I was scanning the vibrant-colored produce at Chef Dan’s stand at the outdoor Sunday Market and salivating.
Your choice whether the pasta, or you, are nearly naked. However, please close the blinds, please.
The royal purple eggplant caught my eye. I rarely eat it since it’s heating to my vata pitta constitution. But pasta was on my mind, and it wanted variety.
So along with pesticide-free zucchini, yellow squash, two tomatoes, and five smallish white potatoes, I added the eggplant to my reusable eco-friendly bag.
Next up in this vendor row was the new local home-grown mushroom guy. The variety filled the table: king trumpet oyster, grey oyster, cremini, shitake, and lion’s mane. I selected lion’s mane and two king trumpets. Ami’s bread stand meant rosemary infused focaccia.
It was time to push Ellie, my stainless-steel upright shopping cart past the shady three parks the mile home. Only stopping to watch and listen to the children playing in the fenced-in playground.
Eggplant is a night shade, the vilified group of foods sadly misunderstood since it is a myth that they are unhealthy for us. Technically, since it flowers, it is a fruit with a bitter flavor. I decided it was time to reintroduce my palate and gut.
Ah, the king trumpet oyster shroom, a native of the Mediterranean regions of Europe and the Middle East, Africa, and also found and enjoyed throughout Asia. This hearty fungus can easily grow in dry, acrid deserts and humid places. It contains B6, C, D, niacin, fiber, folate, riboflavin, and ergothioneine. It also decreases risk factors for chronic liver and kidney disease. I see a vital addition to our health.
Okay, time to get cooking and stop chatting.
Remove the curious felines from the countertop, wash your naked hands, and set a good food mood. Gather all needed items and arrange them in order. (Mise en place).
>> Pot with lid, colander, sauté pan, potholder or towels
>> Cooking and eating utensils, spoon rest
>> Gratitude. Chef’s knife, cutting board
>> Cat removal service
>> Pasta of your choosing; I used organic whole wheat but sometimes use gluten-free
>> Tomatoes, any kind fresh or canned; I use no salt canned
>> Oil of choice or none; I selected extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
>> Spices: I chose fresh ginger, dried oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, mineral salt
I cook for one human and do not measure except when measuring grain to water ratio.
Smile. Turn on a stovetop light and fan and get the water boiling for the pasta. Chop all the veggies and remove the skin off the eggplant. If using oil, add it to the sauté pan, and give it a couple minutes to heat on medium. Add in the spices and take in the aroma as they sauté around two minutes.
Gently add the veggies and frequently give them a stir to get all the goodness to marry. Congratulate them on the nuptials. Smile. Check for pesky felines. Do a little dance. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Give a stir or two. Smile.
Turn off the burner, light, then fan. Leave it on the burner for five minutes to allow the consummation of the wedding vowels. Smile.
Pick a pretty bowl and scoop the deliciousness in it. Find a calming spot apparently looking at nature indoors or out. Give lots of gratitude to everyone involved in the process from farm to table. Enjoy!
As usual no critters were harmed in the making of this. One small save for this tiny blue marble we call Momma Earth.