Yesterday was just one of those days. I knew there was pretty much nothing in the cupboards, but I was too lazy to stop at the store, leaving me with no choice but to try and throw some stuff together that was edible. Just before starting dinner I baked a loaf of Vegan Pumpkin Bread, so even if my experiment flopped, I wouldn’t starve.
I started with Japanese eggplants, which are just like regular eggplants except the skin is a lot thinner and there aren’t as many seeds. I actually like them a lot better than the regular kind, plus they are perfect for cutting up into little canoes, filling with stuff, and baking.
Once upon a time I was afraid to use oil, or pretty much any added fat. I thought I was a culinary genius at the time (look! no fat on this chicken! It’s so healthy!) when everyone around me must have been completely disgusted (Oh good, Cate baked some more rubbery, flavorless fat-free scones again. Oh joy, more dried out flavorless boneless-skinless chicken breasts). Sorry everyone, I’ve realized the error of my ways. Here’s proof:
Drizzling oil over the top helps keep the filling moist as it bakes and makes those beautiful little crusty parts on top that are so irresistable. Plus isn’t olive oil good for your heart or something?
I made a really simple mint and cabbage salad to go on the side: just slice some cabbage really thinly, toss with some chopped fresh mint, sprinkle with salt, and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. It’s best when it stands for about 15 minutes before you eat it.
And in other news, our reflective running stuff and headlamps have taken up permanent residence on the hook next to the front door. I guess it’s time to fully acknowledge that every single weekday run will now be in the dark. I was trying to figure out why this was such a hard concept for me to get used to and then it hit me: I have never had a full-time job before. This growing up and becoming a real adult stuff is kind of a pain sometimes.
Oh and because we were on the topic of leftovers recently, I wanted to show you two awesome things you can do with leftover millet (because this recipe calls for a cup and a half cooked millet, but it’s nice to cook up a bunch in the rice cooker and stretch it out over a few days):
1. Fried rice-style millet
Just make fried rice the way you normally would, but with millet instead.
2. Pizza millet
Heat up some cooked millet with some pizza sauce, then top with grated mozzarella.
It was while eating item #2 this afternoon that I realized I have a bit of a fork problem:
For the record, using a fork to juice lemons might seem like a good idea at the time, but the fork is the one that suffers.
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Japanese eggplants
1 1/2 cups cooked millet
1 8-oz package tempeh, cut into 1 x 1 x 1 cm cubes
about 3 tbsp lemon juice
5 Tbsp tahini
a few pinches sea salt
chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Cut the stem and leaf part off the end of the eggplant and cut each one in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds so you end up with a canoe shape. Arrange in a baking dish (I used a 9″ cake pan)
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a wide skillet and add the garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to turn golden (don’t let it brown!) then add the tempeh and saute until golden brown.
Toss the millet, tempeh, lemon juice, tahini, and salt together in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, then pile into and on top of the eggplant halves. Drizzle evenly with 2 tbsp olive oil then bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplants are tender and the filling is golden.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley to serve.