After suffering the effects of a stomach virus for just over a week now and having a diet confined to Vegemite on toast, plain rice and corn thins, I have missed cooking sorely!
Tonight was the first time I have cooked, let alone eaten, a ‘proper’ meal since getting sick. Even though I longed to go crazy in the kitchen, I wanted to start with something fairly plain (just not as plain as plain as last night’s bowl of brown rice with a tiny bit of veggie stock sprinkled over it) to ease my stomach back into real food.
I opted for some fairly soft, non-acidic vegetables – courgette and aubergine but added slightly riskier tomatoes; I’m wild like that. I considered steaming the veg but steamed aubergine sounds a bit gross so I decided to fry the veggies but in the smallest amount of oil possible. They almost dry-fried. Since I wasn’t going to use any sauces or condiments, I decided to cook them a bit slower than my usual stir-frying, so they would char a little to add flavour. It worked really well and gave the veggies a slight smoky flavour, almost like they’d been grilled.
Now, I’m not posting this recipe as some sort of culinary genius or inspirational dish but instead for anyone – perhaps also getting over an illness – looking for something quick and easy and also mild on a sensitive stomach. And also because I miss posting recipes and didn’t think Vegemite on toast would quite cut it…
Charred Courgette & Aubergine
Splash of olive oil
1/2 a medium courgette, cut into thick chunks
1/4 a medium aubergine, sliced into 1cm rings then into bite-sized chunks
6 baby plum tomatoes
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
Few springs of fresh basil
1. Heat oil on high in large heavy-based pan. Add courgette pieces to pan, making sure flesh side is down and cook for 3-4 minutes until charred.
2. Turn courgette pieces over with tongs to fry the other side. Add aubergine pieces to pan and turn after 2 minutes.
3. Fry until both sides of courgette and aubergine are lightly charred, then add tomatoes to the pan, squeeze lemon juice over the top and stir fry until tomatoes have softened. Add basil to pan and stir through until wilted.
Serve over rice.
Normally I would douse this kind of thing in garlic and chilli but alas, my stomach is not quite ready for such craziness. However, the lemon juice did give the dish a nice zing and the charred flavour really came through.
And how did the stomach fare? So far, so good… I think it’s just happy to be eating flavours again! And vegetables. Oh, how I have missed vegetables. Fingers crossed this is the start of my return to proper food!