I’m not a full time vegetarian or vegan, I do eat meat, poultry and fish occasionally but only if it’s grass fed, cage-free and wild. But every few months, I like to give my body a break from animal protein. I become vegan for as long as my body can take it. Usually, the first two weeks are very easy, the variety of vegetable dishes are endless, but the problem is that I live with one men and two boys that are not excited of all those vegetables dishes as much as I do. So when I make them chicken tikka or take them to eat sushi, I find it hard to just watch.
If I was living by myself, I would have cooked every night a dish from this amazing cookbook Plenty, Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi – this book can make carnivores convert to herbivores).
These two yummy, cooked salads are inspired from this book. Yesterday I had them for lunch over quinoa.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ¼ red onion
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 420 and line a baking pan with baking paper.
- Dice the eggplant and put it onto a lined baking pan. Pour the oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over the eggplant and rub them the oil on with your hands. Place the baking tray in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the eggplants is golden brown and tender. Every now and then flip the eggplants with a spatula.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and prepare the tahini.
- Put the eggplant in a plate, sprinkle the onion and tahini and serve immediately ( if you not serving immediately, put the eggplant and tahini in separate containers and chop the onion before you serve).
- Lemony Tahini
- 1 heaping tablespoon tahini
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2–3 tablespoons cold water
- Put the tahini in a small bowl with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water and stir. The tahini paste will become hard but don't worry, add another tablespoon of water and keep stirring. Add another tablespoon or more until the tahini have a smooth and velvety consistency. If the tahini is too watery add a little bit of tahini, if it's too thick, add more water.
- 1 Bunch of green Swiss chard
- For the dressing
- 1 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon hot paprika or ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Soak the green chard leaves in cold water for a few minutes. Drain and cut it into thin strips, about half an inch.
- Put the chopped leaves into a large skillet or wok with a few tablespoons of water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Mix together the dressing ingredients and pour it into the skillet. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, continuously stirring, until everything the leaves are coated with the dressing.
- Add the lemon juice, remove from heat and serve.