Eggplant and Mushroom Saute for Tacos

I’ve often envied the delicious veggie tacos at Mexican restaurants, so I decided to try to replicate them. Whenever adapting a recipe based on one from a restaurant, I always know that it’s not going to turn out exactly the same because chefs have specific ratios and speciality ingredients that they use. That being said, every recipe I make is sure to have its own yummy and unique flavors too.

There are so many varieties of veggie tacos, and since I wanted one with lots of protein, I opted for an eggplant and portobello mushroom mixture. The great part about cooking for one is that I have a lot of leftovers and get to try the dish in many different forms. First, I ate the mixture in a cabbage lettuce wrap with salsa. Then, I added chickpeas to the mixture and had that as an entree. Don’t be afraid to try new combinations!

Eggplant and Mushroom Saute

Ingredients:

> 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces
> 2 medium portobello mushrooms, chopped
> 1 teaspoon chili powder
> 1 teaspoon ground cumin
> 1 teaspoon salt
> 1 teaspoon black pepper
> 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:

Combine eggplant, portobello mushrooms and spices in a medium bowl. Over medium heat, place olive oil in a large pan. Add mixture to pan, and cook for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through.

Assemble tacos or prepare for another dish.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from The Chubby Vegetarian.

Roasted Chickpea, Farro and Arugula Salad with Avocado

While winter often calls for heartier, more fattening dishes, salads are still my go-to meal because they are filled with vegetables and easy to whip up at the end of the day. To create the same savory factor that an eggplant parmesan or tomato bisque, I use spices that have a kick and incorporate roasted vegetables or grains. This salad combines roasted chickpeas, nutty farro, crisp arugula and plump tomatoes.

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Ingredients:

> 1 can chickpeas, drained
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 1/4 tablespoon cumin
> 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
> 1/4 tablespoon paprika
> 1/4 tablespoon chili powder
> salt and pepper
> 1/2 cup farro
> 3 cups arugula
> 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
> 1 avocado, cut in bite-size pieces
> 1/4 tablespoon dijon mustard
> 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
> 1/4 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Put chickpeas in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add cumin, curry powder, paprika and chili powder to medium bowl, and mix until well combined. Place on a baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine farro with 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. In a large bowl, combine arugula, cherry tomatoes, roasted chickpeas and cooked farro.

To make dressing, whisk together mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix dressing into salad, and top with avocado.

Makes 3 servings.

Original recipe.