Thursday, May 29, 2014

Eggplant - Kale - Broccolini Melange with Jade Pearl Rice (No Added Fat)

We stopped by the mid-week farmer's market on the way home and got some nice produce, including green garlic, fingerling potatoes, eggplant, and baby leeks. My daughter was hungry when we got home and wanting some organic ramen noodles; I prepared them without the flavor packet and served her seitan, kale, carrot, toast with homemade strawberry jam, and cantaloupe.

For my wife and me, I made a mélange of eggplant, kale, and broccolini in the Instant Pot. I made a side dish of creamy Jade pearl rice, and served tomatoes with hemp seed.

  • Baby golden beet root, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Small unpeeled organic eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Stalk of broccolini, cut into 1" lengths
  • Bunch kale, leaves hand torn from stems (stems composted) into approximately 1" squares
  • 8 ounces seitan strips cut into 1 1/2" lengths
  • Organic green garlic. I had a big 3' or so stalk that I brought home today from the farmer's market. I trimmed out the darker green leaves and saved half the remaining length of the stalk. I cut the bottom half of the stalk into 1/4" slices and diced the bulb into 1/4" cubes. (Three cloves of diced garlic would substitute fine.)
  • (Optional) Okra, sliced into 1/2" pieces, stem end removed. I only add this as I had five small okras left and wanted to use them up, but the dish would be fine without.
  • 10 baby carrots cut into 3/4" lengths
  • 1/2 t salt ( reduced sodium garlic pepper Koyo brand ramen noodles (sea salt, mushroom powder, onion and garlic powder, sugar, garlic, chili pepper, ginger, black pepper, black sesame seed, green onion, kombu powder
  • 1c boiling water (boiling water reduces the time for the Instant Pot to come to temperature, but room temperature water can certainly be used)

  1. High pressure cooking time for small intact beet roots is 11-13m, broccolini 2-4m, greens like kale 3-6m, and eggplant chunks 2-3m. Since I used chopped beet, I thought that we would be good with a 4m cooking time. I put all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot.
  2. I closed the instant pot, keeping the steam release valve in the off position, as normal, and set a manual time of 4m cooking under high pressure.
  3. When the pot was done, I turned it off. To hasten dinner's serving, I put a damp towel on top of the instant pot. When I was ready to serve, I carefully let out remaining steam by slowly turning the steam release valve on, mixed, and served.
I also made some Jade pearl rice. It is made in a 1 : 1 1/2 ratio over 20m. I like to add a vegan bouillon cube, but we're out. I put in a stainless Saladmaster pan a bit of red onion and sautéed with no added fat for 2 or 3m till somewhat clear, then added maybe a teaspoon of finely chopped ginger, stirred for a half minute, then added the rice and water (and, if I had it, I'd have added a vegan bouillon cube). I brought to a boil then simmered, covered, for 20m.


Dinner was nutritious and good. But the pressure cooking homogenized the flavors. In particular, the  eggplant, broccolini, and okra had little flavor. The beet and carrot were good. The seitan somehow had lost some flavor.

Dinner certainly was more than acceptable, but I think it could have been tastier. We added some hot sauce at the table, but that didn't help that much.

Ideas for the future

I should have added seitan at the end and just had it warmed and not cooked. If I really want to cook with so many vegetables, perhaps a better approach is to puree some or all and make a soup. Or I could cook the eggplant, broccolini, and okra a little bit less, not cook the seitan, and also add some finely chopped raw onion in just before serving.

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