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Eggplant Stir Fry
I don't know if you have heard about Meatless Monday. In 2003 Meatless Monday was founded in order to encourage us to eat healthier - make better decisions about what we put into our bodies. Monday was chosen with the idea, that the beginning of the week was a good time to get back on track after, what may have been, and unhealthy weekend. This dish can be eaten any old time you're in the mood. It can be a main meal or a side.
Jim and I aren't, and probably never will be, vegetarians or vegans, but we are trying to eat healthier. We are even growing ... maybe I should say trying to grow some of our own herbs and vegetables. Living in Texas in these times of drought, it can be quite difficult. Last year we lost almost everything except the chard ... lovely chard, which we harvested through the winter! This year Jim is trying his hand at window gardening. So far we have a couple of varieties of tomato, spinach and chard (yes, more chard ... I love it!) coming up quite nicely.
I often get a craving for types of vegetables that aren't normally on our shopping list. Eggplant is one and when I get a taste for it, it's usually with the idea of preparing a parmigiana ... ooey, gooey and cheesy. Recently, however, I decided change was in order.
This is a simple recipe that can be altered to fit your mood or tastes or even what's available in the produce section or Farmer's market. I am a big advocate of using spices and herbs to change the flavors of a dish. There are so many varieties available to us, even at the local grocery. I love Mediterranean flavors, as well as curries, Asian inspired, and Tex Mex ... just a few to think about.
The addition of tomatoes adds a richness that I love, but Jim does not. So ... there are no tomatoes in any of the photos. Often, when I am using ingredients Jim may not care for (olives, tomatoes, jalapenos ...) I add them to my own plate rather than the entire dish. It's just easier that way.
Add a loaf of crusty bread (click Crusty Bread for recipe link) and you have a filling and healthy meal.
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed - you can remove or leave the skin on - your choice
- 2 small zucchini, sliced
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 1 package (8 - 12 ounces) fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 package (12 ounces) fresh spinach, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, cubed (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying - I used Caesar salad dressing in place of the oil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ teaspoon oregano, thyme, rosemary, cilantro ..., whatever spice combination you prefer
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Prepare vegetables.
- Heat oil in wok or frying pan with deep sides.
- In place of oil and some herbs you can use salad dressing. I used Caesar, but Italian, balsamic, or any other oil based dressing would work wonderfully to enhance the flavors of the vegetables.
- Add onions, mushrooms, herbs, and zucchini. Cook until onions begin to soften.
- Add garlic, spinach, tomatoes and eggplant. Stir and cook until eggplant softens.
- Stir in feta and Parmesan cheeses.
- Serve alone, over rice or noodles or with a rustic loaf of bread.
This is great served with a warm loaf of this fabulous Crusty Bread. The bread recipe is amazingly simple, although you do need at least 12 hours before baking.
We've made this bread several times, both plain and with added herbs and cheeses. It has turned out perfectly every time and I highly recommend it.