Monday, January 13, 2014

'Breaded' Eggplant and Avocado Caprese Stacks (plus a bonus recipe)

  I do hope you all enjoyed the recipe from my weekend contributor, Zanne!  She is fantastic and has so many ideas for her future posts.  I can't wait!!!

Well, now on to my Eggplant and Avocado Caprese Stack.  Before I get around to sharing the recipe, let me first explain how it came to be.  

Last week I was in my local grocery store.  I saw these beautiful organic eggplants and just had to buy one.  I didn't know what I was going to do with my new beautiful eggplant, so I started thinking.  I racked my brain trying to remember Pinterest recipes that I had recently Pinned.  Low and behold, I remembered one!  It was an Eggplant Caprese Stack.  I thought it sounded delicious so I grabbed an organic tomato then I walked over to the dairy section and grabbed some fresh mozzarella.  I had no idea if I needed anything else, so I left with just that.  

Once I was home I started really thinking about the recipe.  I decided to look it up on my Pinterest board.  The 'breading' was nothing more than flax seed and raw almonds ground up together in a very fine sand consistency.  Thanks God I just bought a Vitamix!  And thank God I keep a well stocked pantry, I had flax and raw almonds already;)

I also had an avocado that was about to go bad.  I decided avocado would be a nice addition to the stack.  let me tell you, this meal was AMAZING!!!

Now on to the recipe!

What You Need:
  • 1 organic eggplant
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 1 organic avocado
  • Basil (I used dry basil, but you can use fresh)
  • Balsamic Vinegar 
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 T water
  • olive oil
How It's Made:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Peel and slice eggplant into thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • Mix together egg and water into shallow bowl
  • Add flax and almonds to a food processor or blender and blend until sand like consistency
  • Put nut/flax mixture into a separate shallow bowl
  • Grease two cookie sheets with olive oil
  • Dip each eggplant slice into egg mixture and then into nut mixture.  Be sure to coat both sides.
  • Place eggplant side by side on baking sheet
  • Drizzle more olive oil on top of eggplant slices
  • Bake about 8 minutes, then remove from oven and flip eggplant slices over.  Return to oven for another 8 minutes or until eggplants are tender all the way through.
  • Once removed from oven, place eggplant slices on a paper towel to drain oil
  • Cut tomato into hearty slices (salt and pepper the tomato slices for more flavor)
  • Cut avocado in to thin slices (how you would slice an apple, but thinner)
  • Cut mozzarella into thin or thick slices (whatever you prefer)
  • Your last step is to stack each item.  Do it however you want, but I did mine like this"
    • Eggplant on the bottom
    • Then a tomato slice
    • Another eggplant slice
    • Then three slices of avocado
    • Another eggplant slice
    • Then topped with mozzarella, sprinkled with basil and drizzled with balsamic
There you have it.  I did have left over eggplant (all the pieces I didn't cut straight or were too small).  I decided that I would make a super simple eggplant parm with my left over eggplant and mozz. 

I got a small baking dish.  Place eggplant on the bottom, spooned organic marinara over the top and added some cheese.  I repeated the layers one more time, sprinkled with a little basil and Viola!  Kid friendly, easy-peasy eggplant parm!

There you have it.  two eggplant recipes that are easy to make, gluten-free, organic, and just about every other dietary term you can think of (not dairy or nut free though!).  I hope you try it and enjoy it!

Happy Eats,

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