So, I don't have a solid, photographed recipe here, but I have a really (REALLY) good meal, side dish, treat, a crazy idea--- that was brilliant and worked! I buy eggplant every once in a while at the store and more times than not, I'm scrambling to figure out something that I can make with said eggplant before it rots. And not just something, but something I'll actually enjoy and Marlowe will actually eat. Eggplant can be tough. If it's not cooked perfectly, it's kinda gross, ya know? I had determined the only way I actually enjoy it is breaded, baked, and then sautéed to be crispy, and topped with tomato sauce--- but that's a fair amount of work. (Okay, and sometimes, but only once every few months, I like ratatouille.) We (I) don't usually make those kinds of meals around here-- the ones with lots of components, with main dishes and side dishes. 95+% of the time, it's just Marlowe and I sharing a meal...and we aren't too difficult. I just want to keep it healthy, delicious, but most importantly I want an easy, one pot meal (something like THIS).
This ^ isn't a one pot meal.... unless you're eating a bowl of mashed potatoes for dinner--- which lets hope most of you aren't (at least not all the time). With this dish, we ate: cooked kale, fried corn, and then after making three different components, I got lazy, didn't want to make a chickpea patty, and pulled out a quinoa burger from the freezer. Marlowe still loves and eats kale and is iffy with veggie burgers (I don't blame her), but she devoured and asked for thirds of the mashed potatoes (and so did I). We will now be making this again and again and again.
Eggplant Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:
-3 medium-ish potatoes (cut)
-1/4 head of cauliflower (chopped into smaller pieces)
-1 small-medium eggplant
-3 cloves garlic (optional or to taste)
-3 tablespoons of butter/ butter substitute (When you're eating out the ratio is typically 1/2 butter to 1/2 potatoes. That is excessive, but delicious, right? Use as much or as little butter as you'd like. My scoop depends on my mood and how healthy I'd like to be that week.)
-Milk/ milk substitute. (We like almond milk because it doesn't have a very strong taste and can work in just about every savory dish. Amounts will vary, depending on how creamy you want this dish to be and how much water is left in your eggplant after baking.)
-Optional: nutritional yeast. We use a lot of it in this house. Marlowe and I love it. It makes anything feel like a creamy cheesy junk food meal.. while actually being incredibly healthy for you.
-Roast eggplant. (Slice in half length wise. Place on baking sheet, peel side down. Brush with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes--- until soft and creamy inside.
-Place potatoes, cauliflower, and garlic into pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil. Cook until everything is soft, drain.
-When eggplant is manageable (ie. when you won't burn your fingers off), scoop out soft eggplant/remove skin and place in mixing bowl. Eat, compost, trash, or make art with the skin.
-By hand, or with mixer, whip eggplant and butter. THEN add your potatoes, garlic, and cauliflower, and continue to whip. Add milk as necessary.
-Salt, pepper, nutritional yeast.
-Enjoy, watch your kids or picky adult eaters enjoy, and thank me ;)
Tips and things:
Basically, this is mashed potatoes with baked whipped eggplant. I also threw in a quarter cauliflower for good luck. Feel free to not use the cauliflower. Or even use the cauliflower and skip out on the potatoes to make more of a cauliflower mash. But I'll be honest, the potatoes are pretty good at keeping this fluffy and delicious. Also, I don't ever peel my potatoes because the skins hold a lot nutrients and I hate peeling things. BUT if you or your kid is iffy with food textures, peel the potatoes and also make sure the eggplant is extra, extra cooked so you can make this completely smooth with no chunks. For the potatoes, I recommend a creamier potato, not an idaho or baking potato. And if you're not already, consider buying organic potatoes. Potatoes contain more amounts of pesticides than most other vegetables (celery is number one). If you want more of a smokier taste to this dish, don't roast the eggplant, but leave it whole and place on high heated sauté pan--- no oil, nothing, just the eggplant. Cook until completely charred around the outside. This will get your eggplant incredibly soft on the inside. I have a basic list of amounts and ingredients, it doesn't have to be perfect or exact. The important part of this dish is making sure the eggplant is soft to whip into your mashed potatoes and whipping all your ingredients first, before adding the milk. Eggplants hold a lot of water, and you want this to be smooth and creamy or soft and fluffy, not watery. Even if you don't love eggplant, this is delicious, trust me.
Happy weekend everyone! :)
Happy weekend everyone! :)