They say bad things happen in threes (and sevens…but I’m going to hope my streak ends before we round fourth base). I have been seriously slacking on my posts– my computer hard drive decided out of nowhere to take a dump and die on me. To be fair, this Mac has been faithfully by my side through many-a-tearful-grad-school-nights since 2011 with not one serious issue. So I guess I had it coming. The very next day my car began to overheat and leak out all the water and coolant from its radiator. No car. No computer. Man I seriously hate bitching because these are first world problems at their finest.
So I have decided to just take it day by day, cook a bit, read a lot, and try to sort out some bigger things happening in my life at the moment. Which, at present, I have a lot of reason to focus on.
Can we get on with the fun stuff already?!? JEEZUZ. My computer is back in action and I am beyond excited to post this recipe. It feels like a weird exclamation to make but I LOVE eggplant. I want to scream it from a mountain top. I want to buy it roses and pledge my eternal fidelity. When I was a wee one, I was abhorred by the thought of chowing down on this purple oblong vegetable, but once I learned how to cook it myself, *cue Monkee’s I’m a believer*
It has a truly unique texture– its chewy and hearty and it soaks up all the flavor of whatever you are cooking it in/with. And don’t peel the skin off! The antioxidants that give eggplant its deep purple hue are potent and ready to fight off them free radicals. One cup of eggplant is only 35 calories and delivers almost 3 g of fiber! It also boasts impressive amounts of vitamin C, K, and B6.
‘Dis dish will convert you– this I promise. It’s spicy, subtly sweet, and tangy. It’s loaded with fiber rich veggies and paired with a soft-boiled egg and brown rice, making it the perfect easy week night dinner. This recipe is so simple and bursting with flavor. Make it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean. And don’t blame me when multiple eggplants begin mysteriously jumping into your grocery store cart.
Sweet & Spicy Eggplant
Makes 3-4 servings
- 2-3 tablespoons peanut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
- 1 lb Chinese or Japanese eggplants (you can also use the more common Italian variety in most grocery stores, just use one medium-large size), chopped into cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into long thin strips
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms of choice, sliced
- 2 tsp cornstarch (cam also use flour, arrowroot powder, tapioca powder, or potato starch)
- 1 T water
- 3 T low sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 T Sambal chili paste (can also use 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper)
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 T brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger root, minced
- 3-4 cups brown rice, cooked (to serve it with)
- 3-4 soft boiled eggs, optional (to prepare, check out this site)
- sesame seeds
- sea salt
- black pepper
- First, heat a large skillet over medium high and add the peanut oil. Toss in the eggplant cubes, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, and saute for 4-6 minutes.
- Then add in the red bell pepper strips and ‘shrooms. Turn down heat to medium and cook another 4-5 minutes,
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. In a different small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce/tamari, chili paste/cayenne pepper, rice vinegar, suga’, garlic, and ginger root. Sprinkle some more black pepper in there.
- Pour the cornstarch slurry mixture into to other sauce and mix until combined. When the veggie mixture in the skillet is nice and tender, add in the sauce and mix to coat evenly. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Pour the whole thang over rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds, add some eggs if you so choose (according to my mother, eggs are all the rage these days 😉 and eat until your hearts content.