Dinner seems so hard sometimes. I cook for SKCC during the day, so we have wonderful lunches, and obviously there are leftovers, but that leaves me not following my own advice as far as having a plan for dinner most nights. Ironic isn’t it? I have plans for lunch, we rotate the same few things for breakfast, but why does everyone eat so often? I have so so many cookbooks, and always turn there when inspiration eludes me. I’ll add a short list here, should you need some new ideas yourself. My family is not vegetarian, but we try to eat vegetarian meals often. The list below (amazon affiliated) includes both omnivorous and vegetarian authors from books (not new!) I’ve been turning to for inspiration lately:
Anna Jones (vegetarian, more carb heavy but simple, she has a few great ones!)
Green Kitchen Stories (strong vegetarian meals, colorful and present well)
Six Seasons (new ideas and combinations, but not fussy. Great side ideas)
At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen (a cornerstone, easy to change ingredients by season, very “healthy”)
Canelle et Vanille (Aran’s photos are transcendent and romantic and her food is delicious. All GF)
Super Natural Everyday (my favorite of Heidi’s, great vegetarian meals and wholesome snack and breakfast ideas)
Salt Fat Acid Heat (for when I have lots of ingredients, but no ideas. Not a cookbook per se, but gets my mind going)
Mandy’s Gourmet Salads (mostly for me, but they are sturdy salads when I can pull things out easily for the kids)
The recipe here is from the beloved Jenny Rosenstrach of Dinner, A Love Story. Her recipes are quintessential family dinner type of cooking. Easy to find ingredients, not overly fussy, likeable for adults and kids. While it may not be what you’d pull out for entertaining or something unique, it is dependable and practical, which is what we all need most nights. I have tried her brothy beans and this dish below and both were hits! Look forward to pulling from this for quick weeknight meals.
EGGPLANT + TOFU WITH SWEET HOT CHILI GLAZE // Serves 4
This was so delicious with all that sauce! I put mine in a lettuce wrap to get more greens in, or could see it with some thinly sliced cabbage.
Recipe from Weekday Vegetarians By Jenny Rosenstrach
(I reduced the amount of oil to personal preference)
1 15 oz. block of extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained and cubed
1/4 cup avocado or olive oil
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot
1 lb. eggplants, preferably graffiti, cubed
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup sweet-hot-chili glaze*
4 cups cooked rice
cilantro, sliced radishes, scallions, toasted cashews
Preheat the oven to 425’. Arrange one rack on the top rack and one on the middle. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl, toss the tofu cubes with half of both oils, soy sauce, cornstarch. Use a slotted spoon, place the tofu on one of the prepared pans.
In the same bowl, add the remaining oil and the eggplant, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place the eggplant on the other sheetpan.
Place the tofu on the top rack of the oven and eggplant on the middle rack. Bake until the tofu looks crispy and golden, 20 minutes. Remove the tofu to a shallow serving bowl, move the eggplant to the top rack and continue to roast another 10 minutes until golden.
Remove the eggplant and transfer it to the dish with the tofu. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the glaze over the tofu-eggplant mixture and gently toss to coat.
Serve over rice with desired garnishes.
SWEET HOT CHILI GLAZE
3 Tbsp. hot chili sauce (such as cholula or Pete’s)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (or vegan alternative, we love Miyokos)
fresh black pepper
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the chili sauce, honey, brown sugar, pinch of salt and simmer until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove the pan from the heat and while the mixture is hot, whisk in the butter to thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.