The other day, I spotted an old friend on sale. Just $.88 for a large, smooth eggplant. My husband often makes fun of my eggplant “addiction” as he calls it, so I quietly snuck one in the cart, hoping to go unnoticed. Of course he caught me. I quickly proclaimed what a great deal it was and promised to make a fabulous meal with it. He just smiled.
I can’t say what it is about the giant purple fruit that attracts me so, but I know that I am not alone…
Eager to prepare the perfect meal, I turned to the eggplant queen, Susan of Fat Free Vegan. As a fellow eggplant-fanatic, but much more savvy in the kitchen than I, Susan would surely have a whole line-up of purple powerhouse meals. I must say that she did not disappoint. Well over a dozen eggplant-centric recipes greeted me on a quick search.
Susan’s Eggplant Paprikash was invented to create eggplant-loving converts. If this wasn’t reason enough to pick this recipe, I just happened to have all of the ingredients on hand!
I accidentally used double the cashew butter in the “sour cream,” and since I didn’t have any silken tofu on hand, I used extra-firm. It actually worked out well, but I added a few tablespoons of rice milk to get the “sour cream” to the right consistency. To keep the whole dish vegan and gluten free, I served it atop a bed of wide rice noodles.
While I don’t think I achieved an eggplant convert, my husband said the meal was quite good. We were both surprised by how filling it was; this recipe makes a generous 4 servings.
Eggplant Paprikash from Fat Free Vegan
(Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free)
- 1 large onion, halved and cut into thin wedges
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. eggplant (about 2 medium) cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 bell peppers, any color, sliced (I used red)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/8 tsp. Liquid Smoke flavoring (I omitted to no major loss)
- 1/2 cup tofu sour cream (see below)
Tofu Sour Cream:
- 1/2 package (about 6 ounces) lite silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon cashew butter or tahini
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Blend all the ingredients for the tofu sour cream until completely smooth, and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.
In a large, non-stick saucepan, sauté the onion in a small amount of water until it begins to brown, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper (optional), and stir for one minute. Add the salt, eggplant, peppers, vegetable broth, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer until the eggplant is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
When the eggplant is done, check the seasonings and add more salt if necessary. Stir in the Liquid Smoke (optional) and the sour cream, and cook for another minute, until warmed through. Serve over pasta or rice.