If you’re like me, you always intend to make a menu plan, do regular grocery shops, and have tomorrow’s dinner prepared before you go to bed tonight… but then life gets in the way and things don’t go quite according to plan.
Tonight was one of those nights – I had some ingredients but no idea about what I was going to cook. I had some salmon but didn’t really feel like it.. I had just bought some amazing-sounding duck & mushroom ravioli but didn’t really feel like it… I had some aging veg in the fridge that really needed to be used, and I really felt like something mostly veg. And I had about an hour until 3-year-old bedtime so was running out of time to create anything too complicated.
So I pulled out last week’s eggplant and zucchini and just started, and once I did everything seemed to flow, step by step, til I had quite a fantastic meal! So I just had to share it here as it really was pretty amazing.
Here’s what I did:
1. Organic zucchini & eggplant*: sliced lengthways, fairly thin, laid out in oven trays with some olive oil, sprinkled with some salt & fresh thyme, stuck in the oven on about 180. All up it was probably in there for about 30 mins. Oh and I had about 3 cloves of garlic left so they went in with the zucchini.
2. Finely chopped onion, cooked slowly until soft in some olive oil on the stove, then added my remaining approx 1/3 jar of organic passata and a glug of fairly old pinot noir that was sitting by the stove. Simmered away while everything else was happening.
3. Chopped up about 1/2 of a locally made chicken cabana into small pieces, threw it in with the eggplant so it probably got about 20 minutes – at this point I switched the two trays of veg around so they both got a turn on the top shelf.
4. Chopped up a small block of fetta, remembered I had some lemon halves in the fridge so squeezed the remaining juice out of them, then tipped the fetta in with the juice + a handful of pinenuts, then emptied that into the tray with the zuchinni – so that probably got about 15 minutes.
5. Then I decided it all needed something to pull it all together, so I boiled the kettle, soaked about 3/4 cup of cous cous in boiling water for 5 minutes, and then stirred in some basil pesto.
That’s it! I served the pesto cous cous onto plates in a little mound, added layers of eggplant and zucchini which was beautifully cooked by now, threw on some sausage & fetta, and spooned some of the tomato sauce over the top. And topped it off with some chopped kalamata olives just because I had some in the fridge.
It was DELICIOUS, like really really good. My husband said something about my being able to work magic with food, and the 3 year old** said yum so it doesn’t get any better than that 🙂
It also looked pretty cool, but unfortunately I didn’t think to take a pic as I wasn’t expecting such big things from it.
So there you have it – there’s ALWAYS something cool and delicious to be cooked, just open your fridge & your mind and let things flow!
*For those of you in Melbourne, I get my organic veg from local business Indigo Whispers. Freshest produce you’ll get, always amazing quality – check them out for the convenience of home delivery to many Melbourne suburbs.
**I served my daughter’s food in a 4-tray plate separated out as follows: (1) veg (2) zucchini + pinenuts and a bit of fetta (3) couscous + sauce (4) eggplant + a bit of fetta. She ate all the cheese, olives, sausage, zucchini and most of the rest. She prefers not to have all her food piled up together so she can see what she’s eating (and pick out the good bits of course!)
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