I caught up with a friend for a bite to eat recently and she was commenting on how hard and frustrating it must be to find places that cater for my eating choices. How sometimes the only dish I can pick off the menu is a vegetable side dish, or how annoying it must be to constantly be “tweaking” my menu choices.
I was about to start nodding and sighing in agreement, when I suddenly realised something.
I can actually EAT out at a restaurant!
Having spent a big chunk of 2016 and 2017 following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for my health - not being able to eat out at restaurants or at friends’ houses in case they used a refined seed oil or even pepper, and staying away because I also didn’t want to hear the usual lecture of “why are you doing this again?”. I suddenly realised that I once again have food freedom.
Yes, I am currently eating gluten free and plant based. So what! Many others do also and many others probably should (that’s a whole other topic), but for now - I’m utterly grateful for where I am right now on my healing journey.
For those of you able to eat nightshade veggies, this one’s for you (and me!)
Potato + Eggplant + Kale Tray Bake
2 eggplants | 4 medium potatoes | 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes | 1/2 bunch of kale | 1 tbsp dried or fresh thyme | sea salt | splash of apple cider vinegar | olive oil
Preheat oven to 200D/400F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Chop the eggplant and potatoes into bite sized chunks and place onto one of the baking trays, along with the cherry tomatoes (halved). Toss over the thyme, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a small drizzle of olive oil (or omit if following a low fat|high carb diet) and a good pinch of sea salt - toss to coat.
Bake in the oven for approx. 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the stems from the kale and tear into smaller pieces placing in a flat layer on the second lined tray. Place in the oven with the vegetables and bake everything for a further 10-15 minutes.
Once the eggplant is soft and the potatoes and kale are crisp, remove from the oven and serve.
NOTE: I love keeping the kale separate from the rest of the dish when baking as it adds a wonderful, crunchy texture to the final dish.