When Taco Tuesday is blurred by the weather in Texas, hang on...it's going to a bumpy ride!
My Meatless Monday endeavors since the New Year have been making me put more thought into the post weekend meals. We typically get more indulgent on the weekend. Thinking about more positive choices since the New Year have been a goal of mine for our household. This past week was a busy week as we knew on Monday evening that we could receive several inches of snowfall in Central Texas. Seriously, folks Texas does get snowfall now & again. I have friends who are shocked each time they hear we had snow in Texas! A state of this size has alot to offer weather wise & as the old saying goes: "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute & it will change". This Meatless Monday I was busy planning a meal while; figuring out which plants I needed to drag into the house from the garden or were worth salvaging after our previous freezes this Winter.
When the weather folks talk about the three P's.....plants, pets & pipes you had better buckle down & prepare for a real cold snap! I've recently heard family stories of storms in the Hill Country in the 1930's which caused my Grandfather, Aunts & Uncles to haul all the baby livestock into the old Ranch house in Hayes County & bottle feed dozens of goats & sheep in front of the fireplaces for days while the storms raged & the countryside froze. It is a fact in the Lone Star state it can & will drop as much as 50 degrees within hours when a Texas Blue Northern front blasts down through the plains. By Tuesday morning the Austin area had sleet & snow flurries. I saw larger snowflakes than I even remember from living in Alaska as a child. Across Texas weather forecasters & bloggers were in a frenzy as the road crews covered the bridges & overpasses with sand. School age kids were excited to be released early from school & our local golf courses turned ski slopes for an afternoon. We may not see snow often here in Texas but when we do it is a sight to behold & everyone enjoys the excitement.
Of course I digress from the Meatless Monday since Snowy Tuesday temporarily replaced Taco Tuesday at our home!(sheesh!!!)Weather truly was the big event of the week. But quite possibly the best meal of the week was the meatless meal which always gives us a little bounce to our step & manages to make us feel a bit more virtuous for a few days. Taco Tuesday? Well let me just say this Tuesday I thought a pot of soup was good for the soul. Next Tuesday we will tackle the tacos again!
For a little history about Meatless Monday, long before the modern food movement made it cool & hip....Please, people! We reinvent the wheel over & over again. Everything is a cycle, the longer I live the more I realize what is "in" one moment, will be back again if you wait long enough. Thank goodness, this movement is back again~
Two of my top 10 favorite ingredients, how can any meal be bad with Artichokes & Mushrooms?
Artichoke & Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant
1 1 1/4 lb Eggplant
2 tsp. Olive Oil
1 cup Onions, chopped
1 cup Mushrooms, chopped
1 cup frozen Artichoke hearts, thawed & chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Basil
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1/4 cup Vegetable stock *more may be added if needed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Cut Eggplant in half, lengthwise, carefully scoop pulp out leaving 1/4 inch shell on the outside. I use a melon scoop to help with scooping process. Chop pulp into 1/4 inch pieces. Preheat oven to 350*.
Heat oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant pulp, onions, mushrooms, artichoke hearts & garlic. Add spices, soy sauce & stock. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently until vegetables are tender. During this process if more liquid is needed add more vegetable stock to keep the eggplant mixture moist. Remove from heat & stir in rice & half of the cheese.
Lightly oil a shallow baking dish. Spoon cooked mixture into eggplant shells. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the tops. Pour 1/4 inch liquid either stock or water into the bottom of the dish so the eggplant shells will steam tender. Cook uncovered 30 minutes.