A Cheap, Easy, and Delicious Summer Dinner

I fancy myself many things. Often, I fancy myself a successful, productive member of society. Other times, I fancy myself a writer. Today, I fancied myself a housewife.

I think it’s because I wore a skirt while doing errands. Something about walking the isles of the grocery store, cleaning my bathroom, and doing five loads of laundry, all while wearing a polo-emblazoned cotton skirt, seemed rather foolish – in that same “vaccuuming-in-high-heels” sort of vein. (Trust me, I have never EVER vaccuumed in high heels. It’s enough of a struggle for me to wear heels to the office.)

Anyway, feeling ironically like a housewife inspired me to be both creative and frugal in making dinner this evening. Since the meal turned out well, I thought I’d share it here. I made a Mediterranean-style dinner of grilled eggplant on a bed of couscous, with a cucumber and tomato salad. Easy and quick to prepare but really good (and really good for you!).

Grilled Eggplant and Heirloom Couscous, with Cucumber-Tomato Salad

  1. Prepare the couscous first. Make it according to the box with the following modifications: Add to the boiling water a half cube of chicken bouillon. Add some fresh ground pepper, along with a dash of italian seasoning, paprika, garlic, and cinnamon. Add 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Chop a few small heirloom tomatoes and add to couscous. Once couscous is done, remove from heat and put it to the side.
  2. Dice a cucumber. Remove the seeds and juice from two roma tomatoes and dice. Toss cucumber and tomatoes together in two tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Slice an eggplant into rings, each about 1/2 inch thick. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill ~ 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Plate couscous first. Lay 2 – 3 eggplant slices on top of couscous bed and then add a serving of cucumber-tomato salad.
  5. After plating, sprinkle entire dish with grated parmesan cheese.

This whole dinner took me under 30 min to prepare and it’s both delicious and cheap to make! I concocted this recipe on the fly, so I don’t have any exact nutrition facts, but I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s a low fat meal that’s packed with a lot of nutrients. And I even got my toddler to eat it. If that’s not a victory, I don’t know what is.

Martha Stewart, signing off.

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7 Replies to “A Cheap, Easy, and Delicious Summer Dinner”

  1. That is definitely a very healthy and nutritious meal. My wife and I go to Greece regularly and one of our favourite dishes is fried eggplant.

  2. Thanks for reminding me how delicious eggplant is. We haven’t had any since we got our NuWave infrared countertop oven. I bet it will make it great! I dip mine in beaten egg and then in grated romano and sprinkle with black pepper before nuking. Eggplant is brain food. I love it!

  3. Great post and the food looks good too. I have become an avid griller myself lately. I dropped on your e card and found u thru blog catalog. I will go ahead and fave you on technorati since u have a nice blog. mine is at


  4. That sounds really good! But the trouble would lie in having hubby and son eat it. I swear they’d live on graham crackers and animal crackers if I let them. Yes, son AND hubby! lol!

  5. Wow, I never thought of wearing a skirt while doing errands and housework … I might have to try that, could put a new spin on things. Getting kids to eat anything besides cookies is always a victory!

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