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2011 August 9
by Thehousedaddy

Noah and I might be the only ones who like eggplant in our house at the moment. Over the last few years Sasha has gone back and forth. Virginia has never really liked it. Sometimes it is ok for her, but she has a texture issue. She never craves it and doesn’t get as excited as Noah and I do at the market. When they are so little and perfect I can’t resist. There is always that moment when I can’t believe that they are not loved by all as much as they are by me and I buy a huge bag of them.

I am really lucky because our family for the most part isn’t very particular. Sasha can be a bit of a contrarian and sometimes balks at what we make, but for the most part he is pretty good about eating. I never make him anything different, and I don’t lie to him about ingredients ever. We try to always be honest with them and hope they will return the courtesy down the road. With that said, we are pretty strict about preparing one meal and not offering different dinner options for everyone. For us, meals are about sharing and experiencing food together. We all sit together until everyone is finished. I will never claim to be an authority on parenting, but it works really well for us and I look more forward to our mealtimes than anything else.

I do, however, usually ask what everyone feels like and give some choices with the ingredients we have. I remember on occasion, in my restaurant, parents would ask us for a kid’s menu or if we could make something special for their children. I never understood why kids should eat any differently than their parents. I am not saying that my kids are perfect and sometimes Sasha has known to be a little difficult, but I don’t see why dinning needs to be a different experience for children. Eating is so important to us and we truly love to eat together. I just can’t imagine having to cook different meals or eat in places that serve food for kids. Don’t go there and you won’t need to go there.

As gluten free vegans you really want to do whatever you can to not limit your food choices even more. Last night I was feeling game again so when Noah was home from camp with a fever from an infected tick bite, we conspired to give the gorgeous little eggplants a go. We decided to do our own version of the classic Greek Moussaka. I have written about not using fake products that are highly processed. We never use any faux meats or chicken. I feel like we have so many good options when it comes to cooking vegan that we don’t need to go there. It isn’t a rule, but I truly don’t crave or desire meat so I certainly don’t feel the need to recreate it. I don’t want to preach to anyone and I don’t have a problem at a dinner or a barbeque if someone is cooking or eating meat. We just choose not to. That being said, I like soy cheese on occasion. “Follow Your Heart” brand mozzarella is our favorite and we use it for all our dishes that are Mediterranean based. For Mexican or our version of Mex we use their Monterey Jack. We don’t use a ton of it, but if we do, “Follow Your Heart” is our brand. Every so often I feel compelled to try something else, but it never comes close.

For this dish we decided to use the grill again. I know everyone is as tired of hearing me complain about the heat as they are of the heat itself but keeping the heat outside was an essential part of the dish. This dish takes no time to put together, but it does take a while to cook. In a casserole that was my mothers and reminds me of the 80’s, I coated the bottom with olive oil. I then cleaned all the little baby eggplants and covered the bottom of the dish. I added chopped onions, scapes, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Everything came from Twin Springs with the exception of the garbanzo beans. I also added fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and a little medium grind corn flower to the mix and then covered the top with grated mozzarella. It took five minutes to prep and put the veggies together. I had soaked the garbanzos the day before, but you can use canned beans if you didn’t plan ahead. I then put it on the grill with a medium flame on all the burners and walked away. It took about 45 minutes to cook and the only checking I did was a slight poke of the eggplants to make sure they were done.

The arugula from the market has been amazing so we did a simple salad to go with dish. I love the combination of hot and cold together and the cleanness of the greens makes a great contrast to the dish.

So Sasha wasn’t captivated. He tried the eggplant and ate some, but he devoured the rest of the dish and didn’t complain. Virginia loved it and while I always go for a total victory, three out of four ain’t bad.

One Response leave one →
  1. August 21, 2011

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