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Autumnal Comfort Food with Fresh Veggies and Homemade Marinara: Eggplant Parmesan and Spaghetti (Squash!) Marinara

12:57 PM

A few weeks ago I put together a batch of from scratch Marinara sauce made entirely from  local ingredients.

 I went through the process of preserving and canning the sauce, but it's already almost gone! Since the weather turned  chilly, I've been craving comfort food and for me this means pulling inspiration from a Mediterranean Italian style menu. 

Dairy-Free (Vegan) Eggplant Parmesan
1 Quart-sized jar Marinara Sauce
2 medium eggplant, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I keep heels of bread in the freezer for this purpose!)
1/4-1/2 cup Vegan Parmesan OR Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1 tbsp Basil 
3/4 tbsp Oregano
Salt to taste
Fennel Seed to taste
Black Pepper to taste
*Optional 1 package Daiya Mozzerella shreds

* We used Mozzerella shreds, as shown in the picture, but I honestly would've preferred this dish without them! They detract from the overall texture of the finished product.

Preheat oven to 450f. 
Put breadcrumbs in a dish and toss them with the basil, oregano, salt, fennel seed, and pepper.  Set aside.
Spray the bottom and sides of a casserole pan with cooking oil and then spread about 1 1/2 cups of Marinara on the bottom of the pan.  Put an overlapping layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce and then drizzle the eggplant with olive oil.  Add an even layer of bread crumbs, and sprinkle with half of the Parmesan/yeast flakes.  Top with the remaining sauce and Parmesan/yeast flakes.  Sprinkle with Daiya Mozzarella, if you choose.  
Bake covered for 40 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. 


Spaghetti (Squash!) Marinara
1 medium spaghetti squash
olive oil
Seasalt to taste
Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450f.

Split the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Line an oven tray with aluminum foil. Season the spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the flesh side down and roast for 30 minutes or until you can easily insert a knife into the skin-side of the squash. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
Scrape the "spaghetti" strands of squash out of the skin and put in a large bowl.  Serve with Marinara sauce.
 We also snuck a few meatballs into the sauce to keep the kids interested!


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