Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Seasame Garlic Eggplant (aka my new favorite dinner)

Very rarely do I make something for dinner and then immediately think “Wow that was good! I think I will make that again tomorrow!” But that exact thing happened yesterday. I love eggplant but I don’t often cook it for myself, but I thought I would take on the challenge of this recipe, the original found here: http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2012/05/sesame-garlic-eggplant-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html. I make a few adjustments to the original, I added half a chopped yellow pepper that I had on hand and substituted the xanthan gum for corn starch.  Also between salting the eggplant and the soy souse in the recipe there is the potential for a very salty dish, so I would suggest using low sodium soy sause (which I did) and a squeeze of lime juice at the end to cut through some of that salt.

I served this with some brown rice, a fried egg and some chopped green onions on top, Making this a very simple and easy Tuesday night dinner.

Sesame Garlic Eggplant:

  • 2 small eggplants
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp veg oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy souse
  • ½ tsp ground ginger or fresh grated
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Chop eggplant into one inch cubes, place in a colander and spring with salt. Let drain for an hour.

Heat oil over medium heat, add eggplant and peppers and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.

While eggplant is cooking, mix water, soy sauce and ginger together.  After garlic had been added, add the sauce mix and stir to combine. Sprinkle with corn starch and let thicken.

Remove from the heat, drizzle with sesame oil and top with sesame seeds.

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Copy-Cat Salad

At a family dinner recently, my mother and I experienced salad perfection. The harvest salad at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. It is a perfect combination of roasted butternut squash, blue cheese, dried cranberries and apple cider dressing.  I tried to duplicate this perfection, with mediocre results.

My version was good, though it did not quite reach the awesome-ness of the original. I suspect this has to do with my dressing choice, I was lazy and used a pre-made pomegranate vinaigrette, which did not exactly match the flavors of the original apple cider dressing.

I added almonds to my version as I was taking it with me to work for lunch and felt it could use the added protein to get me through the second half of my day.

Harvest Salad:

  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Almonds
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Pomegranate dressing

To roast the squash:

Peal and dice the squash into uniform small pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 F for 30minutes or until brown on the edges.

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Veg Shepard’s Pie

I did some experimenting this weekend. I attempted a vegetarian shepard’s pie, with out fake meat. I’m not against fake meat entirely, but in baked or long cooking dishes, it never seems to hold up, texture wise. So to substitute I used lentils and mushrooms to give this dish the hearty quality that is sometimes missing in a dinner made only of mashed potatoes and veg.

This was a full on experiment, no measuring, no timing, no over thinking. I have to say it’s pretty good. In the future I would maybe pre-cook the lentils.  I was worried about them getting to mushy in the oven and ended up with lentils that had a pretty substantial bite to them… not necessarily in a good way, but other than that i think it was a good first try.

Sort-of recipe:

Parsley Mashed potatoes:

  • 4 red skinned potatoes
  • minced garlic
  • margerine
  • fat-free half and half
  • lots of parsley
  • pepper

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender,  mash with a small pat of the margerine, a splash of the half and half, one clove of minced garlic and LOTS of parsley. Add pepper to taste. Set aside

Filling (amounts are estimates):

  •  1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • teaspoon tomato paste
  • Veg. broth
  • fresh thyme
  • cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, garlic and carrot in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes to get soft, add the mushrooms and lentils. once the mushrooms cook down add the tomato paste, broth and a few springs of thyme and simmer until lentils are soft, add more liquid if needed.  once lentils are cooked, use corn starch to thicken sauce if needed and add peas. Assemble pie in oven safe dish filling first them add potatoes on top. Store, or bake in a 350 oven for about 20minutes or until top is golden brown.

When I make dishes like this is usually assemble them into single serve disposable mini-loaf pans then freeze a few for days when I don’t want to cook… not the most “green” thing, but i do what I can