Vegan Spinach "Ricotta" Eggplant Rolls

Vegan Spinach "Ricotta" Eggplant Rolls

Now I don't want you to think that this is super hard to make or too fancy for you. You can do this easy peasy! It looks so nice though that you could serve it to guests or as a fancy dinner for a special person (hint hint!) Just dish it up with some spaghetti, some garlic whole wheat bread and a drink for a fun plant strong meal. Maybe a simple side salad could fit onto your plate as well!

If you think you don't like eggplant you should try it again! OR.. use zucchini instead! I think that you have to try foods, especially unfamiliar ones, in many different recipes before saying that you absolutely don't like it. Maybe you don't like it in a stir fry but you would LOVE it like this. You never know until you try! 

Vegan Spinach "Ricotta" Eggplant Rolls

Vegan Spinach "Ricotta" Eggplant Rolls

  • 12 oz fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane or finely minced
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons miso paste (white, yello, mellow or shiro)
  • 16oz package firm tofu, drained and pressed 
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one large eggplant (or a few large zucchini if you just CANNOT do eggplant)
  • 1 jar oil free tomato sauce (or I just make my own with some canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and herbs. I'll post a recipe ASAP!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Slice your eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-1/2" slices. I use my mandoline to slice it evenly! Place the slices on a parchment or silpat baking mat lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until soft and pliable. Leave the oven on after you take them out. 

Meanwhile wilt the spinach down in a large nonstick pan over medium heat with a Tablespoon or so of water. Add in the garlic and cook for about a minute or so to take the sharp edge off. 

Now put the spinach, basil, miso, tofu, lemon juice, and oregano into a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is mashed up and mixed together. Taste it and add salt and pepper to your taste. 

Get out a casserole dish and ladle in some tomato sauce to just cover the bottom. Set aside.

Once the eggplant is done roasting let it cool until you can comfortably handle it. Place some filling at the larger end of the eggplant slice and roll up. Place the rolls in the pan with the sauce. Keep rolling them up and placing them next to each other in the dish. Now pour tomato sauce all over the top of the rolls to generously cover. 

Place back into the oven and bake uncovered for for 40-50 minutes, or until tender and hot throughout. Let them cool a bit before dishing up (it may seem "watery" right when you take them out but after about 10 minutes the juices soak back up into the dish.) Sprinkle with a bit of chopped parsley or basil if you're feeling fancy. Serve with some simple whole wheat pasta (spaghetti!), some toasted garlic (whole wheat) bread and maybe a glass of wine. Enjoy!

 

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