Yes you read that right, this sauce is 100% vegan, with a beautiful "meaty" tomato sauce flavor and texture, high in plant protein and 20% lower calorie then regular meat sauce.
difficulty level: intermediate
prep time: 8 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
equipment needed: food processor, yes you could use cheese grater and knife, but it will increase prep time considerably
what you need:
- 1 small eggplant (12 oz) stem end trimmed, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 8 oz (1 package) crimini mushrooms cut in half, otherwise also called baby bella or cafe mushrooms
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp oil, divided separately.
- 1 large garlic clove finely chopped
- 8 oz firm tofu, or Tempt which is a firm "tofu" made out of hemp seed (for people avoiding soy products) i have only been able to find Tempt at whole foods.
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce divided
- 3 cups low calorie tomato sauce, i use Organicville Mushroom Pasta sauce, i buy it at whole foods, Amazon only sells this by a case of 12, which is a bit much! the main thing is to look for is a tomato sauce with no more then 40 calories per cup. You can absolutely make a triple batch of my Rustic Tomato sauce but any simple store bought sauce will do the trick here.
- 1/2 cup broth. I like Imagine brand no-chicken broth but any broth will do
- black pepper to taste
- optional: red chili flakes, added during cooking time, according to preference
- 1 -2 tbsp fresh basil leaves chopped
what to do:
- preheat oven to 425 degrees
- line an oven sized baking dish with foil, lightly greased/spray
- place 1/3 of the eggplant in food processor, pulse until no large pieces are visible, but eggplant is not mush, about 8 long pulses, repeat with the rest of the eggplant, 1/3 at a time, transfer to a large wide Tupperware
- place 4 mushrooms (each cut in half) at a time into food processor, pulse 4 - 8 times, it is completely ok if slightly bigger pieces remain, transfer to Tupperware with eggplant and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms, 4 mushrooms at a time.
- drizzle 1 tbsp oil on eggplant mushroom mixture, immediately mix well with hands, as both mushroom and eggplant are like sponges and will immediately absorb the oil.
- spread eggplant mushroom mixture onto baking sheet in one even layer, sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt and some black pepper, lightly spray with cooking oil spray and put into oven, on middle rack for 15 minutes
- meanwhile preheat 12" non stick pan on medium high
- pulse firm tofu in food processor until it looks like ground meat texture (very quick)
- mix 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1/2 tbsp oil with tofu crumble and set aside
- spray frying pan well with cooking oil, add tofu crumble, spread out evenly in pan, mixing/flipping occasionally, cook 7 minutes to brown. at the 5 minute mark add remaining 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- check on eggplant and mushrooms, if 15 minutes have passed, take them out, flip around piling the mixture towards center, spread it out again, spray lightly with oil and return to oven for 7 more minutes.
- in frying pan, reduce heat to medium, push tofu crumble to edges, mix remaining 1 tsp oil and minced garlic, add to pan and let toast in middle of pan 45 seconds
- take eggplant mushroom mixture out of oven and add to frying pan
- mix tofu, garlic, eggplant and mushrooms, add 3 cups tomato sauce and 1/2 cup broth, reduce to simmer, cook uncovered for 10 minutes
- remove sauce from heat, garnish with basil leaves
You can serve this on top of my Crispy roasted sweet potato noodles , on zoodles or, i found this amazing brand of gluten free noodles made entirely from lentil flour or bean flour, they are so good with this sauce, the brand is called Tolerant and yep you can find them on Amazon :) in the picture below you can see a plate with their green lentil shell pasta peeking on the right