Alisa Fleming ~ Tony and I were traveling for over a week, and I’ve returned to be buried in emails and laundry. Honestly, as much as I love cooking, the last thing I feel like doing right now is planning meals. Fortunately, I received a convenience food delight while away, frozen eggplant cutlets that are dairy-free!
It is important to note that I absolutely love eggplant, but typically, Tony does not. Regardless, lunch was on deck, and he was going to eat whatever I made … which turned out to be a trio of tasty conveniences: Baked Eggplant Cutlets with Barilla Basilico Marinara (and some simmered mushrooms), and topped with Lindsay Naturals Sliced Green Olives. Yes, someone has received some wonderfully tasty food as of lately (that would be me), and it culminated into this near-gourmet, 15-minute lunch for two.
I opted for the baking directions for the eggplant, laying them on a cookie sheet and allowing them to roast for the full 15 minutes. I even broiled them for 2 additional minutes to crisp up the breading a bit. The kitchen smelled amazing while these cooked!
To my pleasant surprise, Tony proclaimed, “They’re fried, they’re good!” … and devoured every last bite. They did taste fried, yet they are quite low in fat and calories; really low if you stick to one serving. There are supposedly five servings in the box, but the two of us ate the entire package for lunch. You’d have to pair this with some hefty sides to get 5 servings … I would say 3 servings maximum, even if served over rice or pasta.
Overall, the meal was excellent. The sauce was sweet and rich, and the olives were a nice accompaniment, though they were more buttery and mellow, like black olives. I was expecting pungent green olives … I think I would showcase these olives on their own, as their flavor was drown by the bold flavors of the sauce and cutlets. Trust me, no parmesan was required, this meal was full of oomph.
Please note that not all of the Dominex Eggplant products are dairy-free and vegan. They accidentally sent me the Vegetarian Meatballs, which I can’t eat since they have parmesan. Though not noted on their packaging, I assume that all products are made on the same line, so I would contact the company directly if a severe milk allergy is a concern for you.
I think my only “beef” with this product is my usual complaint with frozen foods, they seem expensive for what you get. But, I suppose there has to be a price tag for convenience. Also, these are made with soybean oil – wouldn’t it be wonderful if more companies started using olive oil? Ah, a girl can dream.
To note, the breading on this product is wheat-based, but I can almost bet that Dominex is working on a gluten-free variety as I type. If not, they should be. I think a product like that would sell like hot cakes.
For more information on the products on Dominex Eggplant products, visit their website at www.dominexeggplant.com
Third party review and photos by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.