Recipe: Crunchy Breaded Eggplant Steaks

FullSizeRenderNo bread? No eggs? No problem. These tasty eggplant steaks are covered in ground chickpeas to give them a hearty, gluten-free and vegan crunch. 

A while ago, I purchased a bag of chickpea “breadcrumbs” (basically roughly-ground chickpeas) from the store. I’ve been waiting for the right recipe to try them in since then. The this week I saw a recipe that used marinara as an egg replacement to bind flour to mushrooms to make fries. My mind went instantly to the bag of chickpea breadcrumbs in my pantry. So, I knew I was destined to try the marinara breading method with the ground chickpeas.

I was initiatively skeptical about how the marinara would work as the “glue” in this recipe, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. I chose to bread eggplant because it seemed like it would be a natural match with the marinara sauce and chickpea breadcrumbs. I’ll probably try it with mushrooms at some point, too.

I used a tomato basil-flavored sauce as my marinara of choice. I paired the breaded eggplant with extra tomato basil sauce and rainbow chard, but you could easily serve it over your favorite gluten-free pasta or put it between two pieces of toasted gluten-free bread.IMG_3517

The best part about this recipe is that there are only a few ingredients and it comes together in no time at all. Plus, its super healthy and loaded with protein.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup chickpea breadcrumbs

1/2 cup marinara sauce

1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning

1/2 tablespoon garlic granules

Good sprinkle of salt

1 small eggplant, cut into 4 steaks

Non-stick oil spray

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray will non-stick oil.

Cut the eggplant into 4 steaks. Begin by chopping off top and bottom of the eggplant, followed by its rounded sides. Using the middle of the eggplant, slice into four steaks of approximately equal size around a 1/2-inch thick.

Mix chickpea breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, garlic granules and salt in one bowl. In another bowl, pour in marinara sauce. (This works better if the sauce is pureed, not chunky, so puree if needed.)

Then take one eggplant steak and dunk in marinara sauce . Next, take eggplant steak and place it in the bowl with the chickpea crumbs. Move it around until it is completely covered. Finally, place eggplant steak on foil-lined baking tray. Repeat the process with the three remaining steaks.

Bake eggplant steaks for 20 minutes in the oven or until breading is brown and crispy.

Serve with marinara sauce, pasta, or in a sandwich. It could also serve as the base for an eggplant “parmesan”.

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