Chicken Fried Eggplant Meal Prep
Fried Eggplant - A complete meatless meal with comfort of Southern Fried Chicken Dinner. (Plus Meal Prep Plan)
This Crispy Pan Fried Eggplant meal is vegetarian's dream Southern Dinner where veggies are the star. Healthier, meatless and oh so delicious... Seasoned eggplant slices are coated in traditional fried-chicken style dredge and then pan fried for crispy texture and soft meaty inside. Plus creamy low-carb Instant Cauliflower Mash and Citrus Spinach Salad on side..
Friends, today's meatless meal is dream-come-true holiday dinner for a vegetarian.
Don't you think?
I mean, Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy too! Does this sound like a comfort dinner or what? Today's recipe is everything in this dinner but ALL vegetarian.
Sounds exciting! Isn't it?
Oh, not just a vegetarian meal, this post also goes towards speedy weekend winter meal prep.
My inspiration behind this recipe was eggplant. Eggplant can soak in any flavor you add to it. Plus it's meaty texture makes it great replacement for a hearty meaty dish like fried chicken. This recipe has all the flavors of chicken fried steak dinner minus the "meat". It is my favorite to serve on our vegetarian diet days.. I like to prepare this meal over the weekend and pack it in portable containers for weekdays. I pack cauliflower mash, gravy and sliced fried eggplant in one container. Spinach salad goes separately so that we can easily heat the meal.
The fried eggplant recipe is quick, flavorful, and needs some globe eggplants for long slices and basic pantry ingredients - Flour, eggs, seasonings and some oil for pan-frying (no deep frying needed). Since eggplant cooks quickly, I don't need to take fryer out or even use a lot of oil. I add oil for each batch to keep the oil use at minimum.
If you have picky eater who does not like eggplant? I have some pretty delicious eggplant recipes which can turn anyone into eggplant-lover. By-far this fried eggplant recipe is topping the winter-dinner-chart for it's comfort and reminder of cozy meat and potato dinner.
Okay, now back to this week's Vegetarian Meal Prep.
I often share Weekly Meal Menus on blog. This single meal prep post is first of it's kind. I decided to divide it in two parts because that way I'm also telling you to not hold back from serving this delicious Fried Eggplant because of mashed potatoes. Cauliflower Mash is only 10 minutes recipe. But you can also serve fried eggplant dinner with regular mashed potatoes, or skip it all together. However, I do recommend spending 10 minutes to make Black Pepper Gravy. It takes this dinner to whole new level.
In short, today's Meal Prep includes:
1) Fried Eggplant
2) Black Pepper Gravy
3) Cauliflower Mash
4) *Citrus Spinach Salad
Lite Healthy Meal Tip: I also love to serve fried eggplant sliced/diced on top of these salads for a lite leftover lunch. Or simply because in mood of lite dinner. It will be veggies on top of veggies but has delicious flavor to dig every forkful.
With the following recipe, we get four serving for two days. Recipe doubles easily. You can make as many as you like. I hope you will enjoy this comfort vegetarian dinner as much as we did.
Wish you a wonderful day ahead.
Chicken Fried Eggplant Meal Prep
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Cauliflower (mash, for serving. Recipe link in notes)
- Fried Eggplant
- 1-2 Egg Plant Or Brinjal (Globe Eggplant, to get 8 of 1/2" thick slices, peeled)
- 3 Egg(s)
- 2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp Cajon Seasoning
- 2 Garlic (cloves, minced)
- 1 tsp Parsley (dried)
- Canola Oil (or oil of choice for shallow frying)
- Black Pepper Gravy
- 1 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup Milk (low-fat)
- 1/3 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 Bouillon Cube (vegetarian, crushed)
- Spinach Salad
- 200 Grams Spinach (baby spinach or baby kale works too)
- 2 Oranges (sliced in segments, or use clamentines packed in lite-syrup)
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 1. Mix a teaspoon of seasoning with minced garlic and two teaspoon of oil and generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Apply this paste on sliced eggplants. Set aside.
- 2. Preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take two wide rimmed plates or wide bowl. Add flour in one with remaining cajon seasoning. If seasoning used has no salt. Add generous pinch or two of salt in flour. Mix well and set aside. In second bowl, add eggs with 1/2 teaspoon salt and teaspoon parsley. Beat well and set aside.
- 3. Set one inch oil to heat in a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet. While oil heats, dredge eggplant slice in flour. Dust then coat in egg wash. Repeat dredge in flour one more time. Fry in oil ( heated at 375) for 3-4 minutes each side or until each side is golden crispy. Transfer to rack lined sheet tray. Repeat this step with each eggplant slice.
- 4. Place tray with fried eggplant in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes to cook through.
- 5. Microwave milk with crumbled boulion. Mix well. Set aside. To make gravy, melt a tablespoon butter in a skillet. Add flour and cook stirring constantly until raw taste of flour is gone (2-3 minutes). Add warm milk a little at time mixing constantly until gravy thickens. Mix in black pepper and nutmeg. Taste and adjust salt. Remove from heat.
- 6. To serve, plate eggplant, top with gravy. Serve spinach salad and mashed cauliflower on side.(if serving)
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