Categories: Bell Peppers, Chili Peppers, Dinner, Eggplant, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Quick Meals, Recipes By Rachel Oberg, Recipes-General, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegan, Vegetarian Ingredients: Bell Pepper, Chili Powder, Eggplant, Feta Cheese, Hot Pepper, Lettuce, Olive Oil, Onion, Salt, Tomato, Vinegar
This is one of those meals that’s made with ingredients that I didn’t used to think I liked. Eggplant and squash are things I’m excited about when summer arrives. That didn’t use to be the case.
I remember making Eggplant Parmesan before I knew about some of the nuances of eggplant. I ended up with an undercooked, rubbery, not at all yummy dish. We might have had cereal that night after we choked down as much as we could. I think I will try it again sometime soon. See how it turns out. ‘Cause I’ve learned a few things, so maybe it’ll be a success.
One of the things that I do now is salt the sliced eggplant and let it rest for a while to draw out the bitterness.
I’ve also learned that eggplant will soak up a lot of the oil, so it’s ok to cook it in a dry pan for a while, then add the oil later. I used both of these tips today. Cooking the eggplant in a dry pan to start lets them crisp up without getting all oil laden and soggy.
I started making my own tortillas recently. I’ve been using a recipe from Brown Eggs & Jam Jars for flour tortillas. I’ve yet to try corn tortillas, but I think they’d be fun to make too. Use whatever kind taste best to you. And if you’re feeling adventurous, make them from scratch (because there’s not much that compares to a still warm homemade tortilla wrapped around the taco filling)!
This was a quick and easy meal. The prep time was short, most of it getting done while the eggplant sat with the salt. The eggplant cooking took just a few minutes. I love meals like this!
Normally we have salsa and yogurt on tacos. But, I forgot to buy or make any. And I’m kinda glad about that. I had some feta in the fridge from another dish, so I used that instead. What a good idea! As I’ve said before, I love to use what I have on hand. Our grocery budget is small and I try to cook pretty frugally. And, happily, we might end up with dishes like this where expensive extras aren’t really needed.
You can make these tacos to suit your tastes. If you’re looking for a vegan dish, just replace the feta with some crumbled tofu, or omit the cheese altogether. If you want to add meat, chicken, pork, or beef would be great. If you want to add more protein, but keep it vegetarian or vegan, lentils would be excellent. And, if you think it sounds great just the way it is, go for it! Either way, it’s full of fabulous summer veggies: eggplant, tomato, and summer squash, a winning combination no matter how you slice ’em.
- 1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled and sliced about 1/4″ thick
- 2 t olive oil
- 1/4 t chili powder
- 2 tortillas (flour or corn)
- 1-2 C lettuce, shredded
- 1/2 C summer squash, thinly sliced and chopped
- 1/4 C bell pepper (optional), chopped
- 2 T red onion, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced
- 1/4 C feta cheese (or extra firm tofu), crumbled
- pinch salt
- white vinegar
- Sprinkle eggplant with salt and let stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Slice into strips. Heat a dry skillet. Remove from heat and add eggplant (being careful not to overcrowd the pan). Cook over medium heat for about 1 minute on the first side. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Ad oil, salt, and chili powder. Cook for 1 minute, flip and cook for about 1 minute more, or until eggplant is crispy.
- Warm tortillas if desired. Top with eggplant and lettuce through feta (or tofu). Sprinkle with salt and splash with vinegar.