Three Layers

Fresh and Fast Vegan by Amanda Grant is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks. Amanda delivers on the title’s promise and I love that she doesn’t use processed foods, tofu or fake meat. It’s all veggie and all yummy! The other day I made a baked casserole that I classify as vegan comfort food.

Nobby farmers’ market potatoes

Interesting hues inside

Eggplant and Potato Bake (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lb. ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into thick slices
  • salt and pepper

(I just love the short ingredient list!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Meanwhile cut a small x into the bottom of each tomato. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Once the water in the pan is boiling, drop the tomatoes in for 30 seconds. Remove tomatoes with tongs and place in ice water. (Step-by-step instructions on how to peel tomatoes can be found here.) Bring the water in the pan back to a boil and add potatoes. Simmer in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain, peel and seed the tomatoes. (I squeeze them over the sink.) Roughly chop and set aside.

Drain the potatoes and then return them to the pan. Dry them out over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Mash them into a smooth puree. (This makes a delicious side dish on its own!)

Saute the eggplant slices with olive oil in a pan or grill on a griddle for five minutes on each side.

Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish. Cover with the tomatoes and then spread the potatoes on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

Warm & mushy

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Mine are mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.

Do you make a “grown-up” or healthy version of any comfort foods?

I do love regular old gooey mac and cheese as well as creamy mashed potatoes, but there was something so fresh about using garlic and olive oil instead of butter and cream.

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