We all understand when possible, eating local, organic, seasonal produce is the best way to go. Using food in your cooking that’s grown at this time of year in your region or extended area, is eating in compliance with mother nature. Why is that important? Proving you get the produce from garden to table in time, you are getting the optimum flavour, nutrient content and supporting your local growers all at the same time. That’s a three-way feel good vibe!
For example, I know that my eggplant came from Mildura, my local green grocer knows I have a fascination with local produce so he’s quick to keeps me informed. Of course, when buying at the farmer’s markets you get to speak with the growers and I can assure you, if you’re stumped for ways to cook their vegetables, they’re happy to offer a recipe or two.
This dish is lovely for the colder months using autumn vegetables. Puts warmness in your belly, nurtures your immune system and tilts health in your favor for the oncoming winter.
1 large eggplant
1 large sweet potato
1 red capsicum
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 onion, diced
3cm knob of ginger, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
150 g protein – tempeh, tofu or meat of choice
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon Tahini
1 tablespoon Tamari
1 cup water
Dulse flakes (sea vegetable), optional
sea salt and pepper
Preheat oven 200?C
Chop eggplant into 1- 2cm chunks and place in a bowl and cover with water for at least 10 minutes – this helps remove the bitterness.
Chop up sweet potato into similar size chunks as the eggplant, and place on an oven tray with the eggplant. Cover these vegetables with the olive oil and salt to taste. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until cooked.
In a frypan, heat up 2 tablespoons of coconut oil then add diced onion. Cook for a few minutes and add cumin powder, garlic and ginger. Stir while cooking. If using tempeh, slice lengthwise from tempeh slab, thin slices. This helps cook well and taste better if you have a little aversion to its texture. This makes tempeh crispy and more palatable. Add your protein here if using meat or tofu too.
When the mixture starts to brown, add 1/2 cup water, tamari and tahini and stir through.
Add cauliflower, chopped in small pieces to cook more efficiently. Add the remaining water to help with cooking. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add capiscum, chopped in small bit size pieces to the frypan mix. Continue to stir and cook.
Once oven vegetables are ready, stir into the frypan mixture. Add sea salt and pepper, then serve. Sprinkle with dulse flakes if desired