Thursday, July 15, 2010
One For My Girls
My two best girl friends are a vegan and a vegetarian. They weren't always, as I specifically remember Jessica eating the occasional cheeseburger in high school. That was back when eating vegetarian meant ordering the bean burrito at our school's Taco Bell and substituting two Snickers bars for a ham sandwich. Jenny was the first person I ever knew to eat hummus, way before it was "normal," but then again, she's always been the hippie in our group. When Jenny and I did a stint as roommates, I remember her cooking up indiscriminate one-bowl concoctions of veggie fare all the time. I never quite knew what she was eating, but that was way before I had delved into the idea that not eating meat at every meal might be a decent idea. Now that I'm eating vegetarian meals at least half of the time, I'm the one making big bowls of only-I-know-what.
Although we are now all spread out between LA, RI, and Jersey, I figured this is a dish I could definitely make if we all three could get together for dinner. Leaving out the onions would allow Jessica's fiancé to join us, but it's Girl's Night at this imaginary party, so he's not invited. Jenny, you'll be so proud to know I actually bought soy yogurt to make this! And I liked it! Don't tell E though, cause he liked it, too, and I'm too cheap to buy it all the time.
I've actually made this recipe in its original form twice now, and we love it. This time I wanted to use up all the local veggies I found at the market, so I made a bunch of changes: adding squash, zucchini, and chick peas. I also cooked them on the grill, which worked just as well as broiling. It's super easy and versatile, and I think it will be one of the Bittman recipes that I continue to cook way after this challenge is over.
Roasted Eggplant with Peppers, Onions, and Yogurt
Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food, page 298
3 or 4 small or 1 or 2 large eggplant, trimmed and cut into slices lengthwise
3 red or yellow bell peppers, sliced into strips (I left these out this time!)
1 large zucchini, cut into slices lengthwise
1 large yellow squash, cut into slices lengthwise
2 tomatoes, halved
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 avocado, halved
1 cup chickpeas, cooked
1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
2 cups yogurt
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Preheat grill or broiler. If grilling, brush all veggies with olive oil. If broiling, pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a roasting pan and turn eggplant, peppers, and squashes in it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until tender, turning once, about 5 minutes per side.
Transfer the veggies to a bowl and put onion, avocado and tomato in the pan or on grill, cut sides down. Cook until just blackened (the avocado will take only a minute or two, but the onion needs more time). Allow these veggies to cool enough to handle, then scoop out the avocado and slice into chunks. Separate onion into slices and chop tomato. Add to the bowl of veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add chickpeas, yogurt, and lemon juice and toss to coat.
*Optional step! Return to roasting pan. Broil about 5 minutes or until bubbly and lightly charred on top.
Serve over brown rice and top with thyme and red pepper flakes.
*Jessica and Jenny, I hope you guys make this because you'll love it! And it totally fits into the pre-wedding "don't eat crap that will prevent us from fitting into our dresses" diet. One month to go! Woot woot!
This is my submission for IHCC's Girls' Night In Week!
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