>Carrot-Eggplant Casserole

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So the big T-day is just around the corner. Secret: I don’t like turkey, except the pre-sliced deli kind. Don’t judge, lest you be judged. Ha!

Here’s a hearty vegan alternative that would make a great side dish any time. Jenn asked me to make a loaf with fresh ginger, and I’m pretty sure she meant a sweet quickbread loaf, but I immediately thought this carrot-mushroom “loaf” from the Moosewood cookbook would be outstanding with some ginger. Mushrooms and eggplants are alike in that they both are oil-sponges, and you could use either. The original recipe, which has cheddar cheese, is also very tasty. I replaced the eggs with a flax seed binder and took the flavors in a slightly more Pacific direction.

Carrot Eggplant Casserole
adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen, p. 184
Serves 8-10 (makes one 9 x 13 dish)
2 cups onions, minced (about 1 medium onion)
1 T coconut or olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 lbs eggplant, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 t salt
1 t minced fresh ginger
1/2 t dried coriander
1 t cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 c grated carrots (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs (hint: grate dry bread on your grater after you grate the carrots)
2 T ground flax seed
4 T warm water
2 T soy sauce
black pepper, fresh ground
Prep all your veggies. Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan until melted. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the eggplant, salt, ginger, coriander, cumin, and garlic to the pan. Saute for 10 more minutes. If the bottom of the pan gets very dry and things start to stick, stir in a little water. Be sure to stir the veggies quite often, so the moisture evaporates and the veggies saute instead of steam. 
While the veggies are cooking, mix the flax seed and warm water together with a fork or whisk. Let set for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350˚/180˚.
Mix together in a large bowl the carrots, bread crumbs, flax seed-water mixture, soy sauce, and black pepper. When the veggies are soft and wrinkly, mix them into the carrot stuff. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more. Serve hot or warm. 

This casserole keeps very well in the fridge or freezer. I made it tonight and have set aside a portion for our Thanksgiving feast!

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

For Thursday, I’ll be helping at my church’s annual feast. The average attendance is around 250, I’ve been told. I’m also making a few things for our home gathering: bacon-oyster cornbread stuffing, apple sausage stuffing, two bourbon chocolate pecan pies, and some sort of salad. Last year I made a fennel grapefruit salad, which was delicious, except every single person that took it thought it was a raw fish sushi dish (the grapefruit did look like raw fish).

French Bread for the stuffing

And don’t worry Jenn, I’ll still make a sweet ginger loaf soon. 

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