Daily Dinner Table

Ideas for dinner tonight. Household and kitchen tips, recipes, tweaks. What's worked great, and not so great.

Almost Home-made Eggplant and Spinach “meat” sauce

Hmmm, looking at that title doesn’t exactly make your mouth water. Whenever you put the word meat in quotation marks doesn’t foster a rush to the tastebuds! However, in my quest to eat less, if any, animal products, I was still wanting the taste and texture of meat, but not, well…. meat. I never understood this before. When my son, David, wanted chicken or beef, but was looking for tasty alternatives, (he’s vegan) I always said, if you want it, why don’t you just have it? Well, I now understand. I apologize for all those years of ignorance David!  Since the beginning of July, I have been vegetarian, if not vegan. I have had 3 servings of fish, and 1 bite of steak (on my  birthday at my absolute favorite restaurant. It was my go to favorite celebratory meal. My husband ordered it, and I had one bite) Delicious, but different now somehow. I also have had a sprinkling of cheese that I couldn’t get off a restaurant salad. I’m not going crazy with it, it’s just a preference now. I am not saying I will never eat dairy, meat, fish or fowl again, but I firmly believe I will at the minimum stick to the 90% rule of eating vegan 90% of the time. We’ll see, time will tell. I have always loved vegetables, so it’s actually very easy for me. I have always had a problem eating animal protein if I actually thought about what it was I was eating.  When I’d catch a fish off of our dock, I had a hard time keeping it. My husband would have to whisk it off and do the deed without me seeing. It actually made me a more mindful, thankful consumer. This will probably sound whacky to most of you, but I would think how that little fish gave it’s life for my body’s nourishment. I was very appreciative of it, and it forced me to appreciate it that much more. However, it still made me rather sad. Ugh. Now you know what kind of woos I am. ( I don’t know how to spell woos, but you get the message.) I actually think I’m getting more so the older I get. Top that with all of the antibiotics, added colors, poor farming practices, and just plain junk that goes into animal raising, that’s why I’m doing this. I feel  great. I pretty much always have, but even better now. I feel like my whole body is cleaner. Ok, enough rambling. Back to this sauce. It’s full of veggie nutrient and I found a great product to use as …. here we go again with the quotation marks..”meat”. My husband didn’t know it wasn’t ground beef.  It’s a great product to give a go if you are so inclined. Of course, you can always use ground beef or turkey also. This sauce can be used on top of spaghetti, for sloppy joes, to use in pasta dishes such as lasagne, or penne. With the added spinach, it packs a great punch of added fiber and nutrients. The almost homemade part is I used an organic commercial spaghetti Sauce, cutting the work load immensely.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 package Yves meatless ground veggie cuisine or ground beef, turkey.

1 1/2 c  peeled, cubed eggplant

1 portobello mushroom, diced

2 cups torn baby spinach

1 T minced garlic

1/2 c diced onion

2 T Amore’ Tomato paste

1/4 c chopped fresh basil

1/2- 1 c Cabernet wine

Olive oil (garlic infused preferred)

In large pan over medium heat, add a sprinkling of olive oil. Sweat garlic and onion until softens and aromatic. Add eggplant and a bit more olive oil if necessary. When the eggplant is browned slightly, add mushroom, gently cook till dark. Add tomato paste, a splash of wine and stir. Add veggie cuisine , stirring to break up and blend ingredients. Add spaghetti sauce and remaining wine stirring gently. Cover and simmer for a few miniutes just to blend flavors. Add spinach, stirring gently until wilted. Cook on low, covered to meld the flavors. You can use this as a pasta sauce or a great healthy sloppy joe. Top with cheese or I found some vegan cheese that’s pretty darn good! Hope you enjoy.

just added the spinach





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