Epic Eggplant “Steak” with Roasted Kale and More Foodie-Inspired Nuggets…

This & That

Shopping for plant-based “meat” in the meat aisle – you bet!
Plant Based News reports that some vegans and vegetarians are put off from buying plant-based “meat” when it’s sold in the meat aisle; however, my reaction is quite different.
I think that every opportunity to position a plant-based offering as mainstream choice is a step in the right direction. Yes, it does mean vegans are exposed to the very thing they stand against, but I think the cost — a few moments of discomfort (and angst in many cases) – is overshadowed by the benefit of showing consumers they have a choice to buy cruelty-free vs. not cruelty-free. The choice is in front of them – not in another aisle segregated from the immediate point of purchase. In my belief as awareness builds around the health and environmental benefits of vegan food  (and of course how delicious it can be!) I think consumers will start to take a more mindful approach to their choices – whether it be around animal welfare, health benefits and/or sustainability issues or simply recalling a family friend who suggested a product. Putting vegan options in a separate, dedicated vegan-only section of the grocery market – where non vegans do not shop – only serves to keep consumers divided. I am optimistic the power to choose will be a driving force that will see consumers turn toward plant-based options.

Read the original story here.

Do vegans deserve a bad rap? The Top 10  misconceptions about veganism challenged…
I typically keep Vegan Rhapsody blog posts focused on news, trends and/or discoveries related to food but this article (published 7/13/18) is too good not to share. It’s in no way informed by science or academia, but rather one person’s perspective on popular myths about veganism. The one that stands out for me is “Veganism is only about food”. I actually tried to convey this point myself in a recent emotionally-charged discussion with my own family members in which I tried to explain that being vegan is more than a diet choice and that it intersects with everything from what shoes I buy to how I prep my kids to handle other kids’ questions about their lunches at summer camp (where they may have kids notice they don’t eat sandwiches, for example, every day). Vegan readers may chuckle at a few of the more cliché observations but I think this is an excellent article to share with non-vegan family and/or friends.

Read the original story here.

Feature Recipe | Epic Eggplant “Steak” with Roasted Kale

This recipe transforms this glorious purple fruit into a savoury “steak” roasted in a blend of olive oil, minced garlic and Za’atar spice blend. If you haven’t tried Za’atar seasoning before it’s a popular Middle Eastern spice blend characterized by a tangy, herbal and slightly nutty taste. The tangy flavour is attributed to the ground sumac – a gorgeous deep red spice with a tangy lemony flavour (though more balanced and less tart than lemon juice). The Creamy Tahini Sauce is deliciously simple and elevates the lemon accents in this dish without overpowering the other flavours – it’s so delicious you may want to make this one of your essential ‘dream’ sauces as I call them J Don’t underestimate the variety of textures in this dish as well…from the soft, creamy eggplant to the crunchy, perfectly crisp kale “chips” this recipe delivers serious texture and taste.

If this recipe has teased your palette for some epic eggplant, check out our:

Eggplant Ribbon-Style Cannelloni
Mediterranean-Style Roasted Vegetables (Briam)
Garlic Herb Turkish Bread

Enjoy~

Preparation

1/Prepare one batch of Creamy Tahini Sauce (See Recipe Notes section)
2/Preheat oven to 400F

Ingredients

Eggplant “Steak”

  • 2 eggplants, halved
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (55g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (15g)
  • 1 tsp coriander seed, crushed
  • 4 tsp Za’atar spice blend (Ready-made or combine 1 tsp sumac, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano & 1 tsp sesame seeds)
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Roasted Kale

  • Kale, rinsed & drained  (QTY to your liking)
  • Olive oil
  • Few pinches of sumac
  • Few pinches of Himalayan pink salt

Creamy Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup warm water (50g)
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste (130g)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Juice of 1 lemon/3 Tbsp (45g)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

Ready It

  • 1/Place halved eggplants (skin intact) on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Carefully cut the flesh of each eggplant in a crosshatch pattern (e.g. slice deeply at a diagonal at 1 inch intervals)
  • 2/In a prep bowl: Add olive oil, minced garlic, crushed coriander seed,  Za’atar dry spices and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  • 3/Spoon mixture generously over eggplant. These beauties are ready to roast!
  • 4/In a prep bowl: Whisk together warm water, tahini paste, cumin and lemon juice until well combined. Divide Creamy Tahini Sauce into small dipping containers.

Roast It

  • 1/Bake coated eggplant at 400F for 30 minutes.
  • 2/Remove tray from oven. Fill gaps (between eggplant) with fresh kale. Drizzle a scant amount of olive oil over eggplant and then toss a few pinches of sumac and salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until the kale looks roasted and crispy.

Serve It

  • Plate roasted eggplant “steaks” and roasted kale with a side of rice or couscous (or preferred side dish). Be sure to serve with Creamy Tahini Sauce.

 

 



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About Meagan Lamontagne