Eggplant-Beet Fried Rice

This is a hearty, somewhat sweet dish that makes short work of leftovers and doesn't take much time to prepare. My favorite part of this dish? The whole point is to let it burn a little bit, so it fits in well with my tendency to forget that I'm cooking at all!



Eggplant-Beet Fried Rice
Yield: 2 main dish servings or 3-4 side dish servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
6-8 oz extra firm tofu, drained and chopped roughly into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped roughly into 1-1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 lb golden beets, cut in bite size pieces
juice of 1 orange
5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
1 cup cooked rice (leftover from another dish, any type of rice will do)

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tofu, eggplant, balsamic vinegar and salt. Stir to coat with oil and leave alone, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes. Once the bottoms have browned, use a wooden spatula to stir everything around, and then leave alone again, uncovered, for another 3-4 minutes. By now, the tofu should have picked up some nice brownish colors and the eggplant should be about halfway cooked.

Add beets and orange juice and stir thoroughly. Cover and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Stir in sage leaves and rice, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Done!

Notes:
* If you can't find golden beets, parsnips and/or turnips would make a good substitution
* Consider adding 1 cup frozen peas for a little extra color zing
* I like to eat this with a fork, but this recipe would also make a nice filling for a lettuce or tortilla wrap, or even stuffed into a bell pepper!

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