Tag Archives: eggplant

Food Matters Project #36: Dal with Lots of Vegetables

To make it 3-in-a-row, yesterday was another gloomy Monday.  Last week we made the Provencal Pasta Sauce to keep us warm and toasty.  But yesterday it wasn’t just rain, there was even a little bit of snow on the ground here in DC!

Snowy Day

Yes, we got snow on March 25th, it must be a record.  Fortunately, today it’s sunny and getting warmer by the hour- I think everyone is ready for spring!

Yesterday’s Food Matters Project recipe was perfect for a gloomy day.  It was chosen by Anita, of Cooking Poetry.  She hosted Dal with Lots of Vegetables from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out her blog and the Indian feast she had made- I’m a little jealous, everything looks delicious!  There are also other versions of the meal from other FMP participants here.

I’m a huge fan of Indian food, thanks to Sam.  He introduced me to the spice  soon after we started dating, and I have craved this cuisine ever since.  My favorite reason behind it is because you can make most of the dishes vegetarian, and not feel like you’re missing out.  Slow cooking the lentils and vegetables gives them extra flavor and fills you right up.

Want to try some of our other Indian creations?  Golden Red Lentil Soup; Indian Chicken Soup; Indian Chicken Curry Wrap; Baingan Bharta; Curry with Vegetables; Samosa Casserole; Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry.

Dal with Lots of Vegetables

Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 362)

Feel free to swap vegetables for what you have on hand- for example, I’ve had half a bag of green beans I’ve been needing to use up.  If you don’t want this dish to be as spicy, don’t use the jalapeño or chili powder.  Not into a deep curry flavor?  Just halve, or quarter, the Indian spices. 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, florets & stems cut into small pieces
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 cup green beans (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups of water
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Punjam Red Tandoori powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add oil to a large pot, and allow to heat up.  Then add the onion, allow to simmer until the onion is translucent.  Next, add in the garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the rest of the vegetables: jalapeño, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini,  green beans, and spinach.  Cook the vegetables, while stirring, for at least 5 minutes.  Then add in the water, lentils, curry powder, garam masala, Punjab Red Tandoori, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients together, bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour (up to 2 hours).

Serve over rice, or with a piece of naan.

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Food Matters Project #35: Provencal Pasta Sauce

It’s another Monday installment of the Food Matters Project!  Last week we hosted the Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce, a perfect recipe for the upcoming grilling season.  This week’s host is Nancy, of Funkytown Foodies.  She’s one of three friends that have a food blog together- they all document delicious, healthy and local recipes.

Nancy chose the Provencal Vegetables with Chicken in Packets recipe from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out Nancy’s recipe- she made a few changes to the original.  Also, all other ideas from FMP participants can be found here.

Thanks to the weather, I took a completely different take on this recipe.  It’s the second Monday in a row that DC has been gloomy and rainy.  Why Monday?  It’s such a hard way to start the week.  Since it’s cold and blah out, I wanted something comforting and saucy.  And due to poor planning, I forgot to defrost the chicken…had various vegetables that needed to be eaten in our fridge.

So I began chopping up the vegetables, hoping an idea would just pop into my head.  It did, once all of the vegetables were chopped up and mixed together- why not make a sauce to put over some pasta?  Comforting, warm, and full of flavor…making me wish for spring even more!  We didn’t have any parsley in our fridge, but it might be a good garnish on top.  This really reminded me of Sam’s Summer Sauce, and now I can’t wait for farmers market tomatoes!

Provencal Pasta Sauce

Provencal Pasta Sauce
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 464)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 large red onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup black olives, halved
3/4 cup green olives, halved
1 zucchini, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups of water
1/2 lb pasta (we used whole wheat spaghetti)
Parmesan or feta cheese (optional)

Pour the olive oil into a large pot, heat it up.  Once it’s hot add all of the chopped vegetables, the herbs, salt, pepper and water.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, bring down the temperature to low, simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.

If you prefer chunkier sauce, then leave the sauce as is.  If you’d prefer a smoother sauce, then puree all of it.  If you’re like us, and you want it somewhere it the middle, puree about half of it in a blender or food processor.

Cook pasta per package instructions.  Drain, and divide between the plates.  Then spoon out the provencal sauce, sprinkle with parsley.  If you prefer, top it all off with some Parmesan or feta.

Eggplant Greek Wraps

The weather has cooled off and we’ve been able to open our windows.  Not just during the night, but also throughout the day- enjoying the light crisp air. Fall is here.

If you have never experienced fall in Virginia, you’re missing out.  It’s a beautiful area for color changes on trees, sunny crisp weather- perfect for wine tastings or apple picking.  The beauty of it all definitely swayed us into choosing a fall wedding- great excuse to enjoy the scenery.

So with a wedding just around the corner, it’s a bit busy in this household.  Just last minute things, but it’s those little activities that turn out to take some extra time.  These days our lunches and dinners are simple- something that doesn’t require too much time or thinking.  But we would still like to eat healthy, enjoying the last of summer harvest and the start of fall flavors.  I love this time of the year- a perfect transition of my two favorite seasons.

This is a meal that you can take with you on a weekend picnic, or just a quick mid-week meal that you can enjoy.  Eggplant is fantastic with Mediterranean flavors- light, but filling.  Just grab a glass of wine and enjoy your surroundings- watch those colors change!

What is your favorite season, or time of the year?

Eggplant Greek Wraps
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (June 2000)

1 eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup chopped tomatoes
30 kalamata olives, halved
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.  On a cookie sheet spread out the eggplant and 3 minced garlic cloves.  Then pour over the olive oil and sprinkle the dried basil, salt and pepper.  Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients together.  Bake for about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl mix together: eggplant and garlic mixture, the additional 3 garlic cloves, tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber, red onion and parsley.  Stir all of the ingredients together.

Eggplant & Broccolini Pasta Salad

I’m sure many of you having cravings for different foods.  About this time of the year, tomatoes tend to be in the top.  Definitely love fresh tomatoes (check out the latest tomato recipe), but right now I have also been craving eggplant.  And specifically- roasted eggplant- something about the crunchy outside, and soft inside.  Yum!

When I spotted this recipe in June’s Vegetarian Times, I had to make it.  It’s a great recipe that tastes delicious the day you make it, but this is a great cold pasta salad for some leftovers.  Most pasta salads do not have eggplant, so this is definitely a tasty difference.  It’s a little fancier than you regular pasta or pasta salad, but just as easy to make!  Great for those busy summer days!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Eggplant & Broccolini Pasta Salad
Inspired by: Vegetarian Times (June 2012)

1 lb pasta
2 medium eggplants, washed
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
8 oz broccolini, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat up a large pot with water, once it’s boiling add in the pasta.  Cook the past according to the directions on the package.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Cut the eggplant into 1-inch pieces and spread it all onto a cookie sheet.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes.  Then using your hands, mix the seasoning with the eggplant.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggplant is slightly browned.

Once the eggplant is done baking, spread the broccolini on a cookie sheet (can be the same one).  Sprinkle it with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.  Once again, using your hands (be careful if the cookie sheet is still hot) mix the ingredients together.  Bake the broccolini for 15 minutes at 425ºF.

When all of the ingredients are cooked and baked, toss them into a large bowl.  Then add in the grape tomatoes, regular tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Stir all of the ingredients well.  Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Food Matters Project # 17: Vegetable Burritos

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend, filled with lots of BBQ’s, sun and friends!  It’s also a Food Matter Project day, which means a new recipe inspired by Mark Bittman.

This week Jacqui, from Good Things Grow, chose the recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Jacqui chose the Beans ‘n Greens Burritos, which is a perfect recipe to have endless varieties.  I can’t wait to see what others had made, check out the links under the comments here!

As I was doing our meal plan for the week, and included this recipe, I had a huge craving for eggplant.  So I went with the idea, and combined eggplant with some Mexican flavors.  We always have some kind of beans in our fridge or pantry, so this makes a quick and easy meal.  When I mentioned to Sam what we’ll be having for dinner, he wasn’t too sure about the eggplant in a burrito.  But after the first bite, he was sold!

 

Colorful Vegetable & Bean Burritos
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

We do like spicy food, so there are red pepper flakes and jalapeños in this recipe, but feel free to omit them if you’re not in love with super spicy food.  You can also decrease the amount of chili powder (to a 1/4 or 1/8 tsp).  This burrito can  have rice mixed in, or served with salsa.  We used Cabot’s Hot Habañero Cheddar Cheese, but feel free to use regular cheddar.

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
2 peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 jalapeños, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
black beans (cooked or canned)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
tortillas

Preheat oven at 400ºF.  Spread eggplant pieces onto a baking pan, drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Then sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Using your hands, mix the ingredients together so each eggplant piece is covered with olive oil and the spices  Once the oven is preheated, roast for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil.  Then add in the onion, sauté until it is translucent, about 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add in the garlic, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Then add in the corn, pepper and jalapeños.  Add in the chili powder, cumin, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Stir well while cooking for about 5 minutes.

Once everything has cooled, mix together the eggplant, vegetable mix, black beans and cilantro in a large bowl.  Add the mixture into a tortilla wrap, sprinkle with cheese, and then fold together and serve.