Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bittersweet Vegan Fall Lunch

Ummmmm, Mariss, what is that title?  Random I know but once you taste this dish you will know what I mean!  The bitter broccoli rabe and acidic vinegar balances the sweetness of the apple juice and agave.  While the eggplant and tempeh soaks up ALL the flavors.  Instead of stir-frying uber spongy eggplant and tempeh in oil and tacking on hidden calories (why do you think restaurant eggplant is sooooo tasty!?) braise everything in lighter-on-the-waistline juice and vinegar. 

red chili flakes or 1 chili pepper de-seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 good-size bunch broccoli rabe, washed, ends trimmed, cut remaining in half
2 tomatoes, quartered
1/2 medium globe eggplant or 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1" chunks
1 block tempeh, chopped into 1/2" pieces
apple juice
apple cider vinegar
walnuts, raw or toasted

1.  Heat a medium size pan to medium heat, add chili peppers and garlic for about 15 seconds.
2.  Add eggplant, tomatoes, tempeh, 1/2c apple juice and 1/4c apple cider vinegar.  Cover and let simmer for 10-12 minutes.
3.  Add broccoli rabe and a few splashes more of the juice, braise for 5 more minutes.
4.  Drizzle with a little agave and top with walnuts.

Serves 3-4 as a main meal, 4-6 as a side.

* Great alternative for meat-laden Thanksgiving dishes. 
* Don't forget to add all your veggie scraps to the composter.

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