I made this meal twice recently when I knew I’d be having guests over. Of course I wanted to impress them with an elegant and delicious dish, but I also didn’t want to spend the whole night in the kitchen, which can sometimes happen when I get too ambitious. This is one of those fancy meals, sans the fancy ingredients and gadgets. I love it because it’s a recognizable dish for vegans and omnivores alike, as well as everyone in between.

If you haven’t tried quinoa pasta yet, don’t wait a minute longer. I like it better than spelt pasta, and it has a better texture than most rice pastas I’ve tried. I used Field Day Traditional Marinara tomato sauce (which is organic, non-GMO, and a good price — $3.19 at Strawberry Fields) here to keep things simple but, by all means, use what you like, especially if it’s homemade! Use this dish the next time you want to impress your friends and yourself. Enjoy!

Breaded Eggplant Parm with Quinoa Spaghetti

Serves 6 to 8

Note: Depending on the size of the eggplant you get, you might find you need more mayo and/or Panko crumb mixture to dredge all those slices. So be prepared, just in case you do.

One large eggplant or 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2" slices

1 cup vegan mayo (I used Earth Balance)

1 cup Panko crumbs (I used Edward & Sons)

½ cup parmasio (see recipe below)

2 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat your oven to 425˚.

In a shallow bowl (large enough to fit the eggplant slices) mix the mayo with enough filtered water to make a creamy consistency.

In another shallow bowl, mix the Panko crumbs, parmasio, and Italian seasoning.

Now take your eggplant slices and dredge them one or two at a time in the mayo mixture. Use a fork to help you cover both sides thoroughly with a thin coat of mayo. Add more water to the mayo if it’s too thick. Next, place the slices in the Panko crumb mixture, coating both sides of the eggplant. Lay the dredged eggplant on baking sheets with sides that have been coated with olive oil. Continue the process until all the slices are dredged and on baking sheets (I filled two baking sheets).

Bake for 12 minutes, flip the slices and bake for 12 more minutes.

While the eggplant is baking, prepare 2 boxes of Ancient Harvest quinoa spaghetti according to the directions on the box. Heat up your favorite pasta sauce (we like Field Day’s Tomato Basil). When the eggplant is done, dish up a plate of pasta covered with sauce and as much eggplant as you want! Garnish with a sprinkling of minced fresh parsley.

Parmasio

from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson

Makes about 1 cup

½ cup sesame seeds

½ cup nutritional yeast

½ tsp salt

In a dry skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan so they don’t burn.

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor or a Vitamix blender until finely ground. Store in a dry container in the fridge.

Photos by Jeremiah Stanley