In a large sauté pan, sauté onions until wilted adding water or vegetable stock to prevent scorching. Stir in garlic, mushrooms and peppers. (If using crushed red peppers, reserve for later.)
Add about 1/2 cup liquid, cover and cook on medium heat until veggies are fork tender, stirring frequently. Once the mushrooms have released their liquid (signifying the veggies are nearly done) begin making your sauce.
For the sauce, pour 1/2 cup boiling water into a 2-cup measuring cup. With a whisk, stir in brown sugar until completely dissolved. Add molasses and stir until dissolved. Whisk in tamari and set aside to cool.
Check your vegetables and see if the eggplants are fork tender. This is the one vegetable that you really want to be cooked through. If that is ready, finish making your sauce.
When the eggplants are ready, stir in the almonds or cashews. If you are using crushed red peppers, add this now.
Finish your sauce by whisking 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch into the sweetened tamari mixture. Add enough liquid to bring the total amount to 2 cups. Stir to make sure the cornstarch is fully incorporated with no lumps.
Stir sauce into vegetable mixture. Cover and allow to come to a soft boil, stirring frequently. You will notice that the cornstarch mixture was rather cloudy when you first added it to the vegetables. In a minute or two, the mixture will become dark and clear. Allow this mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate, the sauce to thicken and become a clear, rich color.
Serve over brown or red rice. (Video on how to cook brown rice)