For the wraps:
For the yogurt sauce:
We felt like going on a walk the other day, so I found this park nearby which just so happened to actually be a very large “hill” in the middle of Wellington that you can walk to the top of and see these amazing 360˚ views over the city, the Harbor and the Pacific Ocean.
The walk snakes through a wooded area and goes pretty much straight up 640 feet (that’s like 60 stories!). On this incredibly strenuous walk to the top, Caleb and I joked about running the trail for exercise and the superman quads you’d have if you ran it everyday… That was 4 days ago, we’ve now run to the top the past 4 days in a row. (Never joke about these things with Caleb, you never know what ideas he might get.) I don’t know if my heart has ever beat so hard and loud as when we get to the top but the gorgeous views are a pretty sweet reward. Our goal is to run to the top everyday before we leave. I’ll keep you posted on that front:)
Oh yeah, we’re coming home on January 20! After lots of long deliberations, we decided not to stay in New Zealand. There are many factors that went into our decision, some things went wrong, some went right, but perhaps the biggest is that we would have to commit to staying longer than we were willing to.
Sometimes it feels like we failed, but in the end, we decided it’s better to change your mind, than to stay in a situation that doesn’t make you happy. We’ve learned so much from this whole experience, and we’ve really enjoyed ourselves. Even though our original plan didn’t work out, I’m so happy we came.
So, we’re relishing our last few weeks here, having picnics on the beach, running to the top of Mt. Victoria everyday, programming (Caleb), cooking (me), and just relaxing. We’re also getting excited to come home. We’ve missed our KC people and we can’t wait to see everyone again!
Alright, I should probably get on to the food, this IS a food blog right? So, these eggplant wraps. They are crispy, crunchy, creamy and so satisfying. Sliced eggplant, lightly breaded and pan-fried to make crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, slices of heaven, tossed into warm bread with tangy yogurt sauce and fresh, crunchy veggies! YES. So good.
There are so many possible substitutions here. Feel free to sub the spinach with any leafy green- kale, chard, collard, lettuce. We tested with chard too and it was fantastic. You can sub the red onion and red bell pepper with your fave sandwich toppings, tomato, cucumber, avocado, etc. Finally, any type of bread will work as a vessel. I used naan, but you could also use pita bread, tortillas, any sandwich bread, sliced baguette, etc. To make it as healthy as possible I used a homemade wheat naan, and lots of fresh veggies!
These eggplant wraps with yogurt sauce are healthy, super easy to make, and they come together in less than an hour, perfect for a weeknight dinner!
- For the eggplant-
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/4 c all purpose flour
- 1 t cumin
- 1 t paprika
- 1 t coriander
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 c plain greek yogurt
- 1 c panko breadcrumbs
- 4 T olive oil
- For the yogurt sauce-
- 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 T cilantro, minced
- 2 t parsley, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 t cumin
- 1/2 t salt
- For the wraps-
- 4 naan (or your bread of choice, tortillas, pita bread, sandwich bread, etc)
- red bell pepper, sliced (and/or tomato, cucumber, etc.)
- red onion, sliced
- spinach (or any leafy green, lettuce, chard, kale, etc.)
- 1. First, make the yogurt sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and place in the fridge.
- 2. Slice the eggplant into 1 cm rounds. Get out 3 medium bowls. In the first bowl, mix 1/4 cup of flour with the cumin, paprika, coriander and salt. In the second bowl, mix 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of water. Put the panko breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
- 3. One by one, dip the slices of eggplant first in the flour mixture, then the yogurt mixture, then the panko breadcrumbs using a fork or your fingers. Make sure to coat both sides of each slice.
- 4. Next, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 1 T of olive oil and swirl to coat. When oil is hot, add the eggplant slices in one layer. You will have to do 2-3 batches. After 4-6 minutes, when eggplant is golden brown, flip the slices and fry for 4-6 more minutes. When they are golden brown on both sides, place on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all eggplant is cooked. If the eggplant is burning in less than 4 minutes, turn down the heat. If you cook them too fast, the eggplant will not cook through and be raw in the middle. You can tell the eggplant is cooked through if the skin is wrinkly.
- 5. Once all eggplant is cooked, warm your bread. Clean out the skillet and put it over medium heat. Add one naan to the dry pan. After a minute or two, just enough to warm it, not cook it, flip the naan. After another minute, take the naan out of pan and repeat with rest.
- 6. Now assemble your wraps! Spread yogurt sauce on the bread first, then add 2-3 slices of eggplant, a few slices of red bell pepper, red onion, and a small handful of spinach. Top with more yogurt sauce if desired and eat!
Inspired by Blue Apron
To make it vegan, use non-dairy yogurt.
I don’t like eggplant, but I’ve been so impressed with what you’ve done with other veggies I’m going to give this a try with an open mind. You make it sound good. Your photos — are just incredible. The black, very nice. Dramatic, but not too much. You have a great eye for composition. You “painted” the one with all the black on the left, and the swirl of leafy greens and bowls. LOVE how you put this together, between your writing and photos, and recipes that are very user-friendly for people who are not inclined to eat veggies this way.
Coming back is no failure. Letting life lead you, listening to your heart, following your dreams, changing your mind, learning about yourself, about your partner, jumping off a cliff — it’s all in a great life. You just never know what’s just around the corner. I’m thrilled you went, I’m thrilled to have you two back. I think your blog is a total success. Caleb’s app also sounds like a real winner. YOU WENT TO NEW ZEALAND — that is ONLY success. See you soon!by Rebecca Tombaugh December 12, 2015 at 04 : 16
I’m having a lot of fun learning about food photography, it does feel a lot like painting sometimes! I can’t wait to have a bigger space to work with and more materials. I feel so limited in our tiny studio apt with no flat surfaces and very little kitchenware haha.
And I agree, thank you so much for your support and wise words! Even though it didn’t turn out as expected, I’m so happy we’re here and I’m excited to come home!by Taylor January 1, 2016 at 10 : 46
These are just beautiful. I’ve never layed a finger on an eggplant before, I’m excited to give this a try.
I’m also excited to see you guys again. You’re completely right that happiness is always the right answer.by Rachelle December 12, 2015 at 03 : 24
Yay! You should definitely give them a try! Eggplant is delish. And yes, it was a really tough decision but I think we made the right call:)by Taylor December 12, 2015 at 04 : 02