Keep It Simple: Roasted Eggplant and Brussels with Quinoa and Baked Tempeh

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Roasted Eggplant and Brussel Sprouts with Quinoa and Baked Tempeh

To be honest, I’m having a hard time finding cooking motivation/inspiration since I lost my grandfather. A lot of days since I’ve been back, after work all I’ve wanted to do is just curl up in a blanket cocoon and focus on anything else. It’s funny, because everyone treats you with kid gloves for a day or so and then everything goes back to normal (I actually appreciate not being asked how I’m doing, I’d rather just try to get along with my day). But those difficult moments don’t just disappear when people stop asking you how you are doing and look at you with concern in their eyes. They come and they go, and I think that’s pretty normal. Sometimes it’s really hard, and sometimes it’s okay. I try my best to roll with the punches and let myself feel the feels without it preventing me from focusing on the fact that my grandpa would not want me to be bumming out. He’d want me to enjoy my life (specifically – eat lots of food, dance, joke and smile). I’m not really sure why my inspiration is flagging, but I just don’t really want to create anything specific. My mind, when it comes to food, is blank. When I got back from Western New York, the only thing I could think to whip up (so I didn’t starve) was to roast some veggies and tempeh and throw it over a grain – at least I’d be getting everything I needed, nutritionally. I pulled inspiration from my Farro with Tempeh, Leeks and Roasted Brussel Sprouts I made a few weeks ago, and roasted eggplant and brussel sprouts (two of my all time fave veggies) tossed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I threw the roasted veggies over cooked red quinoa, threw some baked tempeh in there (that I had marinated according to my Baked Tofu marinade/recipe) and topped it off with half an avocado. Voila. Dinner is served.

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Brussels, tossed in balsamic and EVOO, sprinkled with salt and pepper and ready to be roasted.

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Eggplant ready to be roasted. Angie’s Eggplant Tip: Slice the eggplant, lay it out in colander in the sink. Salt it, allow to drain for 20 – 30 minutes and then rinse the slices before marinading. You won’t need as much salt as you put on the brussels for the marinade, and it will help neutralize some of the bitter flavors in the eggplant. Yum.

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Brussels and eggplant after roasting. Yum, yum!

This dish isn’t even recipe card worthy (let’s not reinvent the wheel here, shall we?). πŸ™‚Β  Simply chop your veggies, toss them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper added by eye (I did this in a large bowl, just like in my Farro and Roasted Brussel Sprout recipe) and roast at 400Β°F for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until they are slightly browned. I cooked the quinoa according to the directions on the package, and baked the tempeh according to my L’s Best Baked Tofu recipe. Verdict? Food does not have to be complicated or take a long time to taste delicious. This was awesome, and I actually went back for seconds.

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This was leftover night! I had a broccoli salad recipe I made from Vegetarian Times (more on that soon), and (along with the eggplant/brussels) I simultaneously roasted butternut squash tossed in olive oil and Cataluna spice blend that I talk about in my Baked Sweet Potato and Spicy Black Beans and Corn recipe that I posted back in November. Also a great quick and easy recipe to try!

It’s great to roast a bunch of veggies and veggie protein (like tempeh or tofu) all at once because now I have a ton of delicious veggies and tempeh to top off my salads for lunch, or throw together into a dish for dinner, or just eat plain as sides (or directly out of the container while standing in front of the refrigerator, while “thinking” about what to eat for dinner). It’s great for when you are feeling uber low maintenance (as I am right now) and want something quick, easy and simple – but still nutritious and filling (and with enough nutrients that will power my intense early morning workouts). So, if you’re feeling uninspired like L right now, it’s okay to take a day off from making complicated, labor-intensive dishes and just keep it simple.

judge judy

Thank you Judge Judy, I will.

I hope you guys are all enjoying your Tuesday, and if you’re in Boston Metro – I hope that you shoveled your car out okay and didn’t get stuck! I only had to help one guy get his car unstuck yesterday – it was a record! πŸ˜€

Take care all. πŸ™‚

With warmth,

L

PS: Here I am, Captain of the Shovel Squad, doing a post shoveling victory dance during yesterday’s snow day. Woop woop! We got a bit of snow, eh?

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28 thoughts on “Keep It Simple: Roasted Eggplant and Brussels with Quinoa and Baked Tempeh

  1. It’s also totally okay to order takeout! (if anywhere near you is open) Sending you e-hugs and hope you’re fully stocked with hot chocolate and marshmallows and bubbly…to suit whatever mood strikes!

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  2. hey there, sometimes we do just need a little hibernation after heartbreak and loss – I think sometimes we forget that where we have loved and been loved much the loss is all the tougher – the sorrow is only there for all the joy that went before it… I hope you are able to give yourself a break, eat chocolate – that yumsville dark vegan stuff – make brownies – drink hot choc and cosy smoothies and let time and delish dishes restore your soul… you know your bod best of all and you know when you need to listen to it and when you need to take control and force it out of its hibernation… meanwhile your virtual community are here for you and jealous of all that wondrous white stuff! Peace to you xx

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    • Thank you so much. I am sitting here reading this and I am truly so touched (my eyes are getting damp)! You are so sweet, thank you. It really means a lot to me to read all of your supportive comments when I’m having kind of a tough day. I will do all of those things πŸ˜€ And like I said to Debbie above, if I could send it to all of you guys – I totally would! There is just too much here, it’s getting a little absurd! πŸ˜€ Hope you have a great day.

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      • I have come to understand how supportive our online contacts can be of late – it’s pretty wonderful when the web enables community and positives… It may seem like too much snow – but it looks stunning sadly it would be water by the time it crossed the ocean to me… we have had a sprinkling though this year – which beats last year with zip! Wallow in your down time and take care xx

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  3. Hang in there! Time is really the only thing that can heal hurts like these. Take care of yourself, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself – inspiration will strike when you’re ready. Your devoted readers will support you and stick with you no matter what you post! πŸ™‚ Take all the healing time you need. And for what it’s worth – I think your simple, whole grain and veggie backed dish looks tasty and comforting – just what you need! And can we please send some of this snow back from wherever it’s coming from?! Cannot deal with any more!!

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    • Lol!! YES PLEASE!! I’ll help you pack all this snow into a truck (/several trucks? a barge?) and return to sender. I try to be positive about the ridic amounts of snow we have been getting but even my “Dude, I’m from Upstate New York!” glow is wearing off. It’s surreal! And I can’t believe we are getting MORE! Whaaaaat. Also, thank you Veronica for being so supportive. It really means a great deal to me! πŸ˜€ I don’t know what I’d do without you guys! It’s so heart warming to see these little tidbits of advice and love popping up throughout the day. It makes it go by a little easier. πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday!

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  4. It’s always okay to take care of yourself and let yourself feel and do whatever feels right, not that I need to say it or that I’m saying anything new. But I’m going to say it anyway πŸ™‚ Take care!

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  5. Hey there!
    Im wondering where did u get the recipe? I mean, i didnt know u have tempeh in Boston πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
    It’s our local favourite here πŸ™‚ Try slicing it thinly, fry it with butter until it’s slightly crispy n put some salt to taste. The simplest tempeh recipe as a snack πŸ˜‰

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