I consider eggplant parmagiana to be the ultimate comfort food. I love the creamy richness of a pan-fried-then-oven-baked eggplant, combined with a crispy, oily crumb coat. Add red sauce, cheese, and a heaping plate of pasta and I’m in heaven.
However, I made some big changes to what I eat recently, which I mentioned in this post. I read Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before Six, caught up on some basic nutritional science, and did my own research on how the food we eat affects our wellbeing. I’ve always been a vegetarian, but I finally gave up dairy, cut out hyper-processed starches and sugars, and started eating more whole fruits and veggies.
Between the cheesy topping and the heap of pasta underneath, eggplant parmagiana is everything I aim not to eat now.
I remade this dish to fit some new guidelines. What’s left is eggplant, thickly sliced, creamy as ever, coated in almond meal “breadcrumbs” and cooked to a crisp in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Layered with tomato sauce, baked to creamy perfection. And served, as one of my favorite Italian restaurants does it, wonderfully pasta-less.
[I don’t subscribe to the paleo lifestyle, but if you do, this recipe is also for you, fitting every paleo guideline I can think of.]
The last week and a half has been incredibly busy. I’m in the middle of midterms-and-papers-and-readings season. I spend my mornings in class and my afternoons studying. The to-do list is never exhausted, and it’s a rare day when everything I set out to do is accomplished before midnight. On days like these, what breaks the monotony is coming home for lunch. I love cooking something satisfying in the middle of my day. I get to leave behind whatever I’ve been studying for a little while, and return to my work refreshed.
The requirements are for the dish I choose to make are strict. It must be something that I can make in 30 minutes or less, but it must also be hearty enough to pull me through the afternoon.
This kale pasta does just that, and I made it twice last week alone. Crisp and bitter kale is paired with rich, buttery pasta. Salty, savory, and satisfying enough for a midday meal. I imagine it would make a great quick dinner, too.