Having Baked Chicken Parmesan as a vegan seems like an impossible thing, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not! You simply bring to life the “chick” side of chicken and turn a can of chickpeas into something über fantastic! It’s now on our favorite family dishes network. No, that’s not an actual TV show, but we like to live our own regularly homespun sitcom kind of life! If you haven’t guessed by now, I play the part of the comedic relief!
Look, the holidays are over. That means it’s time to do away with all the festive fun, including cookies, cakes, and candy. Oh, the candy – how much I will miss you!
But this time of year has become an annual right of passage. Like March’s lent, January requires a little sacrifice to make up for December’s caloric carnage.
So fine, I will buck up and put on my sackcloth and give up all the tasty things in life.
Wait a minute. Who am I kidding? I’m vegan! That means most of what I eat already has a “skinny” advantage to it. [A note of clarification. Although said author would like to think of herself as skinny, it's a judgment call. Here she is using the word "skinny" to reference vegan entrees.]
Of course, you can even turn a vegan diet into something that ranks low on the health-o-meter. Take, for example, potato chips. No animal products there (at least not on the plain kind), but they’re not really considered a health food. Shocking, right? Another example is the bane of a healthy vegan life, Oreo Cookies. There may be no lard, but there’s lots of calories. Although there are rumors that the UK version might have some dairy products in it. I think I should take a roadtrip and find out for myself!
But all in all, vegan food is cholesterol free. And typically that means it’s lower in fat and calories. Every time I’ve compared a SAD (Standard American Diet) version of some food item, say a hamburger, compared to a vegan version (a Vegan Veggie Burger), the vegan version wins hands over fist!
So I’m taking my dietary punches this January just like so many others are doing. It’s just my version of “sacrifice” includes this Skinny Baked Vegan Chick Parmesan. I’ll take those kinds of punches any day!
No sackcloth required. Care to join me?
Skinny Baked Vegan Chick Parmesan
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup flour (regular or gluten free)
- ½ cup corn meal
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon sage, dried
- ½ teaspoon thyme, dried
- 1 tablespoon mild miso paste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup dried lentils
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup vegan Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons Vegan butter (aka, Earth Balance margarine), melted
- 1 tablespoon soy milk
- ¾ cup vegan mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup marinara
- cooking spray
- Heat oven to 400° F. Coat a large baking pan with vegetable spray.
- Add the chickpeas and the chopped onion to a food processor and pulse for several seconds.
- Add to the food processor, the flour, cornmeal, nutritional yeast flakes, sage, thyme, miso paste, vegetable oil, vegetable broth, and garlic powder. Pulse for several more seconds until everything looks good and mushy. That’s right, this recipe is going to be messy. But I promise, it will be worth it!
- Place the 1/4 cup of dried lentils in a grinder (we use a coffee grinder) and pulse for several seconds until the lentils resemble flour. Set aside.
- Next, you’re going to create a dipping station. So get out 2 wide bowls or plates. In the first one combine the ground lentils, breadcrumbs, flax seed meal, salt, and vegan parmesan (you can substitute nutritional yeast flakes if you don’t have any vegan parmesan).
- In the second bowl or plate, melt the vegan butter and add the soy milk. Stir until a little combined.
- Now, grab a handful of the chickpea mixture and form into something that looks like a patty. Lightly brush the top side of your patty with the vegan butter mixture, then place it buttered side down into the breadcrumb mixture. Yes, this will get messy, but all the best things in life do. Brush some additional vegan butter mixture on the top of the patty and sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top to coat it. Carefully place the breaded chickpea patty on your prepared baking sheet. Here is where you can reshape the patty to make it more oval. Repeat these steps with the remaining patties.
- Lightly spray each patty with a little more vegetable cooking spray. Then place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven and turn each patty over and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven (again) and spoon marinara sauce over each breaded chickpea patty and top with shredded vegan mozzarella cheese.
- Turn the heat up to 450° F and bake the patties for at least 5 more minutes, or until the vegan cheese is melted.
- Serve over pasta