Smokey 3 Cheese Eggplant Casserole 

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a lovely 4th (for my US readers at least). I myself am just trying to take advantage of every summer day while having my ass thoroughly kicked by allergies. Fun! I want to share this awesome recipe with you all. It’s my own version of the classic Eggplant Parmesan!

Eggplant is amazing as a meat replacement because it has that meaty-like texture. You can also add mushrooms to this dish for an even more filling meal!

Ingredients:

• 1 large or 2 small eggplants

• a pinch of salt

• 3 eggs (it doesn’t hurt to have more on hand just in case)

• 1 can of breadcrumbs

• liquid smoke

• 1 tomato

• 1 cup of kale leaves

• minced or fresh garlic

• white wine

• 3 cheeses (preferably Parmesan, Gouda and Swiss…but for this one I used Swiss and double sharp cheddar for the hubby).

• 1 package of mushrooms

• 1/2 a small onion

• olive or vegetable oil

• hemp seeds (optional but highly recommended). Where on earth do you get those?! Why, right here of course!

Preheat your oven to about 350 and start by slicing your eggplant about a quarter inch thick. Place the slices in a colander to “dry out” a bit. Add a pinch of salt to them to speed up this process. Let sit about 20-30 minutes. You can use this time to rinse off your kale and mushrooms and set them aside.Once you feel they’ve sat long enough, heat your oil up in a large pan. Beat the eggs in a bowl and dump some breadcrumbs on a plate. You’ll be dipping each piece in the eggs first, then the breadcrumbs (they should stick) then throw them into the pan to fry until they are a nice golden brown on both sides. Once you do this, set them aside on a separate plate. Repeat until all the pieces are fried. Keep in mind: you’ll be adding more oil during the cooking process because these bitches suck up oil like crazy!!Now here’s the fun part: making the sauce! I love making my own sauces! Feel free to get creative with this part.My inspiration for this recipe to begin with was that I wanted to make an Eggplant Parmesan, but I’m not a red sauce person and wanted to tone it down a bit by making a “pink sauce.”

For the sauce I used the cheese grater on one tomato to make it into a “paste,” chopped 1/2 an onion, and 1 clove of garlic. Add about a tablespoon of white wine (feel free to drink the rest) and a small dash of my new-found favorite…Liquid smoke!!! This stuff is AMAZEBALLS!! I’m totally serious!! Even your hands will smell heavenly when working with this stuff (don’t eat those, though!) Please be aware, a little bit goes a long way with this, so your best bet is to pour a few drops into the cap and add it to your sauce that way. I find it really is quite potent! Mix the sauce well and set it aside.

Going back to the eggplant slices, coat a large baking pan with the oil you used to fry the eggplant pieces and start putting the pieces down in the pan. You will be layering all the ingredients together. Add the cheese and pour some of the sauce over the slices evenly, and start laying the kale and mushroom slices in as well.You’ll see it start coming together! Keep adding the cheese and sauce between layers until all the sauce is used up.Once all of the ingredients are in the pan, make the top part the cheesiest layer. Then sprinkle your hemp seeds on top for an extra protein boost! Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until you see the top layer of cheese start to get brown. Let it cool and share the smokey happiness!

Try it and tell me what you think in the comments or on my Instagram @stephaniepicss 🥂💜

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