Tanya Steel is Editorial Director of Clean Plates, a healthy food and wellness content brand. Tanya is a longtime food journalist. Formerly Editorial Director of Epicurious, Gourmet Live, and Gourmet.com, Tanya joined Clean Plates in 2016. She is also the Award Director for the Julia Child Award, and conceiver of the annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” with First Lady Michelle Obama, now in its 5th year at the White House. Formerly, she was an editor at Bon Appetit and Food & Wine, and has written for many publications, including The New York Times. She has authored two cookbooks, the award-winning Real Food for Healthy Kids, and The New York Times’ bestseller, The Epicurious Cookbook. Her third book, tentatively titled Eat The Past: A History of Food for Kids, will be published by National Geographic Kids in 2018. Tanya won a James Beard Award for Journalism, and was inducted into the Digital Hall of Fame. With the help of a talented team, she has won dozens of awards including Webbys, ASMEs, James Beards, and an Emmy. She is the exhausted but proud mother of teenage twin boys.

Vegan Pastitsio with Eggplant

Prep time- 1 hour

8-10 people

EGGPLANT

1 large eggplants, unpeeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

TEMPEH SAUCE

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 Tbs. chopped garlic, minced

2 - 8 oz. package Soy Tempeh, crumbled (pulse in food processor)

10 baby bella mushrooms- finely chopped

2 assorted peppers- yellow, orange and green- chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¾ teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch of ground cloves

½ t. thyme

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ t. nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus to taste

Freshly ground pepper

1- 15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes

1- 15 oz can diced org. tomatoes in juice

10 sundried tomatoes- pureed

2 tablespoon tomato paste

CASHEW SAUCE

2 cups cashews- soaked for 2 hours in water

2 cups water

1 teaspoons sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 Tbs. Nutritional yeast

FOR PASTA

1 lb. penne or GF Penne

TOPPING

½ cup Breadcrumbs (use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make this recipe gluten-free)

½ t. salt

½ t. ground garlic

olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 Tbs. nutritional yeast

Vegan Pastitsio with Eggplant

Directions

Bake the Eggplant: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with oil and lay out on large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with parchment paper and bake until the eggplant is soft, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside covered. Make the Tempeh Sauce. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, sprayed or brushed with olive oil. Pulse the tempeh in a food processor until fully crumbled. Lay out the tempeh on the oiled parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, peppers and garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about about 3 minutes more. Add the baked tempeh, oregano, thyme, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Create a space in the center of the frying pan and add the tomato paste, and sundried tomatoes, and cook for a few more minutes, allowing the tomato paste and sundried tomatoes to toast and thicken, before adding the fire-roasted tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Then add the salt and pepper, mix well, and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Make the Cashew Sauce. Drain the cashews. In a blender, puree the cashews with the water, salt, nutritional yeast and nutmeg, until very smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Toast the Bread Crumbs. Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with olive oil. Add the Breadcrumbs, garlic, and salt, and lightly brown for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and nutritional yeast. Assemble the Pastitsio. Lower the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10 x 15 x 2-inch Pyrex casserole pan with olive oil. Scatter ½ of the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the pan. Put ½ of the pasta in casserole pan. Cover with ½ of the eggplant slices and half of the Tempeh Sauce. Put in the remaining pasta and lay out the remaining eggplant slices on top. Cover with the remaining Tempeh mixture. Pour the cashew béchamel sauce over the layered mixture and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and bake, uncovered, until lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Remove the Pastitsio from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

00:0000:00