Roasted Butternut & Eggplant with Tahini Miso Dressing {vegan}

roasted eggplant & butternut miso tahini sauce

Roasting brings out amazing qualities in vegetables – especially with squash and eggplant. High heat creates little cubes of excellence – caramelized and golden on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside.

This tahini miso dressing is vegan luxury. Savory and creamy, it’s a lovely way to tie together a salad of warm roasted vegetables and fresh green herbs. I used cilantro, but you can use parsley or a combination of the two.

This salad makes a great side dish or a whole meal when served over a bed of rice or quinoa with some toasted flaked almonds.

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Homemade Labneh and Quesadillas


I feel fairly at ease attempting the basics in the kitchen – sautéing, roasting, chopping, boiling, broiling. I’ve got those on lock.

And then there are other kitchen endeavors that I’ve learned to avoid. Pastry, for example, is not something I’m down with on a regular basis. Nor is deep-frying or preserving.

Normally something like making one’s own cheese seems like dicey territory, but yogurt cheese – or labneh – is where it’s at for us novices. All that’s involved is a little stirring and a bit of patience.

Labneh is almost like a Middle Eastern cream cheese, spreadable, creamy and a little tart. And super easy to make.

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Eggplant and Butternut Squash Bake

eggplant and butternut lasagna

I know, I know. I’m the worst.

I haven’t written. I’ve been in a hole of nine-to-five-ing. During the week I’ve been getting up to exercise at 6 am and not getting back home until almost 7 pm.

I’ve been cooking all along, but mostly after the sun is almost gone and there’s no pretty light. The food itself  hasn’t been the cutest. It’s been nourishing combinations of vegetables that don’t necessarily look that great, but it’s exactly what I need.

And eggs. There’s been a lot of eggs consumed.

On the weekends, I’ve been cooking too – and even taking a few pictures of the process. But mentally I’ve just been too lazy to put words to paper/screen. That’s real life.

I’m going to do better. I just need to find a new rhythm to my writing, cooking and photography that fits in with my real person job.

It’s a work in progress, but I’ll get there.

With the late summer and early fall weather we’ve gotten both butternut squash and eggplant in our vegetable delivery box for a few weeks in a row. I’ve cooked these two together in quite a few ways – with Moroccan spices in the slow cooker and roasted on a baking sheet. With quinoa, atop a bed of greens, with lashings of sriracha, and with a poached egg on top.

I would never necessarily think to put these two vegetables together, but they’ve been a surprising hit. They’re meaty and filling, complex and satisfying – the butternut squash brings a sweetness and the eggplant, an earthiness.

I thought about calling this a pasta-less lasagna but I landed on Vegetable Bake. The layering aspect along with the ricotta, pesto and tomato sauce is totally reminiscent of lasagna, but calling a pasta-based dish pasta-less is just straight up inconsiderate.

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Miso-Curry Roasted Squash

I have probably mentioned my love for Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks before. It was one of the first food blogs I started reading and has been a constant inspiration to my cooking. This will come as no surprise to fellow food bloggers, as Heidi has been blogging since 2003 and earning well-deserved recognition and awards ever since.

Her photos and creative whole food recipes never fail to excite me and get me thinking. The way Heidi combines flavors and presents quality produce makes vegetarian cooking look gorgeous, easy and fun.

I’ve been flagging my new copy of Super Natural Everyday for a couple of weeks now and it’s gone straight out of control. I can see myself cooking everything and can’t wait to do so.

The first recipe I tried was miso-curry roasted squash. I love the idea of blending these different Asian flavors to generously coat squash, potatoes and tofu in. Roasted vegetables combined with bold red curry and miso pastes make this dish a rich and complex combination of bright, warming flavors.

I stuck to her original recipe pretty closely, but I am eager to try this spice paste on carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes and even fish. I served this as a main, but I think it would work as a side without the tofu.

Miso-Curry Squash
Adapted slightly from Super Natural Everyday
(serves 2-4)

– 1/4 cup white miso paste
– 1 heaping tablespoon red curry paste
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 medium butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
– 4-5 small chat potatoes, quartered
– 1/2 cup tofu, cut into small cubes
– 1 tablespoons white vinegar
– 2 cups kale, finely shredded
– 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
– a big handful of chopped cilantro and Thai basil, combined.

Preheat oven to 400F/200c

In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, red curry paste and olive oil.

In a large bowl toss the squash, potatoes and tofu with 2/3 of the miso paste mixture until everything is covered well. Spread this out onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until squash, potatoes and tofu are golden – tossing a couple of times to make sure everything gets evenly browned.

While this is baking, add vinegar and a teaspoon of warm water to the remaining miso paste mixture. Toss with kale to coat well.

Combine warm squash mixture with kale. Garnish with toasted pepitas, cilantro and basil. Serve warm

To toast pepitas: Place pepitas in a dry pan over a medium-low heat for about 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to distribute the heat. Take off the heat once golden.