Eggplant Rice Bowls: Unless you often make vegetables your main course, you probably haven’t tried this combination. The bowl has rice on the bottom (seasoned to your liking), a thick layer of eggplant cooked with onions and green beans, and is topped with sweet potato, to even out the flavors.
It’s not exactly what I’d consider a salad, but the recipe is based off one found in Salad Love by David Bez. Maybe what makes this a salad is the fact that it has a dressing — olive oil infused with crushed red pepper.
Salad Love has many “salads” like this: simple bowls with healthy grains and vegetables. There are also recipes for the traditional leafy green salads, but the majority are non-traditional salad bowls. There’re bowls with bases of beans and rice, couscous, pasta, quinoa, you name it! With 260 recipes, the varieties are pretty endless (plus, most recipes give suggestions for vegan, pescatarian, or omnivore alternatives).
Every recipe is accompanied by a crisp photo that beautifully portrays how the salad should be prepared and served. The book is extremely uniform and simple. Each page has its picture and ingredients listed, and no time is wasted with instructions because the photo pretty clearly shows how the plate will be tossed together. With that, anyone in a rush can quickly whip up their lunch or dinner.
For those wanting more guidance with their recipes, there is a very informative introduction that explains the anatomy of a salad and how to design one for yourself. There are also dressing recipes, from vinaigrettes to creamy sauces.
Although this is a great book to have on hand for anyone looking to eat a bit healthier or to revive their daily salad, after a while the recipes start to seem pretty repetitive. Not only that, but many of the recipes call for cooked meat or fish or vegetables, but there are no instructions for how these ingredients should be prepared. All the recipe has is a list of ingredients. This is definitely more a book on ideas than recipes, and if ideas are what you’re looking for, then get yourself a copy.
For now, you can settle with this recipe (and don’t worry — instructions are included:).
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1 eggplant, drained*
- 1/2 red onion
- handful (about 1/2 cup) green beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil (for cooking)
- 1 sweet potato
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cilantro, to top
- about 4 cups of cooked rice
- Combine the 1/4 cup olive oil and red pepper flakes in a small dish. Cover and allow to sit.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Dice the eggplant in one-inch pieces. Cut the green beans into one-inch slices. Place these vegetables in a 9x13inch baking pan, tossing them together with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle black pepper on top. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Cut the sweet potato in 1/2-inch round slices. Cut each slice in quarters. Lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping half-way through. Potato is ready when fork can easily be inserted into a slice. Slice the red onion.
- Serve each bowl with large spoonful of rice, a layer of veggies, a couple of slices of sweet potato, a handful of cilantro, and a drizzle of the red pepper-infused olive oil.
- *To drain egg plant, cut in round, 3/4-inch thick slices. Lay the slices flat on a baking tray or a rack. Sprinkle salt over every slice (it’s ok to be generous here). Allow to drain for at least an hour. Wipe salt off with paper towels. Repeat if necessary.
FTC Disclaimer: This book has been provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.