Friday, August 4, 2017

Cauliflower Rice and Japanese Eggplant



Japanese eggplants make a fabulous summer side dish and cauliflower rice is a delicious low carbohydrate substitute for traditional rice ( and tastes just as good) .

These slender purple vegetables one of my favorite veggies. They are less bitter than the regular eggplants, cook up quickly, are low in calories while high in fiber ( skin).



Since I get my summer produce from a local organic farm, I always eat the skin of my vegetables.

My CSA pickup was overflowing this week.


There were plenty of Japanese eggplants, yellow and green zucchini, lettuces, scallions, garlic, beets, kohlrabi, cucumbers, fennel, celery, basil, beautiful long dandelion greens, cherry tomatoes, green beans, sunflowers, and raspberries. We will be having some great salads this week.


I had to work hard to pick some of the veggies
Although most of my share of veggies were waiting for me in the cool shady barn, the cherry tomatoes, green beans, sunflowers, and herbs were pick your own. That was no joke in this 97 degree heat wave we have been having. 



Surprisingly, I found people of all ages (babies on their mama's backs to grandmas with large brimmed hats)  out in the hot sunny fields picking their share of this week's prolific crops. 



The sweat was dripping off of us, but my husband and I got int and out of the fields as fast as we could bundles of pick your own string beans, cherry tomatoes, herbs, and sunflowers.



How I make it easier on myself

I've learned to bring baggies or containers with me right into the fields, which helps cut down on the work once I return home. I now immediately put the produce that I have to weigh in the barn and the produce that I need to pick in the fields in large baggies, I am able to put everything into the refrigerator as soon as I get home. I used to just put everything into shopping bags and had to sort later ( sometimes for an hour).

Hot, Tired, and Mission Complete!

We left our house at 5:00 PM and returned  home around 6:15 PM . I was drained and too tired to start prepping the salads or cooking. My food prep had to wait until 6:00 AM the next morning.


Today's Recipe Uses My Japanese Eggplant 




I made a low calorie/ lowish carb summer side dish.



Roasted eggplant, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, 


I roasted eggplant with cherry tomatoes, garlic, and red peppers on a cookie sheet.  Separately, I heated some riced cauliflower in a skillet and then served the roasted vegetables over the riced cauliflower ( make your own or buy organic in Trader's Joe's like I did)

Low Carb and absolutely delicious cauliflower rice



The cauliflower rice is light and fluffy and I think as tasty as regular rice without the carbs
read my post on how to cook the frozen cauliflower rice so it is light and fluffy


What a bang for my buck. Lots of flavor with very few calories. 
Of course this recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan.

Ingredients:

6 Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise and then chopped in large peices
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
12 mini red, yellow or orange peppers, cored chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place vegetables into a bowl , toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.


My Notes:

1. Just for the record, Japanese eggplant is less bitter than the big round purple varieties- so I don't salt and let it sweat first.

2. Adding feta cheese will turn this side dish into an entree.
     Vegans could consider adding seeds or nuts.

3. There is nothing like fresh roasted vegetables right out of the oven. However, this recipe will taste good at room temperature or served cold the next day.

4. I read that eggplant is really a fruit??? Is that true??

5. I added some of the dandelion greens from my CSA haul to my morning green juice instead of kale.

6. To cut down on calories, I simply spray vegetables with olive oil spray while on cookie sheet.



Shared on Weekend Cooking on Beth Fish Reads



17 comments:

  1. I just recently bought my first bag of riced cauliflower. This recipe looks so good, I want to try it.

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    Replies
    1. I love riced cauliflower- but don;t overcook it and don't add water to it if you buy the frozen.

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  2. Very similar to ratatouille, which I made this week. What a great harvest haul you guys had. And thanks for the tip about the Japanese eggplant being less bitter, had no idea.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Claudia,
      It does use the same vegetables as ratatouille, but it does not use canned tomatoes which makes my ratatouille create a sauce. This is simply roasted vegetables.

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  3. This is absolutely perfect for the season!

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    Replies
    1. I've always looking for ways to use seasonal vegetables

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  4. I wish we had low carb versions of rice where I live. Rice is a staple and if we don't eat that, there aren't too many options. I am currently on brown rice, which is a less processed version, but cauliflower rice sounds so healthy and delicious!

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    Replies
    1. you can make your own cauliflower rice from a head of cauliflower. just core it and break into chunks and put it in the food processor with the metal blade. Do about 3 or 4 short blast and you will have the rice. I have a tutorial post on my site if you search for cauliflower rice.

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  5. I've never had Japanese eggplant, and I have to try Trader's Joe's cauliflower rice.

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    Replies
    1. Oh- your will love them both.. Just make sure to heat the rice in the skillet without water- just a little oil spray. It comes frozen and in the produce section. I prefer the frozen.

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  6. I love that eggplant! One of our favorites is to stir fry it with peppers! (Think Anaheim not Jalapeño!)

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    Replies
    1. Sounds delicious.. I love how fast they cook up too.

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  7. I love eggplant and the cauliflower rice. TJs makes it so easy! Pick your own veggies -- good for you. Stay cool!

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    Replies
    1. I have a whole new respect for farmers since I belong to a CSA farm. It is brutally difficult but rewarding work.

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  8. I didn't know there was such a thing as Japanese eggplant, this looks delicious. I keep an eye out for the riced cauliflower.

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  9. YUM! THIS looks amazing. Throw some grilled chicken on top and BAM! :)

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  10. Such beautiful, fresh veggies! Thank you for linking up at The Blogger’s Pit Stop Link Party. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

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Thank you for your comment - I love the feedback and interaction

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