[You have blown me away with all your responses to my call for recipe testers–thanks to everyone who sent emails! I’ll be taking names/email addresses until early next week, so if you’re interested, please send an email to dietdessertdogsATgmailDOTcom with the subject line, “BREAKFAST TESTER.” I’ll get back to everyone later in the week!]
As I mentioned in my last post, the HH and I munched on some eggplant “bacon” with our Christmas Day brunch pancakes. Yep, another veggie-based faux meat from DDD! First it was beet pepperoni (or, as River dubbed it, “beetaroni”); then cauliflower meat crumbles, and now, bacon. What’s up with that?
I suppose it’s kind of ironic that the daughter of a butcher doesn’t eat meat. And isn’t it ironic that, considering I don’t eat meat, I have so many faux meats on this blog? It’s like I’m destined to create vegan counterparts to the items my dad sold in his work life. Ironic! It’s like my genetic makeup has preordained that my kitchen adventures would be intertwined with meats of some sort or another. It’s like–
It’s like rain, on your wedding day. A free ride, when you’ve already paid. It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take. . . and who would’ve thought–
(Oh, sorry, a different kind of irony, there. And hey, congrats on the new arrival, Ms. M)–
Maybe it’s the fact that at almost every meal, the HH whines about the lack of meat. Maybe it’s that our society has ingrained the concept of a savory, smoky, succulent serving of food alongside every grain, breakfast item or mashed tuber. Maybe it’s my competitive streak and I’m attempting to out-Bourdain Bourdain.
Or, maybe, I just like playing with my veggies.
Whatever the reason, I knew I had to try this as soon as I read about eggplant bacon in my new cookbook, Raw Food for Everyone by Alissa Cohen. Cohen’s version adds but 3 ingredients to the eggplant (liquid aminos, agave and cayenne) and is dehydrated for 12-15 hours. I wanted more complexity to enhance the naturally meaty taste and texture of eggplant. I knew I’d be too impatient to wait the full dehydrator time (even though my oven has a digital display that can be set at 115F) and so I just baked the strips in the oven at 325F. It took a while but in the end, I had crispy, crunchy “bacon.”
These strips were a perfect accompaniment to the light, fluffy pancakes and sweet plum sauce at our brunch. The HH enjoyed them just as much as I did, in fact, and ended up eating more than half the batch. Rather ironic, I’d say.
And in the “I-Am-So-Excited-I-Am-Doing-a-Happy-Dance-Right-Here-at-My-Computer” Department: DDD has just been named a finalist in the Canadian Food Blog Awards! You can check out all the finalists here. And thank you, all, once again for nominating my blog for the award, and for reading! You are the BEST! 😀
Eggplant “Bacon” (suitable for ACD Stage 1 and beyond)
Diet, Dessert and Dogs (https://www.rickiheller.com)
These strips would work really well on a pizza or other savory dish (such as an “ELT” sandwich–yum!). The slow-cook method allows the strips to dry out just enough that they retain a bit of chewiness in the center and crisp up on the edges. If you’ve got more time, try cooking them longer, but at an even lower temperature to maintain an even crispness throughout.
1 medium eggplant, peeled and then cut in rectangular strips about 1/8″ (3 mm) thick (cut them the full length of the eggplant)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) Bragg’s liquid aminos, tamari soy sauce, or soy sauce
1/4 tsp (1 ml) smoked paprika
1/4 tsp (1 ml) garlic powder (be sure it’s not garlic salt, or the strips will be mega-salty!)
5-10 drops stevia liquid, to your taste
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 Tbsp (15 ml) minced red onion (or grate it on the smallest holes of a box grater)
Preheat oven to 325F (165C). Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment.
In a square glass pan, mix together the Bragg’s, paprika, garlic powder, stevia, oil, water and onion; whisk well to create a marinade. Lay the strips in the marinade, turning each one over once to coat on both sides. Allow to sit at least 20 minutes or up to an hour, turning the stips over once or twice.
Remove the strips from the marinade (you will have some liquid left in the pan–hold on to it for later) and lay them in a single layer on the parchment. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from pan and brush with any extra marinade. Return to the oven for another 25 minutes; remove from the pan, turn the strips over, and brush with any leftover marinade (you will have enough marinade for 3-4 brushings).
Repeat the cycle once more (a total of 25-50 more minutes), watching the strips carefully so that they become crisp and browned without burning. If some of the strips begin to brown too much, remove them from the cookie sheet and continue to bake the others until they are all ready. (Note: the crinkly appearance of the “bacon” in my photo is the result of baking on the parchment after it became wet from the marinade and crinkled that way–it was just lucky those ridges happen to resemble actual bacon!). Makes 2-3 servings. Best eaten immediately.
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Last Year at this Time: Quick & Easy Dal and Spicy Chickpea Koftas
Two Years Ago: Do Try this at Home: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Warm Caramel Sauce (ACD maintenance only; can be made GF)
Three Years Ago: Encomium to the Soap Star Bloggers
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Awesome! I have purchased what I deem vegan bacon bits (smoked sun dried tomatoes) but I love these! And many congrats!
Oooh, I bet sundried tomato bits would work perfectly as “bacon”! Great idea (and thanks!) 😀
Hooray for your nomination! The eggplant “bacon” looks tasty, and I’m so glad you didn’t make it in a dehydrator, since mine is still in Wisconsin. Of course, if you bake it, it won’t be raw, but that’s OK with me. I think I’ll try your version.
Thanks, Andrea! What a lovely way to end 2010 for me and DDD. 😀 And I wasn’t worried about it staying raw, either (eating it with cooked pancakes and all that. . . ) 😉
OMG, I really wish it wasn’t summer her at the moment so I could make this.
You mean because the oven is on? If you dehydrate them, it’s much cooler! 😉
Congrats on being a blog award finalist! BTW I’m lovin’ this eggplant “bacon” idea! Very cool.
Thanks so much, Tiffany! I really enjoyed the “bacon,” too. 🙂
I love the idea of this on a pizza! Along with your “beet pepperoni” we’ve got a “meaty” feast pizza! Haha. Look forward to trying it this coming week with one of those eggplants in my fridge…
I bet it would be great on pizza, yes. And with the pepperoni–great idea! Let me know what you think if you do give it a try.
Oh and big congrats for being a finalist, that’s amazing news 🙂
Thanks so much! Very excited. 😀
Johanna GGG says
it goes without saying that I will be bookmarking this! I have found myself making a few faux meats – not for the taste but for the comfort and nostalgia because if it really tasted like meat I would hate it but I love the interesting flavours – surely this is better than meat!!!
Congrats on the blog awards – hope you have a happy new year
I have to agree, Johanna–it’s not meat that I’m seeking, but the idea of meat. The Platonic version of “meat,” if you will. 😉 And thanks for the congrats. Hope your new year was great, too (I think it’s already happened where you are. . .) 😀
Yeah for eggplant bacon! And being a Canadian Food Blog finalist! So many things to be happy about! I hope you had a great Christmas…not doing much blog reading over the holidays, but trying to catch up now!
Thanks, Shel! Hope yours was great, too. “Not doing much” pretty much sums up my holiday so far, too! 😉
Ricki, congrats on being selected as a finalist. You definitely deserve it! I checked out the website and I was surprised to see your blog listed under “niche” instead of “healthiest.” Oh well, I guess everyone has a different definition of healthy. Now I’ll have to go check out other sites on the list.
Do you mind if I ask what kind of app you use for the recipes? Do you just embed code? It looks so much nicer than what I have, which essentially requires you to either write it down or print the whole post.
Cami, I honestly don’t know! I had someone install it for me. All I have to do is type “print recipe” before and after the recipe, and –voila!–there it is. I thought that Alvin, the owner of the company, was very easy to work with, and prompt. His company is Big Sky Design and there’s a link at the very bottom of every page. If you contact him, tell him I sent you! 🙂
Happy 2011 Ricki! So, what if you’re not a lover of eggplant? Do you think it might trick my taste buds to prep it this way? Daughter of a butcher! No wonder you’re vegan, I can’t imagine seeing the behind the scenes of a butcher’s life!
Hmmm, not sure. It doesn’t taste like eggplant to me, but I may not be able to tell any more–especially since I like the taste of eggplant! And re: my dad’s store, strangely enough, when my sisters and I went there on the weekends, we never quite realized that those huge sides of beef hanging in the freezer were dead cows. We just ran around the store pointing out all the things we wanted to eat! But I did eat enough meat in those days to last pretty much the rest of my life. 😉
i’m skeptical enough to try it 🙂
I love that you used eggplant to make vegan bacon! How fun.
Hi, was wondering if you can cook these so they’re not too crunchy and they’d still work (because I prefer sort of flexible bacon, fake or otherwise).
Yes, that would work just fine! You would just have to be sure that they’re cooked enough to hold a shape (too soft and the middles will fall out). 😉
Hey! I stumbled upon this recipe because of the ACD friendly tag. I just wanted to ask, how is it friendly for the anti-candida diet while it has soy sauce/Bragg’s? Are you saying it’s good for people who are trying to prevent an overgrowth? Because everything I’ve read suggests that, when trying to rid your body of candida, all of those things are big no-no’s. Not trying to be fussy, just curious!
My understanding of Bragg’s is that it’s not fermented, and so fine as an occasional food (I certainly wouldn’t use it daily). My go-to source to answer these kinds of questions is Whole Approach, and here’s what they said.
I never used stevia. Would the recipe work with honey or organic sugar?
Ricki Heller says
I don’t see why it wouldn’t–I’d say that’s equivalent to 1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) of sugar. 🙂