The most common question I get from new readers, aside from “Have you figured out what’s wrong with your hands & feet?” {No.}, is “Are you vegan?”

The simple answer is “No.”

The longer answer is no, but that’s how I usually eat.

That’s usually followed by “Is your husband?” That answer is easy: definitely not.

Sometimes it gets complicated because we always want two different things for dinner; but it’s a lot easier than most people think. I try to make meals that can easily satisfy us both.

For example, one of my favorite vegan dishes is eggplant parmesan (minus the parm). All I do is leave a couple spaces for some chicken for the husband, top it with real cheese, and I’m done: we both have almost the same dinner, in the same pan, and we’re both happy.

chicken and eggplant parm

eggplant parmesan recipe

Eggplant Parm

1 eggplant, sliced into rounds

large bunch kale

handful almonds, ground in food processor

salt & pepper

Sauce:

1 can (28oz) whole tomatoes

1/2 can tomato paste

2 cloves garlic

handful of basil leaves

Vegan béchamel:

1/4 c almond butter

1 1/2 T nutritional yeast

1/8 c almond milk

1/8 c vegetable broth

1/2-1 T cornstarch

Optional: cheese & chicken (sear chicken a few minutes on each side first)

Dry eggplant.* I did a scientific experiment for you to determine whether this step was necessary. It’s not, but it makes it taste a heck of a lot better. It’s worth the extra time.

*To dry: slice, coat in salt, layer in colander. Top with heavy items and place over sink or bowl. Let sit for as long as you can stand (ideally a couple hours). Some brownish liquid should drain out. Rinse salt off and pat dry.

eggplant slices

Stir sauce ingredients together and simmer for 15 minutes, breaking up tomatoes as you stir occasionally.

marinara sauce

Add béchamel ingredients to food processor. Blend until thick sauce is formed.

vegan bechamel

Season eggplant with salt and pepper.

kale leaves

Fill 9 x 13 baking dish with a thick layer of kale. Top with half the eggplant. Spread a layer of marinara followed by a layer of bechamel. Repeat eggplant and sauce layers. Top with almonds.

vegan eggplant parm

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. After baking, broil on high for a few minutes to brown almonds or cheese if using.

baked eggplant parmesan

Serve by itself or over angel hair pasta.

eggplant parm recipe

vegan italian

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How do you handle different eating styles when you’re cooking?