For over a year and a half my family has been gluten-free. In January of 2013 my wife began having what looked like seizures and my daughter was having terrible stomach pains and other stomach related issues. After many tests, looking for everything from brain cancer to MS, the doctors diagnosed Sarah with celiac disease. Soon after my children also tested positive for it. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease that prevents people with it from digesting gluten properly. That means no more wheat, barley, or rye ever again.
With that diagnosis came a steep learning curve in the kitchen. Breads, pastas, and just about everything else the American diet is based on was now poison to my family. Standard dishes had to be rethought. Some food was simply out.
Since we first began our journey with celiac disease, we have found some work arounds to gluten that are mighty tasty. Some things may never be as good as gluten, but that hasn’t stopped us from trying.
This gluten-free eggplant parmesan recipe hits it out of the ball park. It is gluten-free, delicious, and will get your kids to eat eggplant, and like it. Instead of traditional bread crumbs, this recipe uses a combination of almond flour and coconut flakes. Together they give a nice crisp crust and a lot of added flavor. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
1 large eggplant
1 pound shredded mozzarella
1 pound of pasta
3 cups pasta sauce
1 cup of almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2-3 eggs, depending on size
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Slice your eggplant into 1 1/2 inch slices. In a mixing bowl mix the almond flour, coconut flakes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until they are homogenous. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg wash and then into your “breading” mix. A good trick to stop your hands from becoming gummed up with egg and “breading” is to use one hand for the eggs, and another for the breading. Place the breaded eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Heat your over to 400º and bake for 15 minutes.
When the 15 minutes is up, remove the eggplant from the oven and flip the slices over. Ladle a bit of sauce on top of each slice and cover with fresh grated mozzarella. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Right before removing the eggplant from the oven, turn on the broiler and let the eggplant sit under it for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. (Of course, if you have a lactose issue, simply skip this last step. I will still be delicious.)
While the eggplant roasts, cook your pasta following the directions on the package. If you’re using gluten-free pasta, I find I get better results if I cook the pasta for less time than the instructions on the package recommends.
When the pasta is done cooking set aside a cup of “pasta water” and drain. Add the pasta back to the pot, along with the cup of “pasta water” and sauce.
Place the pasta on a plate and an eggplant slice on top. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!