Story and photography by Lori Ross
According to the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG), a quiet revolution is going on in America. A 2003 Harris poll commissioned by VRG confirmed that while nearly 5 million people in the U.S. are vegetarians, an additional 30-40 percent of the country's consumers regularly eat meatless items. In a 2003 Vegetarian Resource Group Harris Interactive survey, a majority of the vegetarians said they never eat meat, poultry, fish/seafood, dairy products, eggs, or honey – thus more half the vegetarians surveyed can be classified as vegans. While 2.8 percent of those surveyed said they never eat meat, poultry, or fish/seafood, about 6 percent of the vegetarians polled said they never eat poultry or red meat. Ten percent of 18-29 and 25-34 year olds also indicated they never eat meat. Even the food industry has begun adding meatless options to their offerings.
The increasing popularity and health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and the new USDA Food Pyramid also reflect decreased consumption of meat, poultry and fish among health-conscious consumers in the U.S. population. USDA data indicates that in 2002 Americans consumed, on average, 18 pounds less red meat than in 1970. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, he likelihood of entertaining vegetarians (of some type) or serving meatless meals aboard your boat increases every year!
First, let's define the many categories that encompass the term vegetarian. Often we hear people say that they no longer eat red meat, just chicken and fish, so they consider themselves vegetarians. These are not true vegetarians, but may be “sometimes or mostly” vegetarians that often consumer plant based foods but are known to eat meat, poultry, fish and dairy. Vegetarians generally avoid animal flesh and emphasize plant-based foods that consist of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Within the category of vegetarians are:
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians, who eat no meat, poultry, or fish, but include dairy products and eggs in the diet along with plant-based foods.
- Lacto vegetarians who exclude all animal products except dairy products or Ovo vegetarian who exclude all animal products except eggs.
- Strict vegetarians eat no animal flesh, no dairy products, or no eggs, and follow a strict plant-based diet for health or other reasons.
- Vegans (vee-gun)who consume no products that derive from animals or use animals in their production such as honey (because bees are killed in the process of producing honey), refined sugar (because it is clarified over animal bone char in the final steps of the process that makes the sugar white) or gelatin (made from bones, skin and connective tissue of animals.
- Fruitarians who consumer a simpler diet consisting only of seed-bearing fruits and some foods that are technically considered fruits, but have been used as vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes, peppers, avocados, nuts, seeds, greens and olives.
Given the wide range of vegetarians, there are several considerations in entertaining guests who have vegetarian preferences. First, what kind of vegetarians are they? While “sometimes or mostly” vegetarians (those who often eat vegetarian but are known to eat meat, chicken, fish, dairy) are likely to be comfortable eating most anything you serve, lacto-ovo vegetarians (who eat dairy products) will not eat animal flesh at all but they will eat dishes with cheese, eggs and milk (e.g. macaroni and cheese).
Vegans, however, will eat neither animal flesh nor products derived from animals such as eggs, milk, butter, cheese, seasonings (Worcestershire or anchovy paste), sauces (fish sauce, hollandaise, mayonnaise) and broths (beef, fish, chicken) containing meat, poultry or fish by products and flavorings. In some cases, vegans are offended by the sight or smell of animal products on the table. You will need to find out these details, so that you can craft a menu that makes them comfortable.
Second, if your guests shun all animal products, you may want to provide a meal with complementary proteins. Animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, and fish are complete proteins because they contain sufficient levels of all essential amino acids. Plant proteins tend to be limited in one or more essential amino acids. For example, beans are low in the amino acid lysine, while rice is rich in lysine. Vegetarians, especially vegans, must eat protein foods that have complementary amino acid levels so that the essential amino acids missing from one protein food can be supplied by another. While it was once believed that complementary proteins had to be consumed at every meal, we now know that that this is not the case as long as brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and wheat are consumed within each 24 hour period, their protein needs should easily be met.
There are several ways you can accommodate both meat-eaters and vegetarians that offers everyone choices without calling undue attention to their individual preferences.
Make a meal that allows animal products to be optional (e.g.)
- Vegetable Paella with sides of grilled shrimp, chicken and sausage
- Caesar Salad with optional anchovies, cheese, and toppings of beef, chicken or fish toppings
- Tomato and cheese lasagne (without meat) with hot and sweet Italian sausage on the side
- Classic Risotto with vegetables and optional seafood
- Classic Macaroni and Cheese with lobster, shrimp or scallops on the side
Make two versions of the same meal (e.g. especially if you have vegans who eat no animal products)
- Vegetarian pizza and meat-lovers pizza
- Vegetable antipasto with a separate platter of cheeses, salami and seafood
- Pasta with oil and lemon or with simple tomato/mushroom sauce and herbs and Pasta with clam sauce or Bolognese for seafood or meat eaters
- Vegetable Kabobs on wild rice plus lamb, pork, shrimp, chicken or beef kabobs for meat eaters
- Vegetable Cassoulet plus Traditional Cassoulet with sausage and duck confit
Rethink the traditional entrée with sides and make a meal with several vegetarian dishes
- Greek Meze Platter
- Moroccan Family Feast – 7 courses including olives, hummus, vegetable salads, couscous, chickpeas and yogurt, fruit and pastry.
- Indonesian Rijstafel (rice table) which offers rice plus assorted dishes of vegetables, meats, fish and sauces from which each diner can choose to “make his/her own” meal
- Indian Thali, similar to Rijstafel, but each diner has a plate of rice and breads and assorted tiny dishes of vegetables, meats and pickles to make their meal
What follows is three menus for vegetarian meals aboard with recipes. Some of these dishes may be prepared in advance, frozen and cooked on the boat. Some of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks and websites may offer you additional ideas for delicious vegetarian meals, for example:
www.foodnetwork.com - Searchable site with great recipes from Food Network’s talented chefs. Recipes are rated by visitors.
www.epicurious.com - Searchable site with recipes from Gourmet, Self and Bon Appetit magazines. Recipes are rated by readers and very helpful ideas and comments offered.
www.saveur.com - Searchable site with authentic ethnic recipes from Saveur Magazine.
www.drmirkin.com - Low-fat, low-sugar, whole grain, vegetarian recipes from former radio program host, Dr. Gabe Mirkin.
www.molliekatzen.com - Mollie Katzen is author of the Moosewood Cookbooks from the famous vegetarian restaurant in NY State. Her site includes cookbooks, recipes for vegetarians, and food preparation tips. Look in “archives” for all her recipes.
http://www.williams-sonoma.com - Website with great recipes from the national cookware retailer Williams-Sonoma.
http://www.vegetarianepicure.com - Anna Thomas presents vegetarian cookery as rich cuisine providing good menus and inexhaustible possibilities for the connoisseur of good food. Recipes from her books, The Vegetarian Epicure I, II and III plus additional recipes are located in the “Letter” section of the website under: Newsletter and recipe archive.
Spanish Paella Feast
2 bottles Spanish red wine (e.g. Rioja) 8 oz. orange juice
4 oz. pineapple juice
1 oranges, thinly sliced
1 lemons, thinly sliced
1 apple, thinly sliced
Thoroughly chill all ingredients. Pour the wine, juices and fruit in a pitcher and stir to blend. Add ice cubes and garnish with fruit slices. Serve in 4-ounce punch glasses or wineglasses.
Variation: If you prefer white sangria, replace red wine with white (e.g. White Rioja) and replace orange and pineapple juice with peach nectar.
1/2 pound blanched whole almonds
1 tsp peanut oil
1 1/2 tsps coarse salt
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread almonds in one layer in a roasting pan and roast in oven for 22 minutes. Remove; mix with oil, and then mix with salt. Spread on a parchment paper or a paper towel to cool, 15-20 minutes.
Variation: For spicier nuts, add ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper or ground red pepper.
½ lb. olives (black or green or a mixture)
1 Tbsp each of orange and lemon zest (or use dried zest or orange and lemon oil)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsps sherry
2 springs fresh thyme or other favorite herb
½ tsp salt
Mix olives with zest, garlic, oil, sherry, thyme and salt. Marinate for 2-3 hours and serve at room temperature.
Mushrooms with Garlic and Oil
2 Tbsps olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 lb. white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thickly
½ tsp of salt and pepper to taste
1 sprig thyme
¼ cup Spanish sherry
1 tbsps chopped parsley
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until garlic is light brown (30 seconds), add mushrooms, salt and pepper and leave them undisturbed in the pan for 1-2 minutes so they brown on one side. Turn mushrooms over and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. Repeat until mushrooms are golden brown all over. Add thyme and sherry and cook until sherry is completely evaporated. Serve in attractive bowl with toothpicks or spoon and top with parsley. Guests can eat mushrooms as is or use as topping for bread slices.
2 Tbsps olive oil
2-3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onions, chopped
4 eggs, lightly beaten in a large bowl
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl beat together eggs and salt. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet; cook the onions until soft. Add potatoes and cook over medium-heat until tender without browning, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs reduce the heat to low and cook omelet slowly until golden and firm enough to flip. Turn firm tortilla by inverting it onto a flat plate and sliding back into pan and cook until done. It should still be soft inside, and about 1-inch thick. Serve hot or cold.
Variation: Replace potatoes with 1 cup artichoke dip (above)
Hot Artichoke Dip
You will immediately recognize this simple dip whose roots are in a classic Spanish holiday dish - Artichoke Tart. Spread on crackers or bread and use any leftovers to make an artichoke tortilla (see above).
8 oz. artichoke hearts in oil, roughly chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese grated
Salt and pepper
Fresh chopped parsley
Set oven to 350 degrees; mix artichokes, mayonnaise and parmesan in ovenproof pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Heat for 10-15 minutes until dip is bubbling and golden brown. If you do not want to use the oven, heat in microwave (2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted) or in a saucepan on the stovetop. Place dip in attractive bowl and top with parsley.
Note: Use leftovers in tortilla – delightful!
Cheese-filled Bread Loaf
This tapa combines hot bread, melted goat cheese and walnuts and it is simple to prepare. Servings: 8
1 medium-sized round loaf of bread (whole grain, honey wheat or herb breads are terrific)
1 cup goat cheese, brie or other cheese that melts well
1 cup shelled walnuts
Choose a round loaf of bread with a high top. Cut a slice off the top horizontally to serve as a lid and set aside. Empty out the center of the loaf using a sharp knife to make enough room for the slice of cheese. Cube bread from the center of the loaf to use for dipping. Melt the cheese on the stove top or in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until melted, and then pour into center of loaf. Top the cheese with walnuts, cover the bread with the bread lid. Bake at 390 degrees for 10 minutes or until the bread is warm and crusty. Serve immediately. Each person simply dips bread cubes or cuts off a piece of the bread “bowl” and dips it in the cheese and walnut mixture in the middle.
Serve this cold soup instead of a salad with paella. You can easily gazpacho in a blender, food processor or by hand. Simply chop vegetables into smaller pieces if you are making the soup by hand.
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tsps of salt and ½ tsp of pepper
3 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbsps of sherry or red wine vinegar
1 cup tomato juice or Spicy Bloody Mary tomato mix
½ cup vodka
Scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
Bread Croutons (store bought or cubed day-old bread sautéed in 1 tbsp olive oil until crisp)
Hot sauce (optional)
Mix garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. If you are using a blender, place garlic mixture and the other ingredients in blender bowl and run on high for 10-15 seconds. If you are making soup by hand, simply mix ingredients in a bowl. Add tomato juice and vodka. Check the seasoning and add more salt, pepper or vinegar if needed. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl or pitcher. Cover it and leave it in the fridge. Place gazpacho in attractive bowls or wine glasses with spoons and place garnishes in individual small bowls on the table and encourage guests to serve themselves.
Variations: If you want a creamier consistency to the soup, slowly add ¼ cup olive oil to the soup while in the blender. Alternatively, you may want to top soup with a dollop of sour cream, crème fraiche or plain yogurt.
Seafood gazpacho: A delicious treat for non-vegetarians is topping the soup with cooked and peeled shrimp and/or lump crabmeat.
Paella with Vegetables
6 cups of very strong vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/2 tsp of saffron
1/4 tsp of smoked Spanish paprika (smokier than regular paprika), or regular paprika with a pinch of chili powder
1 small onion, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
4 tbsp chopped garlic
2 roasted piquillo peppers or jarred pimentos with a pinch of sugar (piquillo peppers are a bit sweeter than pimentos)
3 cups Bomba or Calasparra rice or other short grain rice such as Italian Arborio rice (not converted or long-grain rice)
5 tbsp chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
2-3 large fresh tomatoes chopped
4 artichoke hearts (canned or frozen), halved
2 cups chickpeas
1/4 lb fresh or frozen peas (optional)
Lemon wedges for garnish
Parsley for garnish
Heat the broth with the saffron, paprika and the whole onion. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Keep broth warm and remove the onion saving it for another use. In a large oven-proof skillet (I use a 12” cast iron skillet), heat the oil. Add the chopped onion, scallions, garlic, and pimentos and sauté until the onion is wilted. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat it well with the oil. Add chopped parsley and bay leaves. Stir in the hot broth, wine, tomatoes, and rice and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, over medium high heat about 10 minutes. Take off heat; add chickpeas and green peas to rice mixture then place the pan into preheated oven at 325 F, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit on top of the stove, lightly covered with foil, for about 10 minutes. To serve, decorate with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.
Serve with fresh bread, and for non-vegetarians, you may wish to offer any or all the following: sautéed shrimp, chicken, clams and chorizo or other sausages on separate platter.
Escalivada – Roasted or grilled marinated vegetables
Escalivada comes from the Catalan word escalivar, which means "to char", because the vegetables were traditionally cooked whole over embers of a fire. A grill or roasting in a hot oven is ideal for making this dish. Escalivada may serve as an entrée with crusty bread or as an accompaniment to a main course. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1 red bell pepper
1 medium eggplant
1 large Spanish onion
3 large ripe tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
½ tbsp sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Brush whole vegetables with olive oil and lay in a shallow baking pan. Cook in oven or grill at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, then remove eggplant, pepper and tomatoes and set aside. Leave the onion in the oven for 20 minutes more.
When cool enough to handle, peel the vegetables with your fingers (peels will be soft and loose) being careful to retain any juices as you peel them. Seed the pepper, cut off tops of tomatoes and eggplant and peel and trim the ends of onion. Using your hands or a knife, tear or cut the vegetables into small strips. Slice the onion into rings and mix vegetables and place in serving dish. Dress with remaining olive oil and sherry vinegar; salt and pepper to taste.
Variations: Use different colored peppers and experiment with vegetable combinations you like, such as:
Roasted Ratatouille: Eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic
Roasted Fennel, Garlic and Olives
Roasted Leeks and Mushrooms
Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes
Roasted Lemon, Asparagus and Garlic
Easy Vegetarian Pizza Lunch
Vegetable and Cheese Antipasto
Grilled Individual Pizzas
Vegetable and Cheese Antipasto
Feel free to use other vegetables and cheeses and if you are serving non-vegetarians include 1/2 pound sliced pepperoni or hard Italian sausage or proscuitto.
3 large carrots cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 small fennel bulbs cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 red bell peppers, roasted and cut into strips or jarred pimento
One 12-ounce jar Peperoncini pepper rinsed and drained
3/4 pound black or green brine-cured olives or a combination
1/4 pound sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
3/4 pound marinated or plain mozzarella, sliced
Two 7-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained well
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley and/or basil
For the marinade
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tbsps each of balsamic and red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp crumbled dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil, crumbled
1 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
Make the marinade:
In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, the vinegars, the rosemary, the basil, the oregano, the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil and whisk the marinade until well-blended. In a large bowl toss together vegetables with marinade, then chill covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Transfer the antipasto to a platter, garnish it with the parsley and/or basil, and serve it at room temperature.
I learned this recipe from Bill Parlatore, Editor of PassageMaker Magazine and I am hooked on it. We purchase fresh pizza dough from Trader Joe’s and grill these pizzas on a pizza stone preheated to 400 degrees in the grill. Thin crust pizzas take about 3 minutes to cook while medium thick pizzas cook for 5-6 minutes. Small pizza stones for boat grills are available. For convenience, we use a pizza peel at home but a large spatula works well on smaller boat grills. If you don’t have Trader Joe’s near you, make your own dough in a food processor (recipe below), or buy fresh dough from a local pizza shop or look for frozen dough at your grocers. I haven’t tried Boboli or other pre-cooked pizza crusts on the grill but they should pick up some of the smoky flavor characteristic of this dish.
Makes 6 - 8” pizzas
3 lbs. uncooked pizza dough (plain, whole wheat or herb) or make your own pizza dough (below) in a food processor
Ground yellow cornmeal
3 tbsps olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
2 cups of tomato sauce (homemade or your favorite jarred sauce)
1 cup each of vegetables: chopped onion, sliced bell pepper, sliced plum tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, pitted olives, sliced artichokes, spinach (total 7 cups)
For non-vegetarians: 1 cup each of pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, salami or other meat, chicken, seafood of choice (total TBD)
4 oz. of fresh mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan or other favorite cheeses (total 12-16 oz. Cheese)
Chopped fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano)
Crushed red pepper
Pre-heat pizza stone in grill or oven to 400 degrees.
Buy or make dough and roll into pizzas:
Divide into 6 balls. Roll out 1 ball of dough 1/8 inch thick (about 7 inches in diameter) on a surface (wood or countertop) dusted with cornmeal. (I like to make it directly on the pizza peel). Lightly brush dough with olive oil.
For red pizza:
Top with 1/2 tsp garlic, then 2 tbsps of tomato sauce, toppings of your choice and 2 oz. (4 Tbsps) of cheese (single type or mixed)
For white pizza:
Top with /2 tsp garlic, oil, 2 tbsps cheese, toppings of your choice and finish with 2 tbsps) of cheese (single type or mixed) and sprinkle chopped herbs and a little crushed red pepper.
Grill: When the fire is hot (400 degrees) carefully transfer dough, sliding it off pizza peel or cutting board with a large spatula onto the pizza stone (or if you are experienced, just shake pizza off the peel onto the stone) . If you have trouble transferring pizza to stone, simply lift pizza gently and scatter a little cornmeal underneath it in several places. Grill until undersides are browned, 3 to 4 minutes and the cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Oven: When you cook pizza in the oven on pre-heated pizza stone, it may take a minute or two longer to brown the bottom, keep checking it so it doesn’t burn.
If you don’t want to use a pizza stone, use a lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan to cook pizza dough.
Easy Food Processor Pizza Dough
2/3 cup lukewarm water (105–115°F)
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsps olive oil
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt
Make dough: Stir together water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over.) Stir in oil, flour, cornmeal, and table salt, then stir until a dough forms.
Knead on a floured surface, dusting with more flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes (dough will be moist).
Put dough in an oiled deep bowl and turn to coat with oil. Let dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Form dough into pizzas ahead of time: Punch down dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll out 1 ball of dough 1/8 inch thick (about 7 inches in diameter) on a lightly floured surface. Brush off excess flour, then transfer dough to a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover surface of dough completely with plastic wrap. Roll out remaining balls of dough in same manner, covering with plastic wrap and stacking rounds. Wrap baking sheet with more plastic wrap. Chill dough until firm, about 2 to 4 hours or overnight.
Simple Greek Meze Platter
Retsina or Ouzo
Fresh Vegetables – Greek Style
2 cucumbers cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large red, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
½ cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Chili oil, for drizzling, optional
Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, and dill in a medium bowl and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables attractively on the serving platter and spoon the dressing over the salad. Garnish with additional dill and drizzle with chili oil, if desired.
Feta Cheese and Olives
1 lb. feta cheese
1 lb mixed olives marinated in oil, salt, pepper and rosemary
Place chunk of feta on a plate and surround with marinated olives
Italian or French Bread
¼ cup olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 large zucchini1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion peeled and sliced thin
2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
16 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 cup red wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsps oil
2 cups milk
2 tbsps cornstarch
To prepare the vegetables (mushroom, eggplant and zucchini): Cut off the stems and slice 1/2-inches thick. Season vegetables with oil, salt and pepper and place in one layer on cookie sheets. Bake in the oven or on a grill at 350 for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. If you don’t want to use your grill or oven, coat a large skillet with oil and heat over medium flame. Fry the eggplant and zucchini in a single layer, turning once, until brown on both sides– you will need to do this in batches, adding more oil, as necessary.
Red Sauce: Heat a sauté pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and minced garlic and onion. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes, add tomato sauce, red wine and cinnamon. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Dilute cornstarch in ½ cup cold water and set aside. Bring milk, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add diluted cornstarch, stirring as it thickens. Remove from heat. Add a tbsp of salt to the beaten eggs, and then add the eggs to the sauce mixing it well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Line the bottom of a square or rectangular glass or ceramic baking dish with the zucchini slices; spread 1/3 of the sauce evenly over the zucchini. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the parmesan and Repeat the layers again with the mushrooms and eggplant ending with a final layer of eggplant. Pour white sauce and any remaining cheese over top of vegetable mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven to rack and let stand for 15 minutes. Cut into squares.