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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fun in the Fan and Food

Sunday was our day-about-town; we rode our bikes around and ate and went shopping in Carytown- it was a rare and fabulous treat.

For lunch and coffee we hit up Crossroads in the Fan...back when I worked in the physics department at VCU I would walk over there in the afternoon, get a delicious latte, and grade papers for quantum physics with my trusty, much-used red pencil...Ah, the memories of simpler times. I don't think I ever spent an afternoon there without randomly meeting up with friends.

As we did this time - that's my friend Danielle pictured on the left, singer for local band The Hotdamns - Richmond's best alt-country! Have a listen.

We each got salads topped with blackened tofu and the squash soup of the day, and sugar-free soy lattes of course. Both the tofu and soup were really flavorful and the soup was unabashedly spicy; I'd had doubts about going out and just ordering soup and a salad but we actually had to walk our bikes for a while because I was too full. To top the afternoon off, they had about 10 books by one of my favorite science fiction authors at Creatures 'n Crooks a local sf and fantasy book shop with a big fluffy gray cat that likes dogs. Dogs like our dog Gretchen.

Mmmm, stuffed eggplant - one of my favorites.
This recipe was adapted from one in
Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. If you don't have a large slow cooker, just cook it in a pan in the oven at about 375 for like an hour. Poke it with something periodically to see when it's tender but not so tender it falls apart.

  • 1 eggplant, halved lengthwise
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils, cooked & drained
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat grain of some sort - I used quinoa, but bulgur or brown rice is good too
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 c water
  • salt-free seasoning or small amount of salt and pepper to taste
Scoop out the inside of the eggplants, leaving shells about 1/4 in thick and chop up the flesh. Saute it in a bit of water with the next 3 ingredients about 5 minutes.

Mix it all up with the lentils and the grain of choice.

Add salt and pepper or salt replacer.

Put the shells in crockpot or pan and stuff them with filling.

Mix up the remaining ingredients and pour over top.

Cook in crockpot on low for 4 to 5 hrs or in oven at 375 for 1 hr. That's it! It looks fancy, but it's not too hard to put together and it's quite filling I think partly due to the spiciness.

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