Wednesday, August 21, 2013

B7DRC: - August Edition: Raw Eggplant Curry over Parsnip Rice!



Usually by Wednesday I’m screaming, “I can’t believe we’re already on Day 3!”, but for some reason, today I’m wondering why it’s ONLY Day 3? I feel like it’s been longer than that. It must be one of them SLOW weeks, hehe. No worries. I guess that means more time for me to play! With my food of course ;)

Talking about playing with my food, today I made not one, but TWO eggplant dishes that I’m pretty excited to share with you so let’s get started!

Early Morning:

This morning I skipped the tea and went straight for a juice. I so wanted to have watermelon again for breakfast but the last thing I wanted to do was bore the heck out of you with my monotonous meals. So instead of eating it raw, as is, I decided to turn it into a juice! I figured what could be more perfect than starting my day off with a refreshing, hydrating sweet watermelon juice? Thankfully I was right; nothing could have been more perfect. I added some cucumber and mint in my juice to add a bit of variety in flavors as well as to take the edge off the sweetness of the watermelon. Overall, it was super tasty and perfect for this oddly, humidly hot day.

Watermelon Juice
By Beth Mickens
Makes a little over 16 ounces


  • 5 cups of watermelon (I didn’t measure but it filled my vitamix a little over half way full)
  • ½ cucumber, peeled
  • 1 small handful of mint leaves

  1. Put all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds or until everything is well blended.
  2. Strain through a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer.
  3. Serve with a couple cubes of ice and some fresh mint leaves

Breakfast:

The farmer’s market is beginning to show signs of fall as the watermelons get smaller, the berries disappear and apples begin to slowly make their way into the stands. It’s a bittersweet feeling to see the summer slowly dwindle away but in a way, it’s a good thing. We all could use a break from the same fruits and veggies and from the scorching high temps, don’t you agree? After all, it’s that break that has us running back to spring and summer the moment signs of change arrive.  

This past weekend I noticed apples were taking the place of peaches and plums and while I was a bit saddened by the idea of no more peaches, I was also thrilled to see my favorite apple return; the honey crisp!

Honey crisps are extremely crispy, juicy, slightly tart, a little sweet and oh so so so good! They’re not great for baking pies but perfect for juicing. I didn’t do either..yet. Instead I just enjoyed my apple as is, ice cold and crispy, and took in the taste of fall. 


Lunch:

Yesterday I had only one goal: make eggplant bacon. As I was shaving off the slices I needed to make my “bacon” I realized that my eggplant was a bit too large. I didn’t want to make too much bacon ‘cause Lord knows I would eat it all and well, that’s a lot of salt to be eating in one sitting. So I laid the other half of my eggplant on my plate and begin to think, think, think. I thought of all the ways I enjoyed eggplant in the past and finally came up with one word: curry. 

In the past one of my favorite dishes to make was cooked curry. I didn’t care what veggies were included as long as it was smothered in some sort of curry spice or curry sauce. I recalled eggplant being quite tasty with these spices and so off I went to experiment. 

At first I tried to make a raw masala sauce and well, it just wasn’t pleasing the taste buds. Then I tried another sauce with hemp seeds and tomatoes…nope that didn’t work either. Finally, I came across this raw curry dish and modified it to work in my favor with the ingredients I had on hand.  The results? Finally success! 

I served my curried eggplant over a bed of raw parsnip rice and served it sprinkled with a bit of cilantro. The flavors melded well together and provided a delicious chewy, yet still crunchy kind of meal. The curry was the best part :)

Eggplant Curry over Parsnip Rice
By Beth Mickens
Sauce adapted by Sweetly Raw



Parsnip Rice:

  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  •  Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut, shredded unsweetened

  1. Add the parsnip into a food processor and process until a course, rice like meal is formed.
  2. Add the coconut, lemon and salt and pulse to mix.
  3. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside

Eggplant Curry
  • ½ eggplant, peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ carrot, peeled and julienned
  • ½ green onion, sliced
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut butter
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • ¼ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • ½ garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of raw honey
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon of curry powder (or more!)
  • ½ + Tbsp of water to blend
  • Salt to taste

  1. In a small bowl add the diced eggplant and salt and toss to combine.
  2. Allow the eggplant to sit for about 30 minutes. This will remove some of the bitterness and it will soften the eggplant, resulting in more of a “cooked” texture.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bullet style blender add the coconut butter, hemp seeds, red bell pepper, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, honey, curry powder and ½ Tbsp of water to start. DO NOT add any salt at this point. You will need to see how salty your eggplant is before adding salt to your dressing. You may not need any.
  5. Blend adding as much water as needed to reach desired consistency. You are looking for a thick, yet pourable sauce.  Set aside.
  6. Once the eggplant has been allowed to sit, rinse the eggplant thoroughly to remove a majority of the salt. The eggplant will have a slightly salty taste which is fine.
  7. Pour your eggplant into a couple of paper towels, layered, and gently squeeze the remaining water out.
  8. Add your eggplant to a small bowl along with the carrots, tomatoes, and green onions. Add the curry dressing and toss to combine.
  9. Taste before seasoning with salt.
  10. Add the cilantro and gently toss to incorporate.
  11. Spoon the eggplant curry on top of the parsnip rice and garnish with cilantro before serving

NOTE: I enjoyed this meal the next day which allowed the veggies to really absorb the dressing. The only downside was that the sauce got a bit thick/hard so if eating the next day, leave out to reach room temp before enjoying.

DOUBLE NOTE: Sadly, I can't remember exactly how I made the sauce since it was throw together, but I'm also positive I added some fresh basil. Add it and see what ya think :)

Snack/Dinner:

I had a pack of Trace Minerals Reds Pak which is pretty much red nutrient powder as opposed to green powder. It’s loaded with red fruits and veggies with an ORAC count of 5200! Antioxidant power! I debated on what to add to it until I opened the pack and smelled what I recall as the best drink ever: Kool-Aid. It smelled like red Kool-Aid! The best fruit to add? Pineapple to create what I call Pineapple Punch. 

It’s sweet, juicy and it tastes, well, like a tropical punch. Who knew there was a healthy way to re-live those childhood memories of drinking copious amounts of sugar loaded Kool-Aid! Do they even make that stuff anymore?

Pineapple Punch
By Beth Mickens
Makes 16 ounces

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 ½ cup frozen pineapple
  • ½ cup mixed berries
  • 1 pack of Trace Minerals Red Pak
  •  Water to blend (about ½ - 1 cup)
    1. Blend and enjoy!!
Dinner:

As for dinner, I did it again. I nibbled my way through. This is NOT a good habit to form…*sigh* Well, at least I was nibbling on tomorrow's lunch which includes this yummy looking eggplant bacon!! Actually, this a pic from last week's batch because I forgot to take a pic today (dope) but it looks the same and tastes the same too! Recipe will be available tomorrow!


Until tomorrow...

*Beth*