Recipe From My Boyfriend

Crispy Vegetable Tenders and Collard Greens

If you couldn’t have guessed by most of my boyfriend’s recipes, we eat a lot of Italian and Mexican dishes. This week, he decided to mix things up and make a vegetarian take on a southern classic: fried chicken. My boyfriend is not into fake meats (I’m not really either because ingredients I can’t pronounce freak me out), so I was pretty intrigued to see how he was planning on pulling this off. But, as usual, he did. Using meaty vegetables like eggplants, these veggie tenders had a great crunch on the outside and a juicy, beefy texture on the inside. And of course, you can’t have a southern-inspired spread without a succulent staple like collard greens. Yum!

Crispy Vegetable Tenders and Collard Greens
Served best with Barbeque Sauce or Ranch


Vegetable Tenders:
• 2 EGGPLANTS (peeled)
• 2 ZUCCINI (peeled)
• 2/3 cup FLOUR (*wheat/regular)
• 5 cups CORN FLAKES
• 2/3 cup MILK (*almond/soy/buttermilk)
• 2 tablespoons DIJON MUSTARD
• ¼ tablespoon CAYENNE PEPPER
• ¼ tablespoon PAPRIKA

Collard Greens:
• 2/3 cup WHITE WINE
• 4 cloves GARLIC
• 1 tablespoon BUTTER
• 1 cap full LIQUID SMOKE

*what we used


Vegetable Tenders:
1. Cut EGGPLANT and ZUCCINI into large “chicken tender” size portions (quarter the ZUCCINI and cut the EGGPLANT into large “fries”). In large bowl, add FLOUR and a pinch of PEPPER. Dredge the vegetables in the flour mixture and set aside.

2. Clean bowl. In bowl add MILK, DIJON MUSTARD, CAYENNE, PAPRIKA and CRUSHED RED PEPPER. Set aside.

3. Add CORN FLAKES to resalable bag (w/mostly all air removed) and crush into fine pieces. Pour mixture onto a plate or flat surface.

4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

5. Then, take a vegetable tender, dredge it in milk/Dijon mixture and the roll around in cornflakes. Set into *grill pan or on Aluminum Foil. Repeat process until vegetables are all finished.

6. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes and then reduce down to 325 for another 10-15 minutes.

7. Let cool and serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Collard Greens:
1. Rinse/wash COLLARD GREENS.

2. Add OLIVE OIL, ONION and GARLIC to pot on high heat. Sauté for 5 minutes and then add chopped COLLARD GREENS. (To chop: I usually just roll them up and then slice once down the center lengthwise followed by perpendicular slices.)


4. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until tender.

5. Add SALT and PEPPER to taste.

And last but not least, chow down! 😀

Big thanks to my amazing boyfriend & the best cook I know, Ben.

  • Grasie Mercedes

    YUM! that looks amazing! umm, when are we invited to dinner again? :)

  • Clare Bamford

    These recipes are always so awesome! I think I speak for all vegetarians when I say, THANK YOU!

  • Anna Schatte

    Once again, this looks delicious! I will have to try it out soon!

  • Elizabeth McDonald

    Liquid smoke?! What does that mean!

    • Justin Shelton

      Beaten to it with the link. I prefer Colgin’s liquid smoke, but that’s just my opinion. In my grocery store, you can find it where the steak sauces and marinades are kept.

  • Martha McInerney Lyall

    Veggie love!

  • Toni Torres
  • Ramou Sarr

    Your boyfriend is amazing. I need one of those.

  • Amparo Paredes Mellado

    YUM! Thank you!

  • Rebecca Doris

    how do you think this would be with panko instead of cornflakes?

    • Marissa A. Ross

      Panko would probably work but the corn flakes are great because they’re already super crispy to begin with.

  • Maryse Mitchell-Brody

    just made these with soymilk and panko and they were super tasty. i left them in a few minutes longer at 425 to add crisp (keeping total cooking time constant). i also added rosemary and oregano to the milk/Dijon mixture. me and my vegan man echo the appreciation – <3 from our full veggie bellies.

  • Greta Marie

    you need a little print macro button !

  • Sarah Fatemi

    Listen – I need you to know that I made this last night and it was fucking awesome. I can’t believe how spot on it was. I can’t believe the way the eggplant turned out – it was like eating a freakin breaded marshmallow. I live near Erewhon and they didn’t have vegan Ranch so I made my own and it was ridic. I used almond milk because it had a deeper flavor than milk. Definitely am going to make his other recipes and wish I could share mine with you – I make good street-style tofu tacos and vegan tamales.

    • Marissa A. Ross

      SO glad you enjoyed them! And dude, totally email me those vegan tamales!! 😀

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