Crispy, Crunchy Oil-Free Vegan Eggplant "Parm"

Do you think you have to give up your favorite foods to adopt a whole food plant-based no oil way of eating to get serious health benefits fast?

Heck no - I'm here to help you with that.

Usually I advise people who are just newly vegan for health to stick to whole foods that are naturally vegan (because they just don't contain any animal products in the original dish or recipe) such as lentil soups, rice and beans, minestrone soup and other wonderful ethnic dishes people love. This makes it easy to start out without noticing the taste difference or tying to mimic the taste and feel of animal products. But since Eggplant Parm is a typically vegetarian dish anyway, I decided to give it a go. But, I did want to make some changes to the vegan recipes already out there which eliminate the dairy and egg in the classic dish. I don't want to use white-flour processed Panko breadcrumbs everyone loves for crunch and I don't want to rely on plant milk for dipping or oil for frying for crispy results.

So here is my virtually fat-free take on the classic favorite, with instructions for both the air-fryer and the oven. Vegans and non-vegans alike with be drooling!

HEALTH TIP: To bump up the nutrition of this meal, serve these these with sauteed spinach or kale or steamed Broccoli Rabe or broccoli or any other greens with the sauce instead of whole grain pasta.

Vegan Cooking Level: Medium

Ingredients

1 large eggplant

1/2 cup aquafaba (juice from the can of chickpeas or liquid from cooking your own chickpeas from scratch)

1/2 cup garbanzo flour

1 cup homemade bread crumbs (using whole grain bread)

3 tbsp. homemade nut parm (or plain nutritional yeast)

1 tsp. your favorite Italian spice mix

1/2 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt (and more for prepping the eggplant)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Sauce for serving (I used my