Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Veggie Royale & A Close Contender to Eggplant Parm

*UPDATED August 2012 with some Pics! 

Tonight I had an appointment to get my hair done and had to leave the house at 5 p.m. It takes an hour to get there. The funny thing is that while it does take an hour to get to a decent shopping mall from here because you have to drive to Albany, I was driving an hour north, further into the sticks! My salon is in the stylist's house, and I love the way she does my hair so much it's worth the drive.

So I didn't want to eat on the road. As a teacher, I eat lunch at a ridiculous time--usually between 10:30 and 11:00. It really doesn't bother me to eat dinner by 5!  And there's really no good vegetarian food on the road.  Yuck to fast food. Sometimes I'll get an egg and cheese on an english muffin from Dunkin Donuts, or a Subway veggie sub.
Claire's in New Haven. The BEST!

I thought I'd have time to bake up the Eggplant Bake from the Claire's Corner Copia cookbook. (You can get a copy of her book and other great stuff at her site. She also has a great Italian book! All vegetarian of course! ) Sliced up all the veggies and layered them, but it has to bake a long time. I left it on a timer for my husband to take out of the oven, and worried the whole drive that he had left for lacrosse practice with Owen and forgot it. And there's no cell service in the sticks, so I just had to trust that it wasn't burning the house down.

This is the BEST recipe from this cookbook. You layer slices of eggplant, potato, zucchini, pepper and onion with bread crumbs, olive oil, and cheese. It's better than eggplant parm because it's not fried and the other veggies just complement the eggplant so well. In total, there's about 4 tblps or so of olive oil. When I got home, I couldn't resist picking at it while I packed it up for today's lunch and dinner.
August CSA veggies, (except the peppers)! A great recipe for enjoying summer harvest!

Veggies layered w/breadcrumbs, garlic, parmesan, mozzarella. Just about ready.
Foil over the top till the last 15 min, so the cheese doesn't burn--essential for any parmigiana. To make sure the cheese doesn't come off with the foil, I make little tent folds in the middle.  It's not fail proof, but it helps!

[The night I cooked this in the original post,] Kira had an english muffin with peanut butter. Some day I think she'll partake in more dinner-type foods. For now, I let her choose.  [UPDATE 8/2012: My kids eat this now! Not a ton, but some! PROGRESS!] I had also sliced up red potatoes really thin, tossed them with olive oil, and roasted them with the eggplant casserole. They come out like chip/fries and everyone loves them with a little sea salt. I don't buy frozen french fries any more.

Instead, I cooked a veggie burger. There are so many kinds out there, my least favorite being the Boca. I don't like vegetarian food that tries to be meat flavored. I like Amy's and Gardenburger, but my sister brought me Dr. Praeger's from Trader Joe's and they are really tasty. When I went to the website, the California burger is called the "Veggie Royale."  Couldn't help but think of John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.


  1. I sent this post to Claire. She loved it and complimented your writing.

  2. Great! So fun to meet Claire in person. We'll have to go to the trattoria too some day.


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