Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Eggplant and Soy Chicken with Brown Rice and Mixed Green Salad

The one thing I miss a lot about being away from NY, is the ease in finding vegan "meat" products.  There is a really great food coop here in Michigan that carries a ton of amazing, healthy, organic products, which I love, but I sometimes just really crave vegan chicken and other "fake" meats!  And they only carry veggie burgers, seitan, etc.  I remembered that there was this tiny, funky little health food store called Edson Farms that I literally had not been to for over ten years, and after finding out that it was still in business, I rushed over.  I remember that store carrying a ton of soy meat products.  After running over to the freezer section where those fake meats used to be, I was shocked to discover the same selection of veggie burgers and loaves that the coop carried.  There were only two packages of vegan "chicken strips" left in the freezer, which I immediately grabbed, for fear someone would take them, and rushed home. 

This just all goes to show how much I took for granted living in NY and the accessibility of really anything I wanted at any point.  Oh sure, I can and likely will order some fake meats online, but it was so much more fun and so much more interesting to be able to walk into a vegetarian supermarket and be able to purchase almost every item in there replicating all kinds of meats.  I was soooooo spoiled!  The whole reason I was wanting the soy chicken anyway was to make soy chicken and eggplant, a dish I used to get delivered to my apartment in Brooklyn all the time - pretty much every day I had off.  It was so delicious and I miss the ease and freedom of being able to pick up the phone and have something literally delivered right to my door.  So I found the soy chicken, had a couple Japanese eggplants in my fridge and made this dish.  It was out of control good!  Now I'll just have to have some soy chicken delivered and make this delicious dish again!  Yum!

Looks just like it did from Zen Vegetarian!

Omg, crazy good!

The whole delicious meal.  Just like in Brooklyn!

8 oz. soy chicken strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 small Japanese eggplants, halved and sliced on the diagonal
1/2 red onion, julienned
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1.  Place one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sized saute pan over medium heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the soy chicken strips and saute till browned and crispy.  Set aside.
2.  In the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Once the pan is hot, add the onion  and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until beginning to soften.
3.  Add the eggplant and saute, stirring frequently for several minutes.
4.  Place the lid on top of the pan and lower the heat slightly, allowing the eggplant to steam.
5.  After about 5 minutes of steaming, the eggplant should have softened.
6.  Add the mushroom soy sauce, filtered water, black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook for a couple minutes, or until the water evaporates about halfway and the sauce has thickened.
7.  Season to taste.  Serve over brown rice.  Enjoy with a nice side salad.  That's it!



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