Friday, September 02, 2011

Going Veg

In the late afternoon when there was no evidence of meat or fish in the refrigerator, my husband kindly said, “Should we just go out to eat tonight?” Little did he know I was contemplating a veggie dinner.

The CSA has been bountiful beyond belief this summer. It’s a challenge to even use all the food we get in our week’s share. This little hot pepper was the catalyst for tonight’s dinner. That and the red lentils and eggplant and green beans we had also gotten this week.

I ended up making a red lentil dal served over brown rice. The challenge was to feel the heat of the little orange pepper while not overwhelming my husband, who has a low tolerance of spiciness. I threw in 3 big chunks of pepper, staying clear of the seeds.

Meanwhile I marinated eggplant in a sauce of oil, balsamic, and fresh herbs. With 15 minutes left on the dal clock, the eggplant went on the grill and the beans were turned on to steam.

As the finishing touch for the dal, I sizzled the seeds and other spices in oil in a small All-Clad pan and then added them to the slightly mashed lentil mixture.

It turned out to be a delightful blend of sweet, hot, salty, and grilled. The bland but slightly crisp beans were countered by the stronger flavors of the other dishes. It was a healthy meal that filled me up with just enough room left for a small square of dark chocolate.

In case you are game to try, here are the two recipes:

Everyday Red Lentils
Grilled Eggplant

As you can see, there wasn't anything left for Jake on my plate!


Blogger Steve Reed said...

Yum! That sounds fabulous! I think I need to get Dave to try more vegetarian stuff -- I've been eating his meat dishes for two years now, after all! :)

1:23 PM  
Blogger e said...

Wow, thanks. Sounds divine.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Excellent. If I had more gumption I would "go veg" but I have yet to have the motivation or creativity to put that much effort into cooking. Perhaps one of these days.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gary -- We're not giving up meat altogether, just having a vegetarian dinner one or two nights a week. Although the vegetarian route requires more shopping and chopping, I am convinced it's cheaper and healthier. Neither of these recipes is difficult in the least. Give them a try!

12:52 PM  

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