Few things are more disappointing in the kitchen than poorly baked eggplant. Avoid that issue by cutting the veg lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices, brushing them with oil and popping them into the oven for a golden-brown finish on each side. Take things up a notch by arranging the baked slices in a roasting pan with marinara sauce as a “cannelloni” and serve with a leafy salad for a really beautiful meal.
- 2 eggplants cut into ¼-inch-thick slices lengthwise
- 950 mL canned crushed tomatoes
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp flaked sea salt
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- ¾ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne
- 4 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt
- 1 cup cashews soaked (see tip)
- 1 cup basil leaves plus more for garnish
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt
- 1 Medjool date pitted
- ½ tsp hot pepper flakes
- 100 g hard cheese or vegan mozzarella grated, plus extra to serve
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant in single layer on pan.
- In large saucepan, combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, sea salt, coconut sugar, cardamom, black pepper and cayenne over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine oil, paprika, oregano, garlic powder and sea salt; brush eggplant with oil mixture. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; flip and bake until golden, about 4 to 6 more minutes.
- Drain cashews in fine-mesh sieve; place in food processor with basil, spinach, almond milk, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, Medjool date and hot pepper flakes. Whirl until smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Arrange 2 tbsp of the filling on the end of each eggplant slice and top with 1 tbsp of the grated cheese; roll up tightly. Repeat with remaining eggplant, filling and cheese.
- Spread three-quarters of the marinara sauce onto bottom of 9-inch casserole dish or baking pan, then top with eggplant rolls. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes; sprinkle with more grated cheese and basil (if desired).