Eggplant tomato sauce with pasta is an easy and nutritious vegan meal!
One of us married a man who hates eggplant. It’s true. He has other wonderful qualities, and he proudly grows beautiful eggplants in the garden, but he will rarely eat them. He’s the guy who picks the eggplant slices out of moussaka (which we happily transfer to our plate). He’s the one who will sort through the pile of fried zucchini and fried eggplant chips to select only the zucchini. He’s the dad who makes a point of not eating any of our vegan stuffed eggplants because he “is saving them” for the girls, who love them. But this eggplant tomato sauce with pasta? Guys…this he ate! And (drum roll please) he loved liked it!
A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.
Νηστίσιμος Μουσακάς. Settle in guys, this is going to be a long one. No, not the post…don’t worry about that. If you’re here only for the recipes, you’ll be happy to know that this particular blog entry doesn’t come with any nostalgia, no family stories, and no personal anecdotes that some people seem to find annoying on food blogs. Also, some people love them and if you happen to be in that group of people, head on over to posts like Horta and How to dye really cool Easter eggs…and Thea Voula’s cheesecake. Heck, most of our posts come with a healthy dose of, well, US!.
An incredible Greek side dish of fried eggplant which is then baked in a rich tomato sauce
We know that eggplant is a divisive fruit (yes, eggplant is botanically a fruit!) and that there are camps of people who love them, and others who hate them. We happen to be lovers of the aubergine and are thrilled when our gardens start to offer this versatile, hearty and delicious purple gift.
We have already posted several eggplant recipes, and here we are finally sharing what may be one of our favourites. In this classic Greek dish, which can be served as a side or just as easily as a meze or light lunch, eggplants are fried and then baked in a rich tomato sauce. This is a dish best served with a nice loaf of fresh bread for dipping; the sauce is to die for! You can even layer the eggplant and sauce between two slices of bread and make yourself an eggplant and tomato sauce sandwich. Sound strange? Have we ever steered you wrong before?
A vegan version of a classic Greek dish made with eggplant, lentils and olive oil mashed potatoes.
We wish you could all read Greek! Because if you did, you would realize that the name for this recipe is so much more wonderful in Greek. The literal translation for παπουτσάκια (pronounced pa-poo-tsa-kia) is little shoes. How utterly adorable and perfect is that! And how much more charming than stuffed eggplant.
Cod with eggplant and potatoes (Μπακαλιάρος με μελιτζάνες και πατάτες) There is something to be said for the thrill that comes with anticipation. Like looking under the Christmas tree and seeing all of the gifts waiting to be opened. Or carrying home the latest best-selling novel, imagining crawling into bed and cracking the spine. Or marking “X”‘s on the calendar as you count down the days to your holiday. Or opening up your refrigerator and seeing your fish soaking in cold water. What joy!
Eggplant steps up to create a meat-free way to enjoy a BLT
We love bacon. Like, we love bacon, a lot. We grew up in a home where bacon was not really something that was featured prominently. Breakfast was usually an egg fried in olive oil with a side of feta, some Greek yogourt (before it was all the rage), or toast topped with tomato and feta. Bacon, when we had it, was usually enjoyed at a friend’s house, or after begging our parents to buy some when we tagged along at the grocery store. Our love of bacon has allowed up to come up with neat ways to incorporate it into our own cooking, like when we used it to wrap up dates and feta. These bite-sized mezes are so great they even had our parents wondering why they never thought to cook with bacon themselves. Really!?
Several weeks ago we shared a favourite childhood meal, rabbit stew. We knew that this recipe would be met with some strong reactions; eating rabbit is clearly not for everyone. Although we totally understand and respect this, we felt that it was a shame that not everyone would taste the wonderful flavours of this stew…rabbit aside. Then we remembered that sometimes our parents would replace the rabbit with eggplant! And we laughed, because we realized that this too could be met with some strong reactions; eggplant is not the most popular ingredient out there.
A Greek eggplant spread made with roasted eggplants, and a few other simple ingredients. Full of flavour!
We don’t know about you, but in our homes, melitzanosalata often plays second and third fiddle to some of the other, more popular Greek dips like tzatziki and taramosalata. This is a shame, and every time we do have melitzanosalata, we vow to make it again very soon; it is so good, so easy, and pretty good for you too. It is also a great way to use up any eggplant surplus from the garden when you don’t feel like eggplant chips (actually…we always feel like eggplant chips), or you don’t have the time to invest in making moussaka.
Have you noticed that we have a fondness for eggplant? They are so versatile, and so very delicious. This fruit (yes! eggplant is a fruit, and botanically a species of nightshade, a family of flowering plants) can be treated in all sorts of ways, including being fried for eggplant chips, stuffed in yemista, and even used as a substitute for crostini! It also plays well with others, and in this baked vegetable dish, it is combined with zucchini and potato to make one of our families most favourite dishes. We are so excited to share it!
Remember when we shared our fried zucchini chip recipe and you were so thankful that you were sending us cards of gratitude and telling all your friends to follow Mia Kouppa? That wasn’t you? Well, why not? You should really think about getting on that bandwagon! 🙂 In any case, we think that this recipe, similar but different to the summer squash chips, might just have you running out to pick up some stamps.