Simple vegan meals: Grilled Japanese eggplant

I’ve been meaning to start this series on Heart Via Stomach for months now.  Obviously, though, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from writing lately.  I’ve still been cooking and taking photos, so I’ve got a few posts lined up.  I’m also hoping to chronicle some of the veg*n food I come across while traveling next month, so expect some delicious international eats!

This dish is easily scalable for a larger crowd, but it’s also a super simple, delicious option for nights when you’re dining solo.  The aluminum foil package can even multitask to become your serving vessel, especially if you’re eating alone and don’t mind looking less than classy.  And I sure don’t.  I ate this meal straight from it’s shiny metal envelope.

Not only is this easily prepared, it’s completely adaptable to whatever cuisine you’re in the mood for.  The tender, stringy, melt-in-your mouth flesh of the cooked eggplant makes a gorgeous foundation for any kind of topping you can thing of.

Throw some miso and sesame seeds on top after cooking for a Japanese side dish.

Top it with tahini, lemon, and parsley for a deconstructed baba ghanoush of sorts.

Stuff with vegan cheese and marinara or pesto sauce before grilling, and serve alongside a loaf of crusty bread.

The Basics:

  • Make a slit down the middle of each eggplant.  This will ensure that the eggplant does not burst, but also provides you an opportunity to add any seasonings that you’d like (see above and below).
  • Enclose 1-3 Japanese eggplants in a large piece of aluminum foil, sealing packet completely so that no steam escapes
  • Place aluminum foil packet straight onto grill and cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, until eggplant is completely tender.
  • Season as you wish.
  • Note: If you don’t have a grill, try roasting the eggplant in the oven at about 400 degrees until tender

For tonight’s version:

I stuffed some slices of sauteed garlic into the eggplant to flavor it while grilling.
To make this entree-worthy, I topped it with some slices of tempeh, as well as fresh parsley, nutritional yeast, and sriracha (because few meals are complete without it)

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