Tag Archives: eggplant

Here I Sit

Early Fall Tagine


Amazed and slightly shocked that so far the best part of my pregnancy has been the third trimester.  The HG is mostly under control and while my back is sore, it’s amazing the energy boost that comes with not getting sick multiple times a day.   I’m still sticking with quick and easy meals, as I have no desire to tempt fate, and have also been bringing out my cookbooks more with the plan of finding easy to freeze recipes.  This recipe is not one of those, but it is one that I had marked at the start of summer.  It’s inspired by a recipe in Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous which is a fantastic book for people who don’t have a citrus allergy.  However the basic ingredients are just that, so I can adjust and mess with as necessary – resulting in citrus (and nut) free treats for my household!

Early Fall Tagine

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter (dairy or nondairy)

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 large tomatoes

1 large eggplant, roll cut and then quartered

2 carrots, peeled and cut in to 1inch pieces

2 cups chickpeas, presoaked and rinsed

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp fresh thym


  1. Heat the oil/butter in the bottom of the tagine over medium heat. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, and garlic - saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the eggplant and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring on occasion to prevent sticking, then add in the carrots and chickpeas along with the sugar. Cover and cook for a final 15 minutes, stirring halfway to prevent sticking and burning. If getting too dry add a bit of water or vegetable stock, a tbsp at a time.
  3. Once carrots are soft, Serve and enjoy!

I served this with some leftovers lentils, but couscous would be the more traditional option – tho flatbread or rice would also work.  I topped mine with a bit of Greek Yogurt (So Delicious Coconut) while Joe went the naked route this time.  It was shortly after this that my tagine decided it was time to quit – lesson learned regarding gas burners and the importance of a good diffuser.  Thankfully a new one just arrived (late birthday present) and I can’t wait to give it a whirl!

Running to the Corner

Imam Bayildi (Stuffed Eggplant)

Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

Time for another installment of /52weeksofcooking – this time featuring a Turkish dish!  I’ve had Turkish food a few times, but I’ll be honest in that it’s not a regular cuisine in our house tho after making this eggplant dish that might have to change!  In order to figure out a recipe I searched the menu of a few local Turkish restaurants, to get an idea of what kind of vegetarian dishes were out there.  I saw so many different eggplant dishes – it was insane!  Now figuring out what kind of eggplant dish, that was a bit of a challenge.  I debated doing an appetizer I found called Saksuka but in the end decided it was too close to the Shakshuka dish I’ve already done – which defeats the purpose of this challenge.  So I decided to go with a stuffed eggplant dish, specifically Imam Bayildi.  This dish features eggplant, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in addition to HUGE amounts of olive oil.

Running to the Corner

Serves: Serves 3-4


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 medium eggplant, halved length wise

3 cloves garlic

2 medium vidalia onion, diced

3 roma tomatoes

1/4 tsp fresh pepper

3 oz hard sheep cheese (or daiya), optional


  1. Fill a large pot up with salt water and add the eggplant. Allow the eggplant to soak for 15 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 425 and coat a roasting pan with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Remove the eggplant from the salt bath, rinse, and lightly pat down with a paper towel before placing flesh down on the roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes. Remove, cut a slit down the middle (being careful to not go thru the ends of the bottom), then set aside. Turn oven down to 375
  3. Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until garlic is golden. Add the diced tomatoes, then cover and allow the tomatoes to breakdown - check after 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to help the process as needed.
  4. Carefully squeeze the ends of the eggplant to create a pocket from the cut slit, gently stuff the onion and tomato mixture inside. Top with slices of cheese (optional) then place back in the oven and bake for a final 20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve and Enjoy!

With our 4 eggplant sections I did half with the cheese and half without and for once Joe preferred the cheese-less option while I went for the cheesy ones!  It’s not your normal cheese, and I think that’s part of the reason I enjoyed it – the texture actually reminded me of daiya.  With that said, Daiya would make a great option for this and would probably go for a non-meltable in order to recreate the firmer texture this cheese had as the contrast was rather nice.  Of course there is nothing wrong with going totally naked in the cheese department – gotta love flexible dishes!  I served this up with some garlicky green beans and had planned to include some lentils but in the end decided there was already enough going on.  In the future I might include some pre-cooked lentils in the eggplant stuffing in order to “beef” them up – again with the flexibility 😀

As Fast as You Can

Aloo Baingan (or Spicy Potatoes with Eggplant)

Aloo Baingan

Over the past week I’ve been reminded of the deep and undying love I have for my slow cooker.  While it’s getting on in age, it’s dependable and loyal – constantly serving up delicious dishes with very little effort.  This past year I received a new book just for this technological wonder “The Indian Slow Cooker“, and boy was I ever thrilled.   I’ve made a few recipes directly from the book in the short time I’ve had it, and have already started adjusting dishes in order to better fit my family.  Today’s recipe falls in to that second category, as the original dish required adjusting flavors halfway thru the cooking time – which (for me) negates the purpose of a slow cooker.  When I use a slow cooker, I want to toss things in and forget about them until it’s time to eat.  Maybe some slight adjustments at the end, adding cheese or breadcrumbs or similar topping, but mostly just want to be done with it as fast as possible.

Aloo Baingan

Serves: Serves 4-5


3 shallots, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 tbsp garam masala

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp tumeric powder

1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced

2 tbsp salt

3 thai chilies, minced

3 tbsp vegetable stock

1 large American Eggplant (or 2 medium Ichiban eggplant), roll cut and then halved

1 lb butter potatoes, quartered (around 3 medium sized potatoes)

1 red onion, chopped


  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker on low for 6 1/2 hours.
  2. Turn heat to high and cook for a final 30 minutes to insure potatoes are cooked all the way thru.
  3. Serve over brown rice and Enjoy!

This dish has a bit of a kick to it, but can be cooled down by dropping out the chilies or adding some plain yogurt to take the edge off.  We both enjoyed ours as is, serving over top of some brown rice.  One of these days I’m going to figure out how to make naan and then I’ll be all ready for a real Indian dinner.

Too Cold

Thai Coconut Curry

Thai Yellow Curry

As part of my New Year’s pledge I’m trying to participate in all of the challenges on /52weeksofcooking – which means I have to actually finish the ones from 2013.  Luckily I’m only two behind, and I’ve already figured out two of the ones for 2014 so I’m not horribly behind…or something like that!  First up is from week 51: Thai!  I’m a HUGE fan of Thai food and rarely get to enjoy it because of Joe’s peanut allergy (tho I’m rather certain he’s worth it).  I debated making drunken noodles, but wasn’t able to find the right type of rice noodles so I decided to go with a simple yellow curry.   I found a great recipe for a homemade yellow curry powder, tweaked it as needed to get the right spice level, and went to work.

Yellow Curry Powder


1 tbsp ground turmeric

3 bay leaves

3 tbsp ground coriander

2 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1 tsp ground white pepper

2 tsp cayenne powder

1/4 tsp ground cloves


  1. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat and add the spices. Stir continuously for three minutes then remove everything to a small bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature then use!

Too Cold

Serves 4-5


1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp yellow curry powder

3 garlic cloves

3 shallots, diced

2 Japanese Eggplant, roll-cut

1/2 lb sugar peas

1 1/2 cups broccoli, roughly cut

1 14.5 oz can light coconut milk


  1. Heat vegetable oil in wok then add the shallots and garlic, cooking for five minutes before adding the curry powder. Stir well for 2 minutes, until shallots start to turn golden.
  2. Add the eggplant and cook for 7-10 minutes, eggplant will start to turn light purple/brown and become soft. Add the sugar peas along with the broccoli and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk, then bring mixture to a low simmer. Cover and continue simmering for 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed then serve over rice or rice noodles and Enjoy!

This dish came together incredibly fast, and making the curry powder from scratch added a new level.  I’ve always used store brand curry powder, and occasionally curry paste when I can find some that is fish sauce/shrimp paste free.  Was also pleasantly surprised that making it myself wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Echoing Tonight

Eggplant Meatballs

Eggplant Meatballs

Hello from Maryland!  So hubby and I have rather successfully made the move from VA to MD – with only one broken glass and one broken mug (so far).   My kitchen is mostly unpacked and ready to go, and with that I’m hoping to actually cook or bake something in there later today.  This recipe comes from when I was staying at my mom’s house after reading more than a few articles from the Washington Post and other sites discussing eggplant “meatballs”.  After comparing a few of them I decided to go with a vegan baked version, which turned out perfectly.

Eggplant Meatballs

Serves: 8-10 meatballs

Serves 4-5


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

1.5 lbs Italian Eggplant,peeled and cubed

2 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 tsp basil (or 4 fresh basil leaves)

1/4 tsp thyme (or 1 fresh sprig)


  1. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute dish, add the garlic cloves and cook for 2 minutes then add the peeled eggplant and cook for an additional 7 minutes or until soft. Pour all ingredients in to a blender and allow to slightly cool. Add the breadcrumbs and spices along with the remaining olive oil and start to blend the mixture on a puree or similar setting. The goal is to get to "ground meat" consistency - add more breadcrumbs/olive oil as needed.
  2. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly oil and a standard sized muffin tin or cookie sheet.
  3. Form eggplant meatball, each should be about 4 inches around, and then lightly place in a muffin spot or on the cookie sheet. Continue until all meatballs are formed, should be 8 - 10. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the eggplant balls, and finish by baking for a final 10 minutes or until slightly brown.
  4. Serve as part of a "meatball" sub or on top of pasta!

I’m sending this over the /52weeksofcooking for there $10 challenge.  For four servings this dish cost: $2.63 (eggplant), $0.79 (pasta), $0.55 (garlic) for a total of $3.97.  I’m adding an additional $2.00 to that total to account for the premade tomato sauce, fresh herbs, and the homemade bread crumbs using homemade bread – probably a higher guess than it actually is but math is not my thing.  This brings to the total to $5.97 or just under $1.50 a serving – mission accomplished!