A Couple Cooks was an accident, really. When we started this blog, we had no idea that we’d still be doing it three years later — that it would become part of our identity, a creative outlet for artistic fulfillment, and an expression of whole and sustainable living. Beyond just artistic expression, it’s become a way for us to connect to people, to support our community and charities around the world, and a way to push ourselves to constantly evolve, change, and self-reflect.
Sometimes we look around the internet and see the explosion of creativity in beautiful food and wonder, why are we doing this? Does the world need more recipes? Does Cyberspace really need our photographs and recipes, when there is so much talent around the globe contributing new content daily?
What we’ve decided is that there’s really no limit on the amount of recipes this world needs. While the sheer number of recipes available on the web can be overwhelming, there are also billions of people on this earth who need to eat every day. And for every person, there’s a new unique perspective and way of eating. Just like pieces of music or art, there are and always will be infinite ways to combine foods for day-to-day eating.
We’re still not quite sure whether the world needs our perspective, but somehow we’ve fallen into this thing that’s become life-blood to us: combining foods and capturing them on film (well, digital film). In our photographs, we’ve tried to not overly glamorize or create a false sense of reality, but capture the food in its best light to represent the beauty of the flavors.
Thanks to you, readers — for being there as we experiment, taste, create, and evolve. This recipe is something we’d never have come up with even one year ago, but it’s part of our journey. Thanks for being along for the ride.
Thanks to Oh She Glows for the inspiration; we’ve tweaked her salad and added eggplant for a tasty combination of flavors and textures. Serve this salad with bread, muffins, or pita for a complete meal.
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 Asian eggplants (or substitute ½ globe eggplant)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 red onion
- 1 red pepper
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ⅓ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon turmeric.
- Wash and thinly slice the eggplant (if using globe eggplant, thinly slice and cut large rounds into smaller pieces, about 2 inches wide). In a large bowl, add half of the spice mix and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the eggplant. Roast for about 20 minutes or until cooked through, then allow to cool.
- Rinse the chickpeas and dry them with paper towels. In a medium bowl, stir to combine the other half of the spice mix and ½ teaspoon olive oil.
- Peel the cucumbers. Dice the cucumber, red onion, and red pepper. Chop ¼ cup cilantro. Place all vegetables in a bowl (without the chickpeas).
- In a small bowl, stir together ⅓ cup seasoned rice vinegar, 1½ tablespoons honey, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle the dressing into the cucumber mix; save out additional dressing if desired.
- To serve, on each plate or bowl, place the cucumber mix, then top with chickpeas and roasted eggplant. Garnish with chopped cilantro and peanuts. Serve with bread, muffins or pita for a complete meal.