As promised, I did actually make something without apples this week. 🙂
For some reason, I have a tendency to want to call anything I make in the skillet a “stir fry”. However, I rarely “fry” anything as I try to avoid using oils in my cooking, and I tend to employ a mix of sauteing and steaming depending upon my mix of vegetables. Whatever you want to call it, this type of meal is one I resort to frequently.
As long as you have a tasty sauce, you can make just about any mix of vegetables come together for a skillet meal. This particular combination was inspired by the beautiful graffiti eggplant I got from the farmers market last weekend. Other times, I use whatever I have left in the vegetable bin at the end of the week.
I will admit to using store-bought sauce in a pinch, but a blender sauce like this one takes just minutes to put together and has no added sugar and much less sodium than most you can find in the store. I love the sweetness and the acidity of the pineapple mixed with the pungent garlic and kick of the fresh ginger. It was a great flavor combination for my lovely eggplant and earthy mushrooms!
I do not like things quite as spicy as my boyfriend, so he added some hot sauce for serving. I also err on the side of caution when using soy sauce or other salty element. You can always add a little extra at the end if it needs a boost, but you can never take it back if you put too much at the start!
Makes 6-8 Servings
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 onion, peeled & diced (about 1 cup)
- 1-2 eggplant, chopped (about 4 heaping cups)
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
- 1 (8-ounce) pack sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake)
- 1 1/2 cups shelled organic edamame, fresh or frozen is fine
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
For the Pineapple Sauce
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple + the core, also chopped*
- 2-3 large garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1/4 cup water
Add all of your sauce ingredients to a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Set aside.
Cook your quinoa according to the package instructions. Set aside until the vegetables are done.
Place your chopped onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until starting to brown. Add a splash of water as needed and stir frequently to prevent sticking. Next add your chopped eggplant and broccoli with a few more tablespoons of water. Stir and cover with the lid to steam for 10 minutes.
Uncover and add your mushrooms to the skillet, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes over medium heat. Finally, add your edamame and the pineapple sauce. Reduce to low and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce has thickened.
Mix in your cooked quinoa and sliced green onions, and you are ready to serve!
*You can omit the core if it is easier to get pre-cut fruit or canned. Just add in another half cup of the pineapple! The core contains a lot of the beneficial digestive enzymes (bromelain) so I try to use it when I can.