Cooking for Compost: Lunch

breaded and fried eggplant, tomatoes

In the second edition of our Cooking for Compost series, we’re focusing on the afternoon meal. It’s often disregarded as a relevant meal, especially during a busy workday. But a good lunch should be delicious and give you the energy to stay focused during that midday slump.

Your lunch doesn’t have to create the piles of plastic and other disposables typical in a microwave or fast food meal. Instead, the only waste involved in this recipe is vegetable scraps, which can be easily composted.

Recipe: Alternative Eggplant Sandwich

This eggplant alternative sandwich is like a healthy veggie version of the KFC Double Down (that fried chicken sandwich monstrosity). This sandwich replaces bread with breaded eggplant.

The recipe calls for tomato and mozzarella cheese as the sandwich filling, but you can try roasted red pepper, zucchini or a ton of other veggies. Let the farmers’ market help dictate your lunch.

This sandwich can easily be packed into a resealable container and microwaved or eaten chilled in the office, in the park or on the go.

Helpful hint: Although it is a sandwich, you’re better off eating this one a fork and knife.

Your farmers’ market list:
1 small eggplant
1 tomato (extra points for if it’s a delish heirloom)
1 egg
Mozzarella cheese
Panko, bread crumbs or matzo meal
Salt and pepper

Tomato sauce is a great dipping sauce for this recipe. You can also top with a little basil to give it an ultra-fresh taste.

Serving size: Makes 2-3 small sandwiches

How to make it:
1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Slice eggplant into half-inch slices. Beat egg, mix panko, bread crumbs or matzo meal with salt and pepper.

2. Dip eggplant in egg first, then dip in bread crumbs. Fry until golden brown.

3. Slice mozzarella cheese and tomato.

4. Take one slice eggplant, add sliced mozzarella and tomato. Top with another slice of eggplant.

5. Try dipping into tomato sauce or sprinkling with basil and enjoy!

Easy-to-pack sides and sweets:

After you’re done, compost!

Composting can be done in a number of different ways. Industrial composting is used for items like biodegradable plastics. Traditional household composting is for food scraps. For the Cooking For Compost series, we’re talking about household compost.

We promise, composting is easier than you think. Check out some simple guides for starting your own household compost. No matter where you live or what you throw out, you’ll be surprised at just how much can fit into that bin.

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  1. This eggplant dish sounds great! As an alternative to frying in a pan, I have cooked breaded eggplant on the grill or under a broiler. Enjoy!

  2. I am looking for advice on composting at a school. This is an alternative high school with 380 students. These students are very “green” and the principal is open to the concept of composting. Does anyone out there have experience with this?

  3. This sounds delicious! Even though I compost, it can be hard to stay motivated to cook without using food that comes in packaging (especially with kids). This is a great series!

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