When I have an eggplant around and am using the oven at night, I’ll sometimes cut the eggplant in half, spread on a little olive oil and salt, toss it in the oven to roast (about 40 minutes, at about any temp), and then pop it into the fridge to cool overnight. The next day, it’s super-easy to scoop out the roasted eggplant and whirl it in a blender with the other ingredients below – in under 5 minutes, I have a tasty, healthy, creamy lunchtime addition to salads, veggies, sandwiches, pasta, etc.! Bonus: even people who say they hate eggplant love this … just don’t tell them what it is!
This is a simple make-once, take-all-week healthy lunch choice. Experiment with veggies that are fresh and seasonal!
Hint – make the very fine dice super-easy by using one of my favorite tools, the Vidalia Chop Wizard (and no, I don’t make any money off of it, unfortunately … I just think salads taste so much better when the pieces are evenly diced and you can get a range of different veggies in every bite)!
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp thyme
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 carrot, very finely diced
1 large red pepper, very finely diced
1 zucchini, very finely diced
1 medium onion, very finely diced
1/4 cup fresh thinly sliced basil
1 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Place the quinoa, water, salt, and 2 garlic cloves into a large saucepan or frying pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and the germ has separated.
While the quinoa is still hot, add the spices and all vegetables, and cover and heat for about 5 minutes. The veggies will get slightly warm, but will stay crisp.
Remove all and squeeze lemon and sprinkle with olive oil. Toss in basil and stir.
Serve immediately, or save and serve cold over lettuce.