Pasta Substitute –> Eggplant
Oh you’re gona like this one… quite delicious and completely vegetarian!
So notice the purple font? I figured I would embrace the eggplant kick that I’m currently on.
But seriously; I haven’t cooked with eggplant before and now that I found it I suddenly realize what I was missing out on!
This recipe came about because I was having a lazy Sunday at home; just doing laundry, cleaning, cooking; banging some music. reelaxxinng (it was nice)
I actually started making Kale Chips and then used the leftover marinated kale pieces in my eggplant pasta. We’ll look at just the eggplant recipe (because the kale chips were a major fail)
- 3 oz Semi-firm Tofu (pressed)
- 1/2 Male Eggplant (dried)
- 1/3 cup Fresh purple Kale
- 1/3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/8 cup Spaghetti Sauce
- Marinade from Kale chips
- Garlic Paste
- Lemon Juice
- Cayenne Pepper
I hope you’ve got a lot of time on your hands because this isn’t one of my speedier recipes…..
Set on a cutting board wrapped in papertowels with something heavy on it.
I soaked through my paper towels quickly so I wrapped and re-wrapped my Tofu in small kitchen towels. I kept changing the towels and flipping the cutting board to press the Tofu dry. This went on for at least 2-3 hours because I kept leaving and doing other things around the house. multitasking!!
At the same time your are pressing your Tofu you should be prepping and drying your eggplant.
Peel your eggplant, leave about 1/4 inch of skin at the top and bottom.
Slice your eggplant in half length-wise and wrap one half and put in the fridge. With you other half slice length-wise into strips about 1/4 inch thick.
Lay flat on a towel covered sheet and sprinkle liberally with salt.
The next time that you walk through the kitchen on your way to check on the laundry; stop.
Switch out the towels wrapped around your Tofu.
Pat the tops of your eggplant strips, flip over, sprinkle with salt again.
Repeat this for however many times you need to keep leaving and getting other stuff done. Just make sure to keep checking back and switching towels, flipping, arranging, pressing, patting etc…
When you think you’re ready to start back in on your meal prep rinse your eggplant strips. SUPER important because you put a crazy lot of salt on them earlier (draws the water out). Then lay your eggplant out on a clean (non-salty) towel and gently pat away the excess water.
Then slice your strips again, length-wise into ‘noodle’ sized pieces.
Put them into a stove-top pan with just the tiniest hint of oil. It killed me to use vegetable oil, would prefer to have none, but I couldn’t think of anything to use as a replacement to get the sauteed feel to the eggplant.
Over medium heat toss around your eggplant noodles, don’t beat them up too much. You just want them to have a softish feeling, sorta limp and noodle like…pasta!
At this point I also dumped in the small amount of Kale that I had left over from attempting my Kale chips. It had been marinating in a mixture of; garlic pasta, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper, salt etc…
Your eggplant pasta should be finished when the noodles are limp and have some nice browned up color on them.
(they look way prettier before they cooked down huh?)
At the same time I was cooking my eggplant and kale together I was taking care of my Tofu.
This was my first time messing with Tofu as well. I did a TON of googling and came up with a bunch of websites and recipes all saying to prep/prepare/cook/marinate your tofu a different way. In the end I tried to keep it simple, crossed my fingers and winged it!
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
I sliced my Tofu into little bite size pieces and laid them out on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Then sprinkled liberally with pepper and oregano (i think, I lost track of which spices I used).
Then pop your your Tofu pieces in the oven for about 12 – 15 minutes. The timing is really up to you, just keep on eye on it and when they have a nice brown color to them they’re done.
1: Cut my pieces thicker/wider
2: Not bake them for so long.
I felt that my chips were just a tad bit hard/chewy and making them bigger or having less cook time might solve this.
(however the chewy factor could be because of what I did next….)
Walked away and completely forgot about my food.
I was pretty hungry actually but I got caught up folding laundry, organizing my closet, talking on the phone, cleaning the bathroom (the list goes on and on) that everything sort of sat for awhile (3 hours).
Enter me…..Starving. Everything is cold, and sort of dry.
Solved that problem by grabbing some leftover homemade spaghetti sauce from the fridge.
I plated the eggplant noodles and kale, put the tofu noodles on top and added about 3 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce. Stuck everything in the microwave for a quick second and it steamed up and got delicious again really quick.
1/2 Eggplant……………………….54 calories
1/8 cup Spaghetti Sauce……….12 calories
1/3 Tbsp Veg. Oil…………………41 calories
1/3 cup Kale……………………….11 calories
– Just use dry kale, the garlic paste marinated left over were too strong (one reason why my kale chips failed)
– Try lemon juice when sauteing the eggplant noodles? Taking the oil out of the recipe would remove 41 calories that could be used for…..more tofu!
– Thicker chunks of Tofu. Possibly pan brown the Tofu instead of baking to avoid the chewy texture
– Eat the eggplant noodles right when they are done. I tried some dry right when they were finished and they tasted better than the re-heated version a couple hours later
Anything specifically you changed? I plan on taking a second run at it and making it even better!
-T & H Body