Last week, I had the good fortune of being in the US Virgin Islands on St. Thomas. It was absolutely beautiful, and we had a great vacation.
Our home for a week was a villa at Marriott's Frenchman's Cove. The resort was beautiful, and it came with a full kitchen. I wasn't sure what the food situation would be on island, so I made sure to travel with lots of goodies.
I'll give you a full recap of what I packed tomorrow, but today I wanted to share with you a delicious meal I made for the whole family with a few packed goods and a few fresh vegetables we found at a local grocery store.
Eggplant Quinoa Salad
- ** 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
- ** 3 tbs olive oil (salad) + 2 tbs olive oil (eggplant)
- 3 cups chopped broccolini
- 2 small eggplants
- ** 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ** 3/4 tsp sea salt + a few pinches
- ** generous amount of cracked pepper
** packed in suit case
- 2 hours before cooking, peel eggplant and slice into 1/2" discs.
- Put a pinch of salt over discs and cover with a dish towel or paper towel.
- After 1 hour, dust off salt and dice into cubes.
- Toss with 2 tbs olive oil and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Cook quinoa in a sauce pot with water for 25 minutes (medium boil, covered).
- Once quinoa is cooked, fluff and let cool.
- In a large sauce pan, heat to medium/high and add eggplant.
- Cook down at medium slowly for 30 minutes, until tender. Stir often.
- Remove and let cool.
- Chop broccolini and add to large pot (I reused the one from the quinoa).
- Add a half inch of water to the bottom and cover. Steam for 10 minutes or until tender.
- Drain water and let broccolini cool.
- In a large bowl, add quinoa, eggplant, broccolini, and pumpkin sees.
- Add 3/4 tsp salt and a generous amount of pepper.
- Adjust salt/oil levels to taste.
- Serve warm, but also good cold.
Along side this beautiful salad, I served some marinated BBQ tofu and black lentils. It made an incredible meal!
Traveling with a kitchen, even if it's half size, is a life saver for vegans. If you just bring a few dried goods and search around for some great produce, you will be able to make nutritious and filling meals.
Food on island was a bit of an adventure. We tried the grocery store, Pueblo, on our first venture out. I luckily found decent produce, but all of the bread items were molded by the time we opened them the next day. The canned food was incredibly expensive, and we quickly realized the cooking was not going to be the bulk of our meals. I was so happy to have brought plenty of food to have back at the room. We also tried Food Mart, a grocery store towards Red Hook on island, but it wasn't much better. I did manage to find the tofu and some BBQ sauce there, so I took advantage of everything I could get.
Don't worry, I did find some amazing food at restaurants, and I'll be sharing that later in the week.
Is it time to go back, yet?