This Paleo Eggplant Parmesan is a healthy twist on the classic Italian dish. It's loaded with layers of tender eggplant, tomato sauce and a cashew based "ricotta" that is all baked in the oven until bubbling. This is a real crowd pleasing dish that no one will even know is Vegan and Whole30!
1/4cupnutritional yeast(or 1/4 cup parmesan for SCD)
2tbspmelted butter or ghee(or coconut oil for vegan)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius).
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes flipping half way through baking to ensure they brown evenly.
While the eggplant is baking, in a skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add in the diced onion and minced garlic and cook for 4 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in the chopped canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chili flakes and balsamic vinegar and leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has begun to thicken.
While the sauce is simmering, in a nutribullet container or high speed blender combine the drained cashews, almond milk and garlic cloves and blend until smooth.
In a 10x6 (or thereabouts) sized baking dish start by spooning in a layer of the tomato sauce. Evenly place a layer of the baked eggplant slices overtop, followed by another thin layer of the tomato sauce, a layer of the cashew cream and a sprinkle of chopped basil. This should be followed by one more layer of eggplant, tomato sauce, cashew cream, basil, eggplant and then finally cashew cream. Cover the top of the dish with tin foil and place it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
While the eggplant parmesan is cooking, make the optional crumbly topping. Place the brazil nuts in a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds until they have broken down into a crumbly consistency. Transfer the brazil nuts to a bowl along with the almond flour, nutritional yeast (or parmesan) and melted ghee or butter. Stir to combine.
After 20 minutes of baking, remove the tin foil and top the eggplant parmesan with the crumbly brazil nut mixture. Return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes until the top is golden in colour and the edges are bubbling.