.. I am going to share my spaghetti recipe

Whole grain pasta
Spaghetti sauce (I like anything with garlic)
Vegan "Meat"
Vegan "Parmesan cheese"
Green bell pepper
black olives
mushrooms (canned is okay)

Preheat oven to 350
Dice bell pepper, put olive oil into skillet.. saute until soft, add mushrooms
Cook pasta until al dente
place pasta into a casserole dish
heat olive oil in pan and warm "meat"
place heated "meat onto pasta
add veggies and sauce
top with "cheese"

Bake for 20-25 minutes

2088407 tn?1333849575
by vintagequeen, Apr 14, 2012
Hey thanks for the recipe, I will try it out for sure!

973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, Apr 14, 2012
Yes, thanks deadmemory!  I've had some luck with pasta with him so will give that a whirl.  I haven't tried the meat substitutes.  He's got motor planning issues so coordinating chewing is hard for him and always  has been . . . so he just can hardly get meat down without gagging.  I wonder if the substitutes would be easier for him. I just cut things super fine or put it in the blender/food processor, etc. at this point.  I'll look into that.  

AND, I found pumpkin seeds today.  My regular store carries them year round and I just didn't notice it.  I don't know the quality of them.  The bag says roasted and salted.  I looked for some with no salt and maybe whole foods would have those.  I'm weird and so is my husband, we don't like much salt.  We buy sunflower seeds, nuts, even tortilla chips unsalted.  

Anyway, bean burgers, here I come.  Hope the dinner party went well.

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