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Flowers are good, but food is better.
Make a ton of this fantastic stew filled with Mediterranean flavors. Enjoy some for yourself, and deliver the rest takeout style to a friend in need. This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, so leftovers are encouraged.
Stomachs will be full and your friend friend, as well as Karma, will smile!
Eggplant Chickpea Stew with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
3 Japanese Eggplants
4 Small Sweet Potatoes (Or 2 Regular)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, 14.5 oz.
1 Can Chickpeas, Rinsed & Drained
1 Bell Pepper, Diced
¼ Cup Diced Red Onion
1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced
1 Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, 10 oz.
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar (Optional)
1-2 Tsp. Fresh Oregano & Basil, Roughly Chopped
½ Tsp. Smoked Paprika
Optional Topping: Grated White Cheddar Cheese
Optional Side: Steamed White Rice
Preheat oven to 400°F
Cut the Eggplant into one-inch chunks and layer on a baking sheet
Dice up the sweet potatoes a little thinner than the eggplant and layer onto a second baking sheet
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Toss together on the sheet
Roast for 12-15 minutes before tossing again and switching the oven rack each pan is on
Roast for another 12-15 minutes til tender and toasty
In your favorite skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil on high
Add the peppers and sauté for a few minutes before adding the onions, cooking for another couple of minutes to get some color on the veggies
Mix in the garlic and lower the heat to medium high
Pour in the tomatoes, juices and all
Season with the paprika, basil, oregano, and a teaspoon of salt and ½ a teaspoon of pepper, or to your preferred taste
Cover, lower the heat to medium and let the flavors come together for about 10 minutes
Add the frozen spinach and put the lid back on so it can thaw to be stirred into the sauce
Stir in the chickpeas
Lastly, incorporate the roasted eggplant into the stew
Package up each component separately in containers you are ok with potentially never seeing again. Although, my Grandmother taught me to always return an empty container with the request that it soon be filled with something delicious again.
A superb way to serve this would be to spoon a portion of rice onto a plate and smother with the eggplant chickpea stew. Cozy the roasted potatoes next to the stew and top the whole thing with freshly grated white cheddar cheese, then tear more fresh basil on the top.
You can also skip the rice for a less carb-filled version. Follow your heart!