• Serena Marie RD

Vegetarian Parmigiana

The best thing ever about social media is that it allows me to communicate with you guys ON THE DAILY. And one thing that I have repeatedly heard from you guys is that you need more vegetarian recipes. So many runners are herbivores, and ya know what?? I can GET DOWN with that. Yes, I eat meat, but I actually think that I am definitely "plant based." I mean, I think I'm allowed to say that since I eat tons of beans, lentils and veggies every single day, and often use veggie based sources of protein instead of meat.


So, heck yeah, peeps!! I can teach runners how to eat plant based meals that are rich in the right nutrients. And so much of Eat like an Athlete is exactly about that - learning how to use nutrition to FUEL your workouts and your athleticism - whether you eat meat or not!


Anyways, oneee day last week I was really craving chicken cutlet parmigiana (remember, this red-headed lady is indeed Italian), but rather than grilling chicken and creating a healthy chicken parm, I decided to go the PLANT BASED ROUTE. And, damnnn, am I happy I did because this ish was DELISH.


Okay - so this is SIMPLE. Don't let all the steps scare you, okay? Make this on the weekend when you have time to spare and enjoy the process. OKAY? Cooking is not this terrible chore, but a chance to relax and unwind. Blast some music and sing while you cook, listen to a podcast, facetime your bestie and just freakin' relax!



How flipping delicious does this look?!

Vegetarian Parmigiana

Serves four


1 eggplant

2 cups tomato sauce

4 garlic cloves, minced

12 ounces extra firm tofu, prssed and drained

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (gluten free if necessary)

1 egg

1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

1/4 cup Basil leaves, chopped

3 Tbs avocado oil

1 cup shredded mozzarella



1. Preheat the oven to 400*F

2. Spray each side of eggplant with oil and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until eggplant is translucent.

3. While the eggplant cooks, slice your tofu into 1/2" thick long rectangles. Set aside.

4. Whisk an egg in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix together bread crumbs and parmigiana cheese. Set aside.

5, Bread the tofu rectangles by dipping in egg followed by breadcrumbs. Place breaded pieces on a plate.

6. Once all the tofu is breaded, place a large pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Pan-fry each tofu for 2-3 minutes per side until breading is crisp.

7. Remove tofu from pan, and now its time to assemble! In a small baking dish, layer tomato sauce, eggplant slices, cheese and tofu until all the ingredients are used.

8. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with basil before serving!






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©2017 by Serena Marie RD. Images by Ralf Graebner