Cheeze Eggplant Bake

So, this is essentially eggplant Parmesan, without the Parmesan....does that count? Whatever, this tastes so good you could kick someone, and I did. Kicked my husband out of the kitchen so he would stop eating the leftovers.

Ingredients (enough for 5-6):
1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup soy, rice or almond milk 
2 cups bread crumbs (or four pieces of bread, toasted and made into bread crumbs) + 2 tsp dried basil
2 tblsp olive oil

Tomato Sauce:
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp margarine
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 small red pepper, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 5.5 oz can of tomato paste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
dash of hot sauce (optional)
pepper to taste

Cheeze Sauce:
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp tahini (adds creaminess)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder (to thicken)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place milk in a shallow pan and let eggplant slices lay in it.
2) Prepare the tomato sauce by sautéing the onion, olive oil, and margarine in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, until it slightly caramelizes (about 5 minutes). Add the red pepper and garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the remaining tomato sauce ingredients, and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If you would like it to be smoother, blend it in a blender or processor, but I prefer it slightly chunky, especially with this recipe.
3) Prepare the cheeze sauce by placing all ingredients (except for arrowroot powder) in a small saucepan, over medium heat until it begins to bubble (whisking constantly). Whisk in arrowroot powder until it begins to thicken and set aside (the sauce will thicken as it sits)
4) Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Dip the milk soaked eggplant slices into 1 cup of the bread crumb mixture until lightly coated on both sides.Transfer breaded slices to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes (or until the bread crumbs begin to brown slightly).  
5) To assemble the casserole, place a small amount of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (about 1/3 cup). Spread, and place eggplant slices on top. Pour cheeze sauce on top of eggplant slices, followed by the rest of the tomato sauce.
6) Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, remove and sprinkle with remaining bread crumb mixture. Finish baking for an additional 20 minutes, or until the eggplants can be cut easily with a knife. Let cool slightly, Enjoy!
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