Eggplant Parmesan

December 29, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe

Eggplant Parmesean
Golden baked eggplant layered between four different types of cheese is not necessarily a diet dish but it’s comfort food at its finest. (To be honest, I did use a low-fat ricotta but its benefits were immediately cancelled out by the rest of the cheese.)

I made a roasted garlic pasta sauce the night before I made this. I’m glad I used it as it added a more homey flavor.

This eggplant parmesan was also much appreciated as lunch leftovers the next day.

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

Summary: Served with a homemade tomato sauce, this eggplant parmesan was divine!



  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Cooking spray


  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce (or use my roasted garlic pasta sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese


  • To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish.
  • Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish.
  • Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess.
  • Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesean

  • To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).
  • To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce.
  • Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  • Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina.

Eggplant Parmesean

  • Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina.
  • Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes



Sweet Potato and White Bean Veggie Burgers

May 05, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Sandwiches

This was sort of a recipe experiment in my  quest to come up with some good veggie burger recipes for this summer. The combo of the sweet potatoes and white beans goes nicely with the smoky adobo spice seasoning. If you don’t have adobo spice seasoning, then try some chipotles in adobo sauce or cajun seasonings which would also work well.

It took a little trial and error to figure out how to best cook these. Because the sweet potato is a bit sticky and the final mixture is a bit mushy, it takes a little bit to get it into a state where the patties won’t fall apart. You’ll need to adjust the amount of wheat flour and breadcrumbs you put into the mixture. Refrigeration before forming the mixture into patties helps and then refrigeration after you’ve made them into patties also helps.

I found the best way to cook these is to make smaller patties and put them into the oven to slow roast. Frying is fine, but you might find a little shove in the oven at the end may help solidify them a bit. So, just be prepared to do your own experimentation with refrigeration and the amount of breadcrumbs and flour you add into the mixture. I don’t think these would do well on a grill, but are fantastic as leftovers.

Sweet Potato and White Bean Veggie Burgers
by Megabeth

1 sweet potato, baked/cooked and peeled
2 15oz cans cannellini beans
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons agave syrup
2 teaspoons hot sauce (or more to your liking)
3 teaspoons adobo seasoning
freshly ground pepper, to taste
panko crumbs

Place baked potato into bowl and mash with beans.

After the mixture is smooth from mashing, add all seasonings except for panko crumbs. Add more breadcrumbs to thicken mixture as needed.

Place in refrigerator, covered, for at least 30 minutes to solidify mixture. Form into patties and place back into refrigerator for at least another 30 minutes.

Coat patties with panko or breadcrumbs. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add one tablespoon olive oil to bottom of cast iron pan. (Or, try some avocado oil in the pan.) Place patties on pan and bake for 30 minutes, flipping burgers halfway through. (Depending on size of patties, it may take longer than  30 minutes.) Towards the end of cooking, add cheese on your patties, if desired, and toast your burger buns in the oven. (Daiya vegan pepper jack shreds go well with these burgers.)

Serve with toppings of your choice – avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.

Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

December 16, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

The other night I was faced with a couple portobello mushrooms that needed to be cooked. I grabbed some shredded parmesan, panko, sun-dried tomatoes and basil and voila! A new Veggin’ creation good enough for a quick weekday meal and uniquely flavorful enough for a dinner party for eight.

So quick and easy, I didn’t even bother with pictures from the intermediate steps.

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
by Megabeth

2 large portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 to 4 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for coating baking dish
panko crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Remove stems from mushrooms and chop finely and place into bowl. Add cheese, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Drizzle a little olive oil in bottom of glass baking dish to lightly coat. Remove mushroom “gills” gently with a spoon.

Place mushrooms in baking dish. Put the filling in each prepared mushroom.

Sprinkle panko crumbs on top of filling.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.











Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes

October 16, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks/Appetizers

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes (5)This is truly one of the best pesto recipes I’ve ever made. The nutritional yeast adds a nutty flavor to the pesto that balances the sharpness of the pine nuts. I have few recipes actually memorized, this one has made the cut. And, especially now that my Aerogarden is growing basil like gangbusters I’ll need to “go to” recipe so nothing goes to waste.

I made the pesto a couple days before I used it on the tomatoes.  It held up nicely in the refrigerator. Just let it come to room temperature before putting it under the broiler otherwise you’ll have some burnt panko and cold pesto to bite into.

A couple thoughts about the rest of the recipe…the tomatoes can be made easily in the toaster oven. No need to heat up your whole kitchen just for a few tomato halves. I must also note, the tomatoes I used were a little too big which meant a lot of fork and knife action to get manageable pieces. I think next time I’m going to make these as little bite-sized versions using campari tomatoes. If you’re looking for a main dish, I’d suggest perhaps going for making a bunch of these using plum tomatoes or find actual medium-sized tomatoes.

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes
from Vegetarian Times, July/August 2011

Quick Pesto

  • 3 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Broiled Tomatoes

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cored and halved crosswise
  • 5 Tablespoons plus 1 tsp panko breadcrumbs

To make quick pesto: Place basil and garlic in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add pine nuts and nutritional yeast.

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes (1)Process 1 minute, or until pine nuts are finely chipped and mixture is paste-like.

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes (2)With motor running, add olive oil in steady stream. Process 1 minute more or until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes (3)To make Broiled Tomatoes: Preheat oven to broil. Place tomatoes cut-side up on baking sheet. Spread each tomato half with 2 tsp. quick pesto, and sprinkle with 2 tsp panko breadcrumbs.

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes (4)Broil 3 to 5 minutes, or until breadcrumps are browned and pesto is bubbly.

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes (6)

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