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15 Vegetarian Casseroles That Are The Definition Of Comfort Food

Whether you're looking to eat less meat, or just want to save a few bucks on your next grocery bill.

1. Eggplant Parmesan Bake
This comforting eggplant bake has a creamy "cheese" sauce made with cashews, so not only is it vegetarian, it's also vegan.

  • 3 medium eggplants (about 3 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • For the marinara sauce:
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini and or summer squash, chopped
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar tomato sauce (such as Bertolli Tomato & Basi)l
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs, for sprinkling
  • For the Mozzarella sauce:
  • 3/4 cups raw cashews*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juices
  • 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

  1. Preheat the oven to broil, set to high. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
  2. Generously salt the eggplant and place in a colander. Let sit and sweat for about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce by heating oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and zucchini and let cook for 1 minute. Add roasted red bell peppers, tomato sauce, thyme, oregano, basil, balsamic vinegar, and granulated sugar. Cook and stir for a few more minutes.
  4. Wipe or dab the eggplant with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Arrange the eggplant on the baking sheet and brush with oil. Broil for 4 to 6 minutes until browned on top.
  5. While eggplant is broiling, make the mozzarella sauce.
  6. In a blender, combine cashews and water. Blend on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, garlic onion powder, and corn starch
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch pan.
  8. To assemble the casserole:
  9. Arrange half of the eggplant slices, overlapping the slices, in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs. Layer half of the cooked quinoa, half the tomato sauce, and half of the mozzarella sauce on top of the bread crumbs. Repeat the layers. Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Top with fresh basil and serve.
  10. If you are not using a high powdered blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, soak cashews overnight or boil for 10 minutes and drain. This will soften them and ensure silky smooth cream.

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