Eggplant, Oyster Mushroom & Bean Ratatouille

This is a nice recipe for a weekday dinner and is great for meatless Mondays or Fridays. It’s on the table in less than an hour and is a good wholesome meal, especially when paired with a brown rice medley and a side green salad to start the meal. A good ratatouille is always great to have in the fridge for leftovers, especially for those nights when you want a good homemade meal for dinner, without the effort. Enjoy!

  • 1 pound Chinese eggplant, about 5
  • 2 1/2 cups good marinara sauce*
  • 3 1/2 oz. oyster mushrooms, bottoms trimmed and bunches broken up
  • 1 cup cooked Great Northern beans, cannellini beans or small white beans
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Cut each eggplant in half, lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt. Grill the eggplant at 500 degrees, a few minutes per each side, until there are some grill marks on them. Once they are grilled, slice them diagonally about an inch in size. Combine the eggplant and sauce in a heavy bottomed pot so the eggplant are in one layer. Bring the sauce up to a boil on high heat, once it does, lower the heat to a low setting and simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally. Add in the beans and mushrooms and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with brown rice on the side to complete the meal. Makes 4 servings. Double the recipe as needed.

*Make sure it states gluten-free on the jar, if gluten is a concern of yours.

Arugula & Eggplant Antipasto

This is a quick antipasto to put together that doesn’t require too much time, as long as you have the eggplant made ahead of time. I happened to have some eggplant slices in the fridge and the arugula and ricotta cheese were calling the eggplants’ name. It’s a rustic dish that gets your appetite revved up, while taming it. Serve with grilled chunks of good bread on the side. Just delicious!

  • arugula
  • part-skim ricotta cheese
  • grilled eggplant slices, cut into squares
  • a few slices salami, cut into strips
  • a few sun dried tomatoes, ripped up or cut into strips 
  • a few basil leaves, ripped up or cut into strips
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • fresh ground pepper

The nice thing about this recipe is you can adjust it to your liking. Love salami? Add some more to your platter! To get your antipasto started, layer the arugula down on your platter, followed by the eggplant. If you need a good recipe for your eggplant steaks, follow the directions for “Grilled Eggplant Steak with Cannellini Bean Salad.” (July 25th’s post.) Dollop your ricotta cheese over the eggplant. Scatter some salami strips and sun dried tomato strips over the ricotta cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and top with the ripped basil leaves and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!

Grilled Eggplant “Steaks” with Cannellini Bean Salad

When I was a vegetarian, there were days when I just wanted to have a juicy steak. “Just take me to a steakhouse and don’t judge me.” lol But I didn’t wane and stuck to my veggies. And the only way I would get that same satisfaction as eating a steak was when I would drizzle a nice amount of olive oil on the eggplant and let it sit for a while and then grill it. You would think that the eggplant would be drenched in oil but it wasn’t. The eggplant would embrace the oil and it transformed the purple beauty into a juicy veggie version of a steak. If you want a little more of an indulgence, serve with Gorgonzola cheese and you can always have this with a baked potato on the side! ;)

  • 2 eggplants, cut lengthwise, about an inch thick
  • garlic powder
  • Vegeta seasoning
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 cup chopped good tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup seedless cucumber, chopped
  •  a few basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fig preserves
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons A1 steak sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • Maldons sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Take a large pan and drizzle olive oil on each slice and season with garlic powder and Vegeta or any all purpose seasoning you like. It’s okay to stack the slices on top of each other. Let them sit at room temperature for an hour. After the hour is up, turn your slices over and drizzle with more olive oil. You’ll see where the eggplant needs it, noticing large white spots on them. You don’t want to drown the slices in oil, just enough to give the eggplant a nice coating. Let them sit for another hour. While your eggplant is marinating, you can make the salad by combining the tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and basil. Make your vinaigrette by combining the olive oil, vinegar, and fig preserves. Season with a pinch of Vegeta and ground pepper. Once you are ready to eat, you can dress your salad. The eggplant, although meaty is also delicate at the same time and needs a steak sauce that won’t overwhelm it and I think this is a good sauce to serve alongside it. Combine the yogurt, steak sauce, agave syrup and the ground pepper. Adjust the seasonings as needed. When you are ready to make your steaks, heat up your grill to about 500 degrees and throw your steaks on. I grilled them for about five minutes on each side, just until you get some good grill marks. Turn the eggplant so you get nice cross hatch marks on them. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Pull them off the grill once they are done, you will see your eggplant relaxed, yet still keeping their shape. Let them rest so they collect their juices. Top with Maldons salt, it gives them a nice finish and serve with your cannellini salad and steak sauce. This serves 3. Enjoy!