Monday, August 1, 2011

Vegetable Mind Games-Eggplant

When I picked up my CSA basket and saw purple I wasn't sure if I should be excited or bummed out. Eggplant was something I had been hoping for... but I didn't think that through. What on earth do you make with this stuff?!? So after several days of staring at the alien looking bulb that hid in my fridge and scouring the internet, I devised a plan. Ratatouille. Not knowing what eggplant would taste like on it's own, I figured hiding it in with other veggies I already liked would be smart. (Aka; I could pick it out if it was nasty and eat the rest of the veggies.)
Now, I'm not the type of person to carefully layer veggies and wait while it bakes so I knew that I needed something easier. In fact, if I was gonna make ratatouille, it needed to be quick enough to make during the week, and tasty enough that I would want to. After consulting a co-workers wife, Regana, who is not intimidated by alien looking vegetables, the Weeknight Ratatouille was born.

Weeknight Ratatouille
1 eggplant
4 zucchini (or 2 zucchini and 1 large yellow squash)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1 package sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-4 tomatoes (depending on size)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the eggplant and zucchini into bite sized pieces. Slice the onion into strips.  Add olive oil to a very large skillet and add the eggplant, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings. Saute until the eggplant is brown. Chop the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Add those tomatoes and the can of stewed tomatoes to the pot with the veggies. Cook another 10-20 minutes. I personally like to eat this over rice, couscous or on a piece of whole wheat toast, but it is really good on its own.

There is nothing in this dish that is considered a starchy veggie, all the veggies in this dish actually count as veggies! One word of caution though... it is REALLY easy to overeat on this because it's so good. One serving is 1/2 cup. If you have it for dinner you can get away with 1 cup to fulfill the 2 veggie requirement. If you manage to eat 1 1/2 cups don't beat yourself up...just count it as your carb for that meal.

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