Gingery Eggplant and Edamame Stew

I used to have a thing against leftovers. It’s not the same thing that I hear a lot of other people have: that weird, illogical belief that some phenomena causes all foods to become “icky” after twenty-four hours in the refrigerator. I’m well aware that leftovers, when stored properly for a reasonable amount of time, are not destroyed by some evil incarnate dwelling in my refrigerator. Yet I still had a slew of reasons for making sure all of my dinner recipes were sized precisely for two average human adults, without a bite to be leftover.

1) If I made more than enough for two servings, I wouldn’t be able to resist going back for seconds – even if my first helping filled me up. (In other words, I grew up in a home where it was normal to reach for second servings before even swallowing the last bite of your first. My intuition for feeling full has been broken since I was about four years old. So when I began cooking for Ben and me, I didn’t trust myself around “extra” food left in the kitchen.)


2) I was eating about 1200 calories a day, and probably half of them at dinner. Therefore, leftovers were no good for lunch since they were always a lot more calories than I typically allowed myself for that meal.

3) I was a newbie food blogger. I’d surely be voted off the island if I didn’t post something brand new every.single.day.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten over this thing now that I’m a little older, healthier, and (I think) more skilled in the kitchen. Here’s my current stance on each of the above:

1) I found my inner self-control. Sure, she requires me to pack up each individual serving at the same time I plate our meals, ensuring that the food is evenly divided among each dinner plate and plastic container. But it saves me a trip back to the stove later on.

2) I eat more now. Thank goodness, I’m no longer a miserable biatch 99% of the time. I’m down to about 89%. And my caloric intake is a little more balanced: dinners are a little smaller than they used to be, and lunches can be a little bigger.

3) As much as I know you love me, I know you’d probably get sick of me popping up in your reader/newsfeed/inbox every twenty-four hours. Nowadays, I’m striving for quality over quantity and would rather provide you with less recipes, as long as they are well thought-out, perfectly balanced, and nicely documented.

Once I put all that into place, I discovered a few other things about leftovers that I’m sure you already know: sometimes it’s nice not to have to cook dinner every night. And, some things are shockingly better the next day. This gingery, coconut-y, eggplant and edamame stew is one of those things. We had it for dinner on a chilly winter night, and the silky eggplant bathed in warm spices like ginger, turmeric and cinnamon were deliciously comforting. But when I pulled it out for lunch the next day, after everything had a chance to mingle in the refrigerator, that I truly came to appreciate the flavors in this vegan comfort. I may have been sitting rather quietly at my desk, but my tastebuds were doing their little happy dance as those super spices and sweet coconut shimmied on by. My tummy was pleased too, as it was filled up with plenty of fiber and protein to power me through the afternoon. And you might even say that my whole being was taken to a happy place, where tropical aromas float waft through the air, killing bacteria and pumping up the immune system.

What? Oh, that’s just the coconut oil talking. I used it to saute the vegetables in this dish because it’s another one of those really good-for-you fats you like to hear about, and because its high abundance of medium-chain fatty acids make to very resistant to any sort of structural changes caused by heat. In other words, all of those good-for-you properties stay in tact. Finally, coconut oil happens to be the featured ingredient for this month’s SOS (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge hosted by Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Kim of Affairs of Living. Each month, these ladies select an interesting ingredient and invite their readers to create a wholesome, all-natural, preferably vegan recipe to showcase in their roundup at the end of the month. So whether you’re brand new to coconut oil or and old pro stumped for new ideas, January’s SOS recipe roundup is a great place to find inspiration on how to incorporate coconut oil in your cooking – or just to find some tempting new recipes.

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Gingery Eggplant Edamame Stew

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 16oz package (3 cups) shelled edamame
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 large scallions, thinly sliced (light green and white parts)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 1lb diced eggplant)
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1 oz chopped pistachios or cashews
chopped fresh cilantro
cooked bulgur, couscous, or another grain for serving (optional)

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the edamame. When the water returns to a boil, cook the edamame for five minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet or dutch oven. Saute the scallions until softened; about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and seasonings (through salt.) Cook one minute more, stirring. Add eggplant, stir to combine thoroughly with sauteed spice mixture, and gently cook for a few more minutes, until eggplant is lightly browned (reduce heat if the mixture is burning on the bottom.)

Pour in the coconut milk and cooked edamame. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until eggplant is tender.

Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice.

Garnish each plate with some of the chopped nuts and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts:

Nutritional Info (excludes optional grain)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 352.2
Total Fat: 18.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 21.8 mg
Total Carbs: 25.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 13.6 g
Protein: 21.7 g

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48 Responses to “Gingery Eggplant and Edamame Stew”

  1. 1

    That Girl — January 24, 2011 @ 5:06 pm Reply

    I think your new attitudes on leftovers is healthy, not just for your physical health, but probably your mental health too.

  2. 2

    Joanne — January 24, 2011 @ 7:01 pm Reply

    First of all these photos look amazing Cara! Love em.And now onto the food. I am a HUGE leftover lover although I, like you, have no full intuition. I just have to remind myself how many portions the dish was supposed to make and not take more than my allotted amount. No seconds are allowed.This stew looks delicious! I love the combination of spices you used in it.

  3. 3

    Dawn — January 24, 2011 @ 7:55 pm Reply

    God this sounds so amazing. I love each element in this! Supposedly I'm getting eggplant with my CSA and I always have edamame in the freezer so I'm emailing this recipe to myself for when I get my eggplant! I'm still working on my inner self control (especially when it's really good) and I'm working on adding in more fats….especially the coconut oil. I'm hearing more and more about the benifits of it.

  4. 4

    Jen — January 24, 2011 @ 9:02 pm Reply

    We love edamame. I will have to try this.

  5. 5

    Ricki — January 24, 2011 @ 9:55 pm Reply

    This is gorgeous, Cara! Thanks so much for submitting it to the SOS Challenge. I love spicy food and the combination of eggplant and edamame sounds inspired. I'd be happy to have leftovers of this stew–lunch OR dinner (and you've obviously come a long way in the kitchen, as you say!) :D

  6. 6

    Jennifurla — January 24, 2011 @ 10:14 pm Reply

    It is so nice not to have to cook every single night! I love to just be and not do anything. Lovely recipe.

  7. 7

    Shannon — January 24, 2011 @ 10:28 pm Reply

    oh wow, this sounds wonderful. i need to pick up coconut oil, as i'm all out… i loved using it to roast carrots, came out amazing!!

  8. 8

    Tasha — January 24, 2011 @ 11:51 pm Reply

    You have such a knack for thinking outside of the box and coming up with really unique and amazing sounding ingredient combinations!

  9. 9

    Capitol to Capital — January 25, 2011 @ 5:47 pm Reply

    A few things, Cara:First, I LOVE leftovers. I love freezing half my leftovers for the future if it's a big recipe (beef stew, turkey soup, cookies most recently). I pack them in individual containers because that's easy for me to bring to work. I usually bring a small container of leftover meat + a larger container with salad for lunch, instead of grain/veg/meat dinner serving.Second, I'm so with you on quality over quantity in blogging. I'm a fairly delinquent blogger, but I subscribe to 70ish on my Google Reader. I can't handle all the daily posts–I don't have time to read them all, and so often that means Every Single Recipe is posted, even if it's the same as three Tuesdays ago with minor modification. Or something really simple and obvious, like Turkey Sandwich with Mustard.Lastly, this recipe is TOTALLY getting tagged in my Reader today, because I love everything in the title. I always put more ginger than anything calls for, and eggplant and edamame rock. I have frozen edamame from a Trader Joe's 90 miles away that I can use.

  10. 10

    Bridget — January 25, 2011 @ 8:15 pm Reply

    I think there's another problem people have with leftovers – incorrectly reheating them. Liquidy stew-type dishes are fine in the microwave, but a lot of other things are better reheated in a warm oven or on the stove.I've never actually eaten a dish with edamame – I usually just snack on it, but this looks great!

  11. 11

    janet — January 25, 2011 @ 11:31 pm Reply

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE leftovers! Now I cook everything on the weekend and have leftovers all week. I love it because I don't have to think about what I will be cooking when I arrive from home, famished. Now I already have everything ready to go! This is really one of the perks of eating vegan. Meat/cheese doesn't always reheat well the next day..This looks right up my alley, thanks for sharing. :)

  12. 12

    grace — January 26, 2011 @ 10:46 am Reply

    89%, eh? good for you. :)this stew would satisfy all kinds of cravings–well done!

  13. 13

    beantownbaker — March 27, 2011 @ 3:07 am Reply

    We love edamame!

  14. 14

    Cara — March 27, 2011 @ 3:07 am Reply

    Thanks Kim, I'm happy to participate!

  15. 15

    Kim @ Affairs of Living — March 27, 2011 @ 3:07 am Reply

    I am a devoted lover of leftovers, so I can't imagine ever not loving them! But I can see your point. Thanks for sharing your learnings too – I'm glad you are eating more and feeling good about it. This stew looks totally fab! Thanks for your entry to the SOS Kitchen CHallenge, it is great to see your entry and read about you on your blog.

  16. 16

    Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — March 27, 2011 @ 3:07 am Reply

    trying out your new discus…

  17. 17

    grace — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    89%, eh? good for you. :)this stew would satisfy all kinds of cravings–well done!

  18. 18

    janet — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE leftovers! Now I cook everything on the weekend and have leftovers all week. I love it because I don't have to think about what I will be cooking when I arrive from home, famished. Now I already have everything ready to go! This is really one of the perks of eating vegan. Meat/cheese doesn't always reheat well the next day..This looks right up my alley, thanks for sharing. :)

  19. 19

    janet — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE leftovers! Now I cook everything on the weekend and have leftovers all week. I love it because I don't have to think about what I will be cooking when I arrive from home, famished. Now I already have everything ready to go! This is really one of the perks of eating vegan. Meat/cheese doesn't always reheat well the next day..This looks right up my alley, thanks for sharing. :)

  20. 20

    Bridget — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    I think there's another problem people have with leftovers – incorrectly reheating them. Liquidy stew-type dishes are fine in the microwave, but a lot of other things are better reheated in a warm oven or on the stove.I've never actually eaten a dish with edamame – I usually just snack on it, but this looks great!

  21. 21

    Capitol to Capital — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    A few things, Cara:First, I LOVE leftovers. I love freezing half my leftovers for the future if it's a big recipe (beef stew, turkey soup, cookies most recently). I pack them in individual containers because that's easy for me to bring to work. I usually bring a small container of leftover meat + a larger container with salad for lunch, instead of grain/veg/meat dinner serving.Second, I'm so with you on quality over quantity in blogging. I'm a fairly delinquent blogger, but I subscribe to 70ish on my Google Reader. I can't handle all the daily posts–I don't have time to read them all, and so often that means Every Single Recipe is posted, even if it's the same as three Tuesdays ago with minor modification. Or something really simple and obvious, like Turkey Sandwich with Mustard.Lastly, this recipe is TOTALLY getting tagged in my Reader today, because I love everything in the title. I always put more ginger than anything calls for, and eggplant and edamame rock. I have frozen edamame from a Trader Joe's 90 miles away that I can use.

  22. 22

    Capitol to Capital — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    A few things, Cara:First, I LOVE leftovers. I love freezing half my leftovers for the future if it's a big recipe (beef stew, turkey soup, cookies most recently). I pack them in individual containers because that's easy for me to bring to work. I usually bring a small container of leftover meat + a larger container with salad for lunch, instead of grain/veg/meat dinner serving.Second, I'm so with you on quality over quantity in blogging. I'm a fairly delinquent blogger, but I subscribe to 70ish on my Google Reader. I can't handle all the daily posts–I don't have time to read them all, and so often that means Every Single Recipe is posted, even if it's the same as three Tuesdays ago with minor modification. Or something really simple and obvious, like Turkey Sandwich with Mustard.Lastly, this recipe is TOTALLY getting tagged in my Reader today, because I love everything in the title. I always put more ginger than anything calls for, and eggplant and edamame rock. I have frozen edamame from a Trader Joe's 90 miles away that I can use.

  23. 23

    Tasha — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    You have such a knack for thinking outside of the box and coming up with really unique and amazing sounding ingredient combinations!

  24. 24

    Tasha — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    You have such a knack for thinking outside of the box and coming up with really unique and amazing sounding ingredient combinations!

  25. 25

    Shannon — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    oh wow, this sounds wonderful. i need to pick up coconut oil, as i'm all out… i loved using it to roast carrots, came out amazing!!

  26. 26

    Shannon — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    oh wow, this sounds wonderful. i need to pick up coconut oil, as i'm all out… i loved using it to roast carrots, came out amazing!!

  27. 27

    Jennifurla — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    It is so nice not to have to cook every single night! I love to just be and not do anything. Lovely recipe.

  28. 28

    Ricki — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    This is gorgeous, Cara! Thanks so much for submitting it to the SOS Challenge. I love spicy food and the combination of eggplant and edamame sounds inspired. I'd be happy to have leftovers of this stew–lunch OR dinner (and you've obviously come a long way in the kitchen, as you say!) :D

  29. 29

    Ricki — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    This is gorgeous, Cara! Thanks so much for submitting it to the SOS Challenge. I love spicy food and the combination of eggplant and edamame sounds inspired. I'd be happy to have leftovers of this stew–lunch OR dinner (and you've obviously come a long way in the kitchen, as you say!) :D

  30. 30

    Jen — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    We love edamame. I will have to try this.

  31. 31

    Dawn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    God this sounds so amazing. I love each element in this! Supposedly I'm getting eggplant with my CSA and I always have edamame in the freezer so I'm emailing this recipe to myself for when I get my eggplant! I'm still working on my inner self control (especially when it's really good) and I'm working on adding in more fats….especially the coconut oil. I'm hearing more and more about the benifits of it.

  32. 32

    Dawn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    God this sounds so amazing. I love each element in this! Supposedly I'm getting eggplant with my CSA and I always have edamame in the freezer so I'm emailing this recipe to myself for when I get my eggplant! I'm still working on my inner self control (especially when it's really good) and I'm working on adding in more fats….especially the coconut oil. I'm hearing more and more about the benifits of it.

  33. 33

    Joanne — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    First of all these photos look amazing Cara! Love em.And now onto the food. I am a HUGE leftover lover although I, like you, have no full intuition. I just have to remind myself how many portions the dish was supposed to make and not take more than my allotted amount. No seconds are allowed.This stew looks delicious! I love the combination of spices you used in it.

  34. 34

    That Girl — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    I think your new attitudes on leftovers is healthy, not just for your physical health, but probably your mental health too.

  35. 35

    That Girl — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    I think your new attitudes on leftovers is healthy, not just for your physical health, but probably your mental health too.

  36. 36

    beantownbaker — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    We love edamame!

  37. 37

    Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    trying out your new discus…

  38. 38

    Kim @ Affairs of Living — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    I am a devoted lover of leftovers, so I can't imagine ever not loving them! But I can see your point. Thanks for sharing your learnings too – I'm glad you are eating more and feeling good about it. This stew looks totally fab! Thanks for your entry to the SOS Kitchen CHallenge, it is great to see your entry and read about you on your blog.

  39. 39

    Cara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:38 pm Reply

    Thanks Kim, I'm happy to participate!

  40. 40

    Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — March 29, 2011 @ 2:05 am Reply

    trying out your new discus…

  41. 41

    Kim @ Affairs of Living — March 29, 2011 @ 2:05 am Reply

    I am a devoted lover of leftovers, so I can't imagine ever not loving them! But I can see your point. Thanks for sharing your learnings too – I'm glad you are eating more and feeling good about it. This stew looks totally fab! Thanks for your entry to the SOS Kitchen CHallenge, it is great to see your entry and read about you on your blog.

  42. 42

    grace — March 29, 2011 @ 2:05 am Reply

    89%, eh? good for you. :)this stew would satisfy all kinds of cravings–well done!

  43. 43

    Bridget — March 29, 2011 @ 2:05 am Reply

    I think there's another problem people have with leftovers – incorrectly reheating them. Liquidy stew-type dishes are fine in the microwave, but a lot of other things are better reheated in a warm oven or on the stove.I've never actually eaten a dish with edamame – I usually just snack on it, but this looks great!

  44. 44

    Tasha — March 29, 2011 @ 2:05 am Reply

    You have such a knack for thinking outside of the box and coming up with really unique and amazing sounding ingredient combinations!

  45. 45

    Jennifurla — March 29, 2011 @ 2:06 am Reply

    It is so nice not to have to cook every single night! I love to just be and not do anything. Lovely recipe.

  46. 46

    Dawn — March 29, 2011 @ 2:06 am Reply

    God this sounds so amazing. I love each element in this! Supposedly I'm getting eggplant with my CSA and I always have edamame in the freezer so I'm emailing this recipe to myself for when I get my eggplant! I'm still working on my inner self control (especially when it's really good) and I'm working on adding in more fats….especially the coconut oil. I'm hearing more and more about the benifits of it.

  47. 47

    Dawn — April 5, 2011 @ 1:19 am Reply

    God this sounds so amazing. I love each element in this! Supposedly I'm getting eggplant with my CSA and I always have edamame in the freezer so I'm emailing this recipe to myself for when I get my eggplant! I'm still working on my inner self control (especially when it's really good) and I'm working on adding in more fats….especially the coconut oil. I'm hearing more and more about the benifits of it.

  48. Pingback: Recipe for Healthy Gluten-Free Diet: Why You Want to Use Coconut Oil (and Chocolate Fudge!)

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