Better late than never– baba ghanoush and summer stromboli

Vacation seems to throw everything off kilter, and no matter how long I’m gone for or where I go, I seem to need a vacation from my vacation!

D and I headed up to DC for the week to visit family, and while I won’t reveal my mom’s tried-and-true recipes, I DO want to share my new favorite place in the DC metro area. Yuan Fu is a place I drove by multiple times a week growing up and never considered as an option– why would I when I had ‘regular’ Chinese options?! After eating just 3 dishes, I can honestly say I wish I had known about this place years ago– it feels healthier both consciously and dining-wise, and I tried things I never would have considered before! Check out Yuan Fu next time you’re in the area– we got the Peking Duck, Sesame Beef, and the Triple Crispy Delight. Don’t be confused by the names–they name things using meat names to keep it simple.

Before we headed out on vacation though, we experimented with 2 new ways to use up the abundance of home-grown eggplant that are taking over the back yard so we wouldn’t come back to life-sized produce!  We didn’t create any recipes for these, but check out an amazing baba ghanoush recipe (a great car snack with pita and baby carrots!) and our stromboli with fresh garden vegetables. Instead of ham we used the roasted eggplant and some fresh basil from the garden, then our homemade sauce instead of anything canned; the pizza dough was homemade. Both were fantastic and didn’t require much prep work–you could even do the eggplant in advance and prep everything else the night you’re ready to eat!

Moving forward this week we have grilled jerk tofu with grilled pineapple and corn, sauteed mushrooms and brown rice, and some extra-speedy dinners to accommodate a busy week!

Do in advance:

Slice and salt eggplant and leave to sit for a few hours

Slice and salt eggplant and leave to sit for a few hours

What your eggplant should look like after resting

What your eggplant should look like after resting, before being roasted in the oven/grill

Day-of preparations:

Use your favorite marina sauce or make it from scratch -- ours has tempeh instead of ground beef

Use your favorite marina sauce or make it from scratch — ours has tempeh instead of ground beef

Our finished stromboli-- delicious!

Our finished stromboli– delicious! Add some grated Parmesan over the top for some extra salt!

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