Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eggplant Week- Sweet Chunky Soup or Pasta Sauce

I recently received this response from a Southern Veg reader in one of my Yahoo Groups.   Thanks Ginamarie!
By the way readers, keep those e-mails coming.   I will periodically post new ideas and information from ya'll on my blog:

Germaine- I am loving your blog and have passed your link on to so many people recently.

Here is something I do with eggplant (because, quite honestly, eggplant kinda grosses me out a bit! haha) and because I know I can get a TON of veggies into my two fellas, with this recipe. It has become one of our favorite meals and it can be prepared so quickly (I toss ALL of the veggies into the food processor and voila! They are ready to be sauteed in minutes):

NOTE: If/when you juice carrots, use ALL of the remaining pulp in this recipe. Otherwise, steam 5 large carrots until soft, puree and then add into this recipe:


1. FINELY chop 1 large sweet onion and 4 cloves of garlic and saute'. in olive oil.
2. Add FINELY chopped 1 zucchini, 1 squash, 4 or 5 handfuls of baby spinach or kelp, 1 small eggplant and carrot pulp and saute (if no pulp, then hold off on the carrots right now)
3. I add 1 large bottle of Whole Foods Organic Pasta Sauce when in a hurry but you can make     
     your own sauce and blend in if you have the time
4. Fold in the pureed carrots only if you didn't have pulp to add earlier
5. Now your sauce will be chunky and more orange than red
6. 5-10 minutes before removing from stove, add your spices (fresh basil, oregano, sea salt,
     black pepper, red pepper, etc... and cover to simmer.

Serve with any pasta that you like (we really like the gluten free rice pasta) or you can just eat it with a spoon, like soup. It's yummy and allows for a lot of creativity to add/delete veggies, according to your preference. The carrots neutralize the acid in the tomatoes and gives the sauce such a deliciously sweet and mello flavor so just make sure that the sauce is more orange than red and you will know you have added enough. Mangia!

P.S.  I completely forgot to note the Nutritional Yeast! This makes a large
amount of sauce so sometimes I add 1/2 - 1Cup of it, at the end, for a punch of
extra B vitamins and B12 and it gives it kinda of a cheesy taste. You can also
sprinkle on top in place of Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cooking in season with Eggplant!

Right now in Louisiana eggplant is in season.  Along with corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, peaches, plums, and okra.  In my garden I am growing so many things thanks to my son's curiosity and love for gardening.  One of the more interesting things I have growing is Malabar Spinach.  It likes warm climates and is great in a stir fry.  So below is a video along with the recipe for a great Eggplant stir-fry with Malabar Spinach.  Please note, my son and I are impromptu cooks.  We often just put things together just to see how it will taste.  This is one of those times.  Remember to cook from the heart and don't be afraid to try new things!

1 medium eggplant, chopped into small cubes
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped ( you can used canned diced w/o liquid if you must)
1 medium bell pepper cut into strips
3 green onion chopped
1 banana pepper chopped or hot pepper for those who love spicy
1/2 cup Malabar Spinach cut into strips,  (mustard greens or kale can substitute)
1 clove garlic
safflower oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp rosemary
dash of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of soy sauce
3 tbs of water
1/4 tsp corn starch
(you can also add a 1/2 tsp of toasted sesame oil for more flavor)

Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl or cup.  In about 2 tbs of oil sautee' eggplant until transparent.  Set aside.  Add another tablespoon of oil, then sautee' green onion, bell pepper, banana pepper. Add tomato and Malabar spinach and garlic.  Stir-fry until spinach or green has a slight limp.  Add eggplant back to pan and add sauce.  Continue to stir-fry and then cut fire to low, cover and allow the eggplant to absorb the flavors for another 5 minutes.

Food Happenings in Dallas

FYI on Dallas.  This article only talks about Whole Foods as a vegetarian option but it's a start.

Food Happenings in Dallas

Monday, July 12, 2010

I just want a little something, quick...

I am really digging on the the Southern Veg love I am getting.  I promise I will get out more recipes, ideas, and articles for everyone.  I just got a message from an old friend who wanted a dinner idea.  Well as I type I am editing video for my next recipe but needed to put something quick up.  The other night I made a veggie croquette with mac and cheeze.  My croquette is adapted from Paula Deens veggie pancake,  I just made it vegan.
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or salt free creole seasoning mix
  • 1 egg or EnerG egg replacer equivalent
  • 1/4 cup soy, almond, or milk of choice
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated squash (1/2 green, 1/2 yellow)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oil


(For the egg replacer users heat oven to 350 degrees and place a sheet pan in the oven.  When your croquettes finish frying place them in the oven for another 10 minutes.)  In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, beat together the egg or egg replacer, milk, carrots, zucchini, and onions. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Using a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Pour the batter by tablespoons into the pan, making a few pancakes at a time. Cook about 2 minutes on each side and golden brown. Add the remaining oil to the pan as needed.

Hope you guys enjoy.  I will post the my Mac and Cheeze soon, promise!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Vegan options in schools.

As a vegetarian mom one of the things that I have always had to do was pack my son's lunches when he went to school.  I found it frustrating some mornings when I was tired or got up late to fix a lunch.  When my family lived up north and my son went to public school there, the cafeteria had vegetarian days.  On those days I would send him with a few dollars and have a day off from my morning or evening ritual of fixing the lunchbox.  Most of the time though, the vegetarian option was full of cheese so he would either pull it off or I would just send him with an extra snack because the vegetarian option had more vegetables. I saw the article below and thought this was a great idea!  Having a lunch truck doesn't help the elementary school crowd but it's a start.  We all need to keep abreast of local and national legislation for school lunches and continue to push for vegetarian and eventually vegan options for our children in schools.
Vegan Lunch for High Schoolers