15-minute Greek Eggplant and Feta Pasta for Lunch

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Throughout all this craziness of falling in and out of love with Straight-upBananas for the past 4 months, one thing has remained constant. I still love to cook, and I still looooove to eat — it’s just somewhere in the middle, the whole sharing bit that has me feeling a bit confused.

Yesterday’s easy, quick lunch was one of my favorite go-tos when I don’t know what to have, or my fridge is starting to run on low…pasta!

This pasta dish is garlicky, creamy and oh-so slurping good!

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or a full-on omnivore, this recipe could be tweaked for any kind of quick lunch, dinner or even breakfast (who are you kidding, we all know at some point we’ve had something not very breakfast-y for breakfast — don’t lie).

Ingredients

  • Any type of whole-wheat pasta (I like OrganicLarder)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, sliced
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar (or a squeeze of lemon)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Chopped dill, basil, or thyme (whichever you like best, or have in your fridge)
  • A sprinkle of good-quality crumbled feta cheese (if not vegan)

 

Here’s how to make it

  • First, make sure you put about 2 liters of water  with a nice amount of sea salt to boil for every two portions of pasta (the equation for the correct ratio per person still eludes me. That photo up there was enough for about 3 people, but I ate all of it…alone.)
  • Second, in a large pan, dry fry* (no oil) your eggplant till it gets nice and nearly charred.
  • Then, add your olive oil to the eggplant, and fry up the garlic till nice and golden. Then, add the tomatoes and vinegar or lemon and let the tomatoes stew up nicely and medium-high heat.
  • To the boiling water, add the pasta and cook as the instructions direct (usually about 7-9 minutes).
  • Add some of the starchy pasta water to the sauce in your saucepan and cook for a few more minutes with the sauce till it get’s nice and creamy and reduces. Add the dill to the sauce.
  • Drain the cooked pasta, and add it to the sauce and mix well.
  • Then, serve the pasta with its sauce, and taste it. Add salt and pepper (keeping in mind that your feta cheese will add a dimension of salt to the dish. So do not overdo the salt).
  • Serve in a plate and crumble some feta on top. If you’re feeling extra frisky and have the time, you could even add some chopped up Greek Kalamata olives to the sauce (again, watch the salt).

*The reason  I like to ‘dry’ fry my eggplants is that eggplants tend to act like a sponge when it comes to absorbing oil or water. When you sort of toast them in the pan, they cook through without absorbing the olive oil–making the sauce a lot lighter and less greasy.

I love this recipe. The flavor is so mousakka-ish, but minus the fried eggplants, and the time-consuming assembly. Plus there’s slurpy pasta there, so that’s a win if I ever did see one — no?

Give this recipe a shot, and give me a little shout out. Did you like it? Did you friggin hate it? Either way, I’d love to hear from you.

And since you’re here…why not follow me on Instagram, too?

 

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Easy, healthy, vegan banana and oat bread

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It’s for some settling down, I reckon. I’ve been traveling and jumping from one event to the next like a headless chicken–all the while keeping my precious startup afloat and running.

I can with all the confidence in the world say that quitting my 9-6 was the best jump into oblivion I’ve ever made. I can also say with all the confidence in the world that it is NOT easy. Some days are gloriously productive and you feel like every inch in this beautiful Universe is mustering up the absolute energy to help you shine indefinitely…other days, I don’t have time to brush my teeth, the gas on my cooker finishes right in the middle of a shoot and my clients just aren’t happy with the copy they’ve gotten.

At the moment, I’m trying my best to harvest all my energy into making those seemingly ‘crappy days’ tolerable. I try to remind myself that they’re but inevitable snags in an otherwise tight-knit sweater with all the trimmings that I’ve ever wanted.

I’m not quite sure if my verbal diarrhea makes any sense to anyone that is not inside my head, but what I’m trying to get at is that I’m trying desperately to teach myself that life isn’t only about waiting and anticipating to experience one cool thing and then desperately wait for the next, it’s about taking in that exciting new trip, harvesting it, letting it soak in, letting it change you in some profound way and then channeling that energy, that change into something that translates and permeates your life so that the days of mundanity are also glorious.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, what a bunch of bull crap, where’s the recipe for the banana bread I was promised…and to that I say, hold your horses, it’s coming right up. It’s simple, quick, vegan and healthy. It’s full of fiber, no added processed sugar. From start to finish, in an hour you’ll have gloriously spiced banana bread–but more importantly, the most pivotal ingredient in this recipe is that you need overly ripe bananas. So essentially, you need something you thought you didn’t. Something that’s shelf life you thought was over. Something you no longer found importance in.

Just like everything you’ve ever had part of your life, not everything you no longer see importance in is garbage. Let’s you and I, work together, to find out what it is in our beautiful selves that is worth keeping, worth growing, and worth discarding.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup of organic maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup of almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseeds mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water (set aside for 5 minutes)

 

 

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (approximately 300°F).
  2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, oat flour, cinnamon, sea salt and ginger.
  3. Add the mashed ripe bananas, maple syrup, flaxseed mix, milk and mix well.
  4. Add the baking powder and baking soda and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Let the mixture set for 5 minutes so the baking soda can start reacting with the mixture.
  6. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pour the mixture into it.
  7. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until knife runs clear.
  8. Let cool and enjoy J

Oh and since you’re here, follow me on Instagram, por favor! ❤

We also had a nice “creamy” lentil soup packed with vitamins and antioxidants! How’s that for clean eating?

I had some of the best food I’ve had in a while last night, but today I need to to easy on my poor stomach. I had lots of fruits and smoothies for breakfast and this soup and a salad for lunch.

How do you like to restore balance in your stomach?

Check out my blog Www.straight-upbananas.com

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Our meal today for Meatless Monday is a vegan and super-food version of a Palestinian favorite: bamyah! You’ve got a super saucy bowl of thick okra stew with loads of thyme, parsley, and ginger and a fluffy pile of organic quinoa topped with some balsamic vinegar! Oh yes!

I’ll upload the recipe on my blog later on tonight at Www.straight-upbananas.com

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This is what a typical lazy Saturday afternoon looks like in the Abul Hasan’s household! On the right you’ve got smoked eggplant, blue cheese, caramelized onions and parmesan cheese pizza and the left figs, gorgonzola, and a balsamic reduction. Absolutely friggin delicious!

For more recipes check out my blog Www.straight-upbananas.com

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I would like to declare this post a ‘No Judgement Zone’. I decided to shamelessly make myself a pizza for brunch!

This pizza has caramelized onions, blue cheese, figs, and a balsamic reduction with scattered fresh basil.
It was a thing of beauty, I must say!

For more recipes check out Www.straight-upbananas.com

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Today’s breakfast was a Mexican festival of colors! Scrambled eggs with bell peppers, jalapeños, spinach, and cumin on toasted wholegrain tortillas! So damn good if I say so myself!

For more recipes check out my blog Www.straight-upbananas.com

#foodporn #food #nomnomnom #tumblrfood #diet #detox #uae #abudhabi #الامارات #ابوظبي #دبي #uaefood #mydubai #healthy #healthyeating #healthyliving #eggs #organic #mexican #amman #jordan #palestine #fresh #lunch #fastfood #good4u #yummyfood #easy #easyfastfood #simple #simplefood #simplerecipes #healthyrecipes #healthyfastfood #vegan #vegetarian #raw #rawtill4 #dubaiblogger #foodblogger #dubai #foodie #foodgasm