3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound eggplant, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced, equals approximately 1 tablespoon
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, leaves only
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara (pasta sauce)
Pinch of red chile flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Use 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease a large rimmed baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet along with the onion and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are soft and translucent.
Drain the cooked beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them. Add the beans and parsley to the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.
Place the eggplant mixture in a large bowl. Add the onion and garlic and toss. Then add the breadcrumbs and red chile flakes, if using and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Roll mixture into approximately 12 balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Transfer meatballs to the baking sheet. Bake undisturbed, until they are firm and well-browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Warm the pasta sauce. Serve the meatballs, hot or at room temperature along with the pasta sauce.
Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa or steamed greens.

Serves 4-6

Note: Meatballs can also be added to and warmed up in the pasta sauce.

2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms (can substitute with other dried mushrooms)
2 tablespoons nondairy butter
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound fresh porcini or other mushrooms, sliced
2 quarts vegetable broth, mushroom broth or water
1 cup whole barley, rinsed
2 teaspoons coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Soak dried mushrooms in enough hot water to cover for a half hour.
Strain through a filter (I place a coffee filter inside a fine strainer over a bowl).
Reserve the water.
Coarsely chop the dried mushrooms (throw away any pieces that are not soft).
Melt butter in a soup pot. Add the onion, celery, 2 tablespoons parsley, carrot, garlic and fresh mushrooms and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth or water and bring to a boil.
Add the chopped dried mushrooms, reserved mushroom water and barley.
Stir well and add salt to taste.
Simmer, covered, for about an hour or until the barley is tender and the soup is thickened, stirring often.
Add additional chopped parsley, mix thoroughly, and adjust seasonings.

Serves 6-8