Vegan & Gluten Free Aubergine (Eggplant) Khoresht Recipe

Deceptively simple, entirely delicious, Aubergine (Eggplant) Khoresht is one of my all time favorite meals.  I am in year three of this blog without having posted about it mainly because it gets eaten before pictures can be taken.  You have to like tomatoes.  You have to be open to the idea of eggplant (and not have an issue with nightshades since they can be known to have an impact on inflammatory conditions).

My parents made this with meat when I was a kid but it was very easy to adapt with the addition of garbanzo beans/chickpeas for protein.  Growing up we always called eggplant by the name aubergine but I’ve lapsed into calling it by its American name in my later years.  Onward!

Supplies
Cutting board
Knife
Baking sheet
Medium to Large stockpot

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Ingredients
2 cups of Water
1 cup of Vegetable Broth (homemade or a store-bought safe variety – our old standby recently added sesame oil so we switched brands)
1 large or 2 small fresh Globe Eggplant(s) – about 400-500 grams
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced Parsley (or the equivalent of dried)
2 tsp Turmeric
1 can (130g or 1 4/5 cup) ready to use Garbanzo beans (so, already cooked)
1 33g can of Tomato Paste
1 420g can of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (or other fire roasted variety)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Prepare the eggplant as instructed in this recipe (peeling, slicing in rounds, salting and laying on paper towels, roasting in the oven, etc.).  While waiting for the salt to take some of the bitterness out of the eggplant, heat your stock pot/saucepan on medium.  Once heated, add the olive oil.  It should shimmer a little bit, then add your diced onion and stir.  Stir and monitor until the onions have softened, about 2 or 3 minutes.  Then add your garlic and other spices and continue stirring.  I lowered the oil in this recipe to make the calorie count favorable but that means it takes a little more attention.

Add the roasted eggplant once ready and stir to coat with the onions and spices.  Finally, add the tomato paste and roasted tomatoes as well as salt and pepper, water, and broth.  Stir and increase the heat until the mixture is bubbling and reduce to a simmer.  You’ll want to let it simmer with a lit off kilter until the mixture reduces to more of a chunky stew texture instead of something soupy.  I would say this takes about an hour on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  You can taste for salt and pepper throughout this time as well but don’t over do it early on since you are reducing the mixture a little bit.  The eggplant will break up as it cooks so that is why there’s no need to cut it into anything smaller than rounds during the roasting stage.  Enjoy!

Serve warm over brown or white rice.  I love it with coconut yogurt on the side as well as tomato onion salad.

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Also shared on the EpiFamily.Com Recipe Roundup.

Vegan Slow Cooker Red Lentil Coconut Curry Recipe

It has been a while since I shared a recipe but this recipe, inspired by Anupy Singla’s “South Indian Lentils With Curry Leaves” from “The Indian Slow Cooker” (amazon affiliate link), is something we make just about every week.  

When my husband and I got married we received a slow cooker (amazon affiliate link) as a wedding gift and I was perplexed because as vegetarians I didn’t think we would use a slow cooker that much.  It is wonderful for beans (see my post about a refried bean recipe here) and with this recipe, the red lentils break down wonderfully for a meal on their own or served over brown or white rice.  

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I normally hesitate to list ingredients when a recipe is derived from a cookbook, opting to instead point readers to the book itself, but my variant of Ms. Singla’s recipe cuts a number of ingredients out (I didn’t have fresh curry leaves, for example) or reduces them drastically (like the coconut milk and salt – she suggested two tablespoons and I use one teaspoon!).  This makes a very generous batch so you can freeze half and serve half or have leftovers another night.

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Supplies

Knife
Cutting Board
Strainer
6 Quart Slow Cooker
Frying Pan

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Ingredients

1 Red Ripe Tomato, Quartered
3 Cups Red Lentils, Rinsed and Drained
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
7 oz Can of Diced Green Chiles
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
4 Teaspoons Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
2-3 Teaspoons Canola Oil
3/4 Cup of Coconut Milk
8 Cups Water

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Directions

Heat the frying pan on medium until warm, then add the oil.  Put the mustard seeds in the pan until they start popping and add the diced onion.  Stir and add the turmeric, curry powder, and salt.  Once the onions have softened you can add them to your slow cooker.  While the onions are frying, feel free to rinse the red lentils in the strainer over the sink.  Pick through the lentils as well to make sure there are not small pebbles or the like.  Add the drained red lentils to the crock pot along with the diced chiles, tomatoes, and water.

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Stir the mixture and set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours.  Add the coconut milk and stir, then cook on high for half an hour.  No worries if you are not home to do this at the 6 hour mark, your slow cooker should switch to the warm setting until you get home and can add the coconut milk.

You can halve the recipe but if you do, keep the coconut milk the same measurement but do halve the water along with everything else.  Sometimes the curry can me thicker or more liquid depending on the liquid from the onion and tomato but it is always delicious.  Ms. Singla includes cumin, coriander, and even fresh curry leaves in her recipe but I have streamlined it a great deal for my kitchen.

The leftover coconut milk (if you use a large can) is great in smoothies.  Enjoy!

Tomato Salsa Recipe

(Linked to CybelePascal.com’s Allergy Friendly Friday 8/19/11, click through for other recipes!)

So I can’t eat this anymore at the moment, this photographed batch was actually still in the fridge when I realized R had issues with me eating tomatoes so I never got to finish it.  What I did have was yummy, though!  This isn’t a saucy salsa, it is a little more like a pico de gallo style.  Just good lime and cilantro flavors all mixed together.  I used to eat salsa for breakfast, is that weird?

Anyway, this is adapted from The New Best Recipe (amazon affiliate link) from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.  I actually discovered Cook’s Illustrated (amazon affiliate link) which is still a favorite book even with our dietary restrictions.  The original one is on page 25.  I love reading the story behind each recipe.  I didn’t have all their ingredients when I first made it so my version was then born (no tomato juice, no jalapeno, white onions instead of red, and a lot more of everything else).  E loves this, she will ask for salsa for breakfast, I wonder who she got that from?

Supplies

Cutting board, knife

Large bowl/sealable container (I love lock & locks (amazon affiliate link))

Ingredients

4 lbs. of ripe tomatoes (I used roma here but you can try other kinds)

1 1/2 white onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced

1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (I have tried bottled lime juice and it was not good)

Salt and pepper to taste (the best part is “checking” for the right amounts)

Directions

Some people like to seed their tomatoes but I love tomato seeds and since I leave out the tomato juice here I just chop the tomatoes small and toss them with the other ingredients.  It is good to let the flavors meld awhile but you can still enjoy this right away.  I shake the container around so everything is evenly mixed.  The salt will bring tomato juices out of the tomatoes which is nice.  Enjoy with potato chips or, if you can have corn, corn chips.

Potato chips are a staple snack at our house due to the lack of many other options but I have always eaten salsa with potato chips, even as a kid.

Tomato Onion Salad Recipe

First: Happy Nowruz!  I was going to do some portion of a haft seen this year but I think E is still a little young for a gold fish and I forgot to sprout my lentils in time.

This recipe is something my Aunt made when she visited us so we always called it Auntie S’s salad but when I started dating my husband I gradually started to call it “Tomato Onion Salad” and that has stuck.  It is fairly removed from, but along the same lines as, Salad Shirazi (which I adore but my husband isn’t a cucumber fan so I stick to this version, the link goes to one of my favorite cooking blogs, My Persian Kitchen).

I posted photos of this one here, and I usually serve it with just about everything but especially rice dishes like Lima Bean Rice.  I love the flavor of lemon and this has a very assertive lemony and salty flavor.  For smaller portions depending on the tomatoes and onions you have on hand, just adjust your proportions.  As long as the olive oil and lemon juice start equally you can get it to your suited taste with ease.

Another note, if you use fresh lemon juice the flavor seems to meld better but I do like the assertive lemon taste of bottled lemon juice as well.

Supplies

Bowl

Cutting Board

Knife

Ingredients

3 beefsteak or 6 roma tomatoes

1/2 medium onion

2 teaspoons salt (and to taste)

1/2 teaspoon pepper (and to taste)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil (I like first cold pressed)

Directions

Dice the onion finely and put it in the bowl, then do the same with the tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper.  Mix, then add lemon juice and olive oil.  Mix again and taste.  If there is too much lemon for you, add olive oil.  Not enough?  Add lemon juice.  Salt will also tame the lemon taste as well.  I like a lot of it.  Remember that the salt will get some of the water out of the tomatoes and you’ll get more liquid as the salad sits.  This is fine to make ahead but don’t be worried if it looks like a lot of liquid in the bowl when you retrieve it from the fridge.  I drizzle extra olive oil/lemon mixture on my rice when I put the salad on the plate and my siblings and I have been known to drink the last of it from the bowl.

(I posted this to the 4/1/11 Allergy Friendly Friday on Cybele Pascal’s site because the call was for spring recipes and I posted this for Nowruz, there are already some great recipes up there, take a look!)

A Visit to Star Nursery

This is a great outing for kids, we went to Star Nursery this weekend (go early, it is warming up fast and it gets busy there as well).  They have a small fish and turtle pond and you get to pull your kids and purchases around in a red wagon.  They love it!

We planted garlic, carrots, tomatoes (better boy, early girl, and cherry varieties – this article suggested some but we had luck with early girl last year), pumpkin, snap pea, strawberries (two varieties), cilantro, basil, dill, parsley, and apple mint.  We also planted two flowering plants (cassias) and a nectarine and peach tree.  I love fruit trees, we have a pomegranate working along already and a large fig tree.  You can see the peach tree blossom in the shot above with the nectarine we bought behind it.  I also splurged (ok, it was $3.99 and we had a 20% off coupon off the back of the water authority 2011 calendar) on a kneeling pad so I can kneel on it for weeding.  It is awesome!  Oh, and a pair of gardening gloves so that I can work with R watching me and grab him with clean hands if he suddenly wants to be picked up.

I put the herbs in a container but if one of them takes over I’ll do some moving around.  Won’t it be great if I can just grab a handful when I’m cooking?  I had luck with mint last year and basil the year before that.  Here’s hoping!

We also took the kids out in the bike trailer to the park and had a great time.  R actually fell asleep both ways and we got some good family exercise in.  I love my new bike, my husband got it for my birthday and it is a Specialized Ariel (not the same model, mine is blue but maybe bike shops have a different selection?).  The shop in boulder city gave us 10% off which really helped and I found a helmet at Costco this past week.

I will take some pictures of the tomatoes, etc. once I am done putting the mulch down around them.  The article I linked to above said to pick varieties that mature in 70 days or less because you don’t want to hit the high heat.  Then you can encourage fruiting again later in summer for another crop but at above 90 degrees the flowers will fall from the tomatoes so you have to plant now and buy the bigger plants, not the little 6 packs.  Of course if I planned better I could have started my own seedlings for cheaper on the porch a while back but I don’t have that much time.

I love spring!

Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing, Brown Rice Couscous, and Roasted Curry Chickpeas Recipe

(Linked to Cybele Pascal’s 3/25/11 Allergy Friendly Friday, click through for other allergy friendly links!)

I posted pictures (note the expert mushroom slices above, they were done by my husband, I still have a lot to learn about using a knife properly but mushrooms taste better when he chops them so thinly), the cilantro lime dressing recipe, and the roasted curry chickpeas recipe.  Here’s where it all comes together!  Maybe it is silly to have a recipe for a salad as I suppose this is more like a “meal idea” but at any rate, here goes nothing. . .

Supplies

2 quart saucepan

Knife, Peeler, Cutting Board

Ingredients

Green Leaf Lettuce

Mushrooms

Onions

Red Peppers

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Carrots

(Any other veggies you like, we’ve used Jicama even)

1 cup brown rice couscous cooked to package directions or quinoa (red or regular: amazon affiliate link) and water or veggie broth

Directions

To make the quinoa, you just need to use 2 cups of liquid to every 1 cup of quinoa.  Rinse the quinoa, add it to the liquid in the pot and heat until boiling.  Reduce heat to low, cover and set your timer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork before serving.  We usually eat this salad with quinoa but for the pictures we used brown rice couscous by Lundberg because we’d had quinoa tabbouleh the day before.  My husband likes this with red quinoa over the regular sort and I do enjoy it that way but most people say there’s not a difference between regular and red quinoa.

Make a base of lettuce, add your grain of choice, top with veggies, then salt to taste, add roasted chickpeas, and finally drizzle with dressing.

Trust me, it is delicious!  I don’t even miss ranch dressing with this one.