Reintroduction: Legumes

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So, SO happy to eat some legumes. Firstly, I am madly in love with soy sauce, and happened to luck into some albacore tuna for this week’s fish share. That was a no brainer! I was also thrilled to discover that the soy sauce I had at home was tamari, and therefore gluten free, and THEREFORE good to go on legume day. Woot!!

Even looking at that picture now is making me drool.

Was also jonesing for some lentils, and we had a few leftover in the part of the cupboard that I shoved everything non-whole30 compliant before we started. So I whipped up some red lentil soup, yum yum yum!

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Oh, legumes! How I’ve missed you.

Lastly, I’ve been cooking for a service called Umi.Kitchen. I knew this was legume night, so I scheduled one of my favorite meals that I haven’t been able to eat: Sweet and Sour Eggplant with Tomatoes and Chickpeas. You can get the recipe from an old post of mine.

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It’s way, way good. I was so psyched to eat it.

All in all, I viewed legume day as a success. I maybe was a little gassy at the end of the night, but otherwise felt just fine, and today am fine as well. Also, I generally don’t eat so many legumes all at the same time…and also I’ve definitely been gassy while on the Whole30, so who knows really if it was the legumes. Further testing, necessary. Got up this morning and felt strong and good, did my run, back on the plan. What a delicious day!! Next up: non-gluten grains. (!!!) Coming Thursday.

Broiled Sardines with Stewed Tomatoes and Eggplant

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Ingredients:

  • About a pound of gutted, head on sardines
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • a handful of thyme
  • 1 large eggplant, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ghee or olive oil
  • fresh mint for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
  2. Arrange eggplant slices on a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cook in oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and fold foil over itself, sealing the edges to create a package. Set aside and allow to steam for 15 minutes or so.
  4. Turn oven up to broil.
  5. Meanwhile, add ghee or oil to a large heavy pot, melt and bring to a shimmer.
  6. Add tomatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, until tomatoes darken in color and cook down quite a bit.
  7. Add eggplant to the tomatoes along with the molasses. Cover and stew for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. While the mixture is stewing, wrap a slice of lemon around a couple of thyme sprigs and stuff inside a sardine. Repeat with all the sardines.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet over a high flame. Once the skillet is hot, add sardines and transfer to broiler. Broil 6 – 8 minutes until nicely browned.
  10. Transfer everything to platters; garnish the tomatoes and eggplant with fresh mint and squeeze fresh lemon and sprinkle fresh thyme over sardines.
  11. Eat immediately.

Sweet & Sour Eggplant, Tomatoes and Chickpeas with a Side of Tomato, Watermelon Feta Salad

 

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This may well be my new favorite dish. It hails from NY Times Cooking, and you can find the original recipe here. I always change some things based on how I like it, but I like to source the original recipe when there was one. Eggplant is one of those vegetables, for me, that I’m still trying to figure out, and learn how I like it…because often, I don’t like it. Well, I’ve definitely learned at least one way. I actually licked the bowl when I was done with this. It tastes better the next day, and even better the day after that. It also takes a while to prepare, so don’t be afraid to make it while eating something else, and saving this overnight to soak in all the flavors. But most importantly, eat this.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, halved lengthwise then cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, grated or peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh mint

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and oil it with olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices on top. Salt lightly and brush with olive oil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until the eggplant is lightly browned and soft to the touch (the surface will be dry). Remove from the heat, and fold over the foil to make a packet around the eggplant slices. Allow them to soften and steam inside the foil for 15 minutes while you proceed with Step 2.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy lidded casserole or skillet. Add the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, salt to taste, sugar and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell very fragrant.
  3. Add the eggplant, molasses and chickpeas. Cover and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. The mixture should be thick and the eggplant should be very tender, melting into the mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle on the parsley and/or mint, and serve. Alternately, allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Also featured is a tomato, watermelon, feta salad with fresh mint. Chop all ingredients, place in bowl, and drip on balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil. Yum!