{Dining in: Roasted eggplant mango and snap pea w/ soba noodles and my veggie obsession}

The temperature has been rising this past week and it’s finally feeling like summer has arrived. The heat has also got me craving fresh veggies…lots of them. 

Tonight’s recipe was inspired straight from my new book, Plenty – by Yotam Ottolenghi. What I love about this book is that the last pages have an index of vegetables and all the corresponding pages of recipes that use them. This way I can look in my fridge, see what I have, then consult these pages and find a recipe to draw inspiration from.

Dinner tonight was loosely based on Ottolenghi’s soba noodles with eggplant and mango

I chopped up 1/2 a sweet onion thinly, 3 cloves of garlic, diced 1 large super sweet mango and a couple handfuls of fresh organic snap peas into thin spears.

All into a bowl..

For the sauce I squeezed the juice of one orange..I picked up this cute little ceramic bird juicer while I was in Paris.

Mix it with a couple of tablespoons each of tahini (a sesame paste typically used in Mediterranean cuisine) and mellow miso paste (in health food/asian stores). Add in a drizzle of sesame oil, 2 tbsp of rice vinegar and a couple teaspoons of garlic chili sauce (the bottle with the green lid).

Pour this mixture over your veggies till they’re all nicely coated.

Set aside and cut up an eggplant lengthwise into slices, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of 5 spice powder on each slice. Roast at 400F for about 20 minutes till tender and caramelized. When slightly cooled, chop it up into cubes and add this to your veggie mixture.

Toss in one bundle of cooked soba noodles (follow instructions on package) and voila! Dinner is served..

Fresh flavours and lots of different textures going on here. The soft tender eggplant, crunchy crisp peas and the sweet melt-in-your-mouth mango chunks all enrobed in a creamy savoury sauce. Divine.

It tastes even better the next day when all the flavour intermingle in the fridge overnight.

Other meals the past couple weeks have included LOTS of broccolini, one of NEW favourite veggies..Blanched and topped with whisper thin shavings of grana padano and a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Simple, quick and bursting with flavour. My ideal kinda of meal after those 2 hour gym sessions after work.

Green stirfries with thick and chewy udon..

With more parts vegetable to noodles..

Or just straight up “whatever vegetables you have in the fridge” stirfries with just a touch of oil in a hot pan.

Topped with creamy crumbles of local sheep’s feta and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Deliciously filling…

But as much as I love vegetables, I still enjoy me some good ol’ bacon once in awhile.

I don’t eat meat very often (maybe once a week). But while I’m writing this post, I have a pot of chipotle pepper bacon jam simmering on the stove..reducing with bold flavourful ingredients like dark coffee, maple syrup and alderwood smoked salt.

I wish I could bottle that smell of my house right now and share it with you. Unbelievable. I’ll post the recipe soon, but in the meantime you can drool over the girl who inspired me here. Thanks Julie 🙂

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