Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eggplant Parm Risotto- Easy Slow Cooker Recipe

Sedona, AZ

Oh sweet sweet comfort food.

Eggplant Parm Risotto - Easy Slow Cooker Recipe
for a 4 qt slow cooker, 4-6 servings
Easy, Gluten free, Kid Friendly, Oil free variation, Vegan

2 medium sized eggplants, peeled & cut to ¼" cubes
4 cups marinara sauce (RVegan Marinara recipe below)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup arborio rice (risotto rice)
1 cup your favorite veg cheese (my simple cashew ricotta recipe below)
2 Tbsp olive oil  (optional)

Drizzle olive oil in the slow cooker.  Add eggplant, marinara, broth, arborio rice, and veg cheese.  Stir well to combine.  Cook in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours.  Scoop into serving bowls.  Top with cashew parmesan (recipe below)

Eggplant Parm Risotto

RVegan Marinara
makes 4 cups
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp fennel seed (optional)
½ cup dry red wine
sea salt to taste

Combine in a pot and cook on low for 30-40 min. (No need to pre-cook if it's going in the slow cooker)

Personally, I'm not a huge advocate for store bought vegan cheese.  It is highly processed and most don't pass my strict,  label reading scrutiny.  I do, however, make my own cheese from scratch and love it!  The ricotta is rich and creamy.  The cashew parmesan topping is perfect for salads, vegetables dishes, pastas, and pizza.  If nothing else, you must try this!

RVegan Cashew Ricotta (and Parmesan topping)
makes 1 cup ricotta, 2 Tbsp parmesan
1 cup raw cashews
¼ cup firm tofu
¼ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice

For the ricotta:
In a processor, process the cashews into a crumble.  Scoop out 2 Tbsp and set aside.  Process remaining cashews into a fine powder.  Add tofu, sea salt,  olive oil, & lemon juice to the processor with the remaining cashew powder.  Pulse to combine.

For the parmesan:
In a med-high heated pan, add the 2 Tbsp cashew crumble with a dash of  sea salt and a dash of garlic powder.  Heat only until fragrant.  Let cool.  Set aside to sprinkle on top of your risotto.

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