So Tom (the boyfriend) and I have decided that once a week we’re going to have a completely vegetarian meal. For the most part out meals are fairly healthy but there’s always room for improvement! Last night was my turn to make a vegetarian feast. I’d seen a few recipes for a vegetarian lasagne in the past that looked amazing and I LOVE grilled eggplant so decided to give this recipe a go. This was also the first time I had ever cooked with eggplant or polenta so it was rather experimental, but turns out it was totally easy so that frozen pizza I had as a back up turned out to be unnessasary. Phew!
• 1 eggplant (sliced)
• mixed leaf salad bag (I used kale, spinach and rocket)
• tub of cherry tomatoes (roughly chopped)
• coconut oil
• packet of ready made polenta (you can get this from health food stores or the ‘Asian foods’ section at Woolworths. I have no idea why..)
• basil (roughly chopped)
• 1 red onion (diced)
• 1 large clove of garlic (diced)
The first thing I did was make the tomato sauce, which really was more like a relish and possibly my favourite part of the whole dish. It was so easy and SO yummy! To make: dice red onion and garlic clove and cook down in a pot until the onion is slightly caramelised. Add diced cherry tomatoes and chopped basil leaves. I added a tiny amount of water at this point just to make it a bit more sauce-like. The sauce only needs to be cooked for about ten minutes until all ingredients are cooked down and combined. I ended up blending it once it was cooked to get a finer consistency, which is worth doing if you have a blender, but not really necessary.
Now for the eggplant and polenta. Drizzle some coconut oil into a fry pan, throw in your sliced eggplant and polenta (cut into either flat slices or chips) and fry for about 5 minutes. Make sure you flip both. The polenta will get crispy on the outside when it’s done and the eggplant will be soft and slightly brown. And now you stack!
Make a bed of salad leaves and start stacking layers of eggplant, polenta your delicious tomato relish. You can throw in anything else you like as well. I spontaneously added a layer of mushroom and some left over diced tomato as well.
And vóila! Delicious, healthy and SO easy. And really not as scary as I thought it was going to be. You can call me Jamie Oliver.
I just had to share this picture of my kitchen during the process of making this meal. Turns out I’m a very messy cook. Perhaps not quite Jamie Oliver.. But the end result was totally worth it!