Revolutionary "Better For You" Eggplant Rollatini
I've recently been craving some sort of yummy ricotta cheese/red sauce/pasta-ish dinner.... Unfortunately most dishes associated with these ingredients are also associated with lots of fat, carbs, and a wicked food coma. So that got me thinking of somehow trading out the pasta for some sort of veggie... which led me to the obvious... Eggplant Rollatini!
Traditionally, Eggplant Rollatini is first breaded, then rolled around whole milk ricotta cheese, and then covered in sauce. In my lighter version I eliminate the breading process (trust me, you won't miss it), and fill the rollatini with a creamy, flavorful, Cashew ricotta. Don't fear the Cashew ricotta! It will change your life! It's everything you love about a creamy, savory, rich, ricotta, with way less fat and calories! I served mine with a yummy salad, and a few slices of fresh baguette. So go ahead indulge in some vegan comfort food. You'll love it, plus, you won't need to unbutton your skinny jeans after dinner!
"Better For You" Eggplant Rollatini
1 Jar Marinara Sauce, or homemade if you're feeling ambitious
1 recipe Cashew Ricotta
Large handful baby spinach
2 eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
About 1 cup shredded Vegan mozzarella cheese, or regular if you have to
1/4 cup vegan Parmesan, or regular if you'd like
Kosher or Sea Salt
Olive Oil Spray
Spread the eggplant out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt on both sides. Let sit 10-15 minutes. This process is to get out some of the water, and also any bitterness in the eggplant. Rinse eggplant under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Spray eggplant with olive oil spray, and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Set aside on some paper towels, until ready to assemble.
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 handful basil
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained, and crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
In a food processor, blend together the cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic until a thick creamy paste forms. Pulse in the basil until its broken down a bit. Add the crumbled tofu to the food processor, making sure to scrape down the sides to get everything fully incorporated. Blend in the salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 375. Pour 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce into a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
With the narrower end pointed toward you, place a few leaves of spinach on the lower third of the eggplant slice.
Place a heaping spoonful of cashew ricotta on the spinach, and roll up. Place the rolled eggplant slices, seam side down, in the casserole dish. When everything is rolled, pour another cup or so of sauce over the rollatini. Sprinkle top with the vegan mozzarella, and Parmesan, and Bake 25 minutes, until the cheese is melty and the ricotta is heated through. To get the cheese extra browned on top you may want to slip the rollatini into the broiler for a few minutes.