For celiacs and other people who follow a gluten-free diet, vegetables are the "old reliable" when it comes to eating gluten-free food. When in doubt, cook up some veggies. Handy, especially with the convenience of a couple of minutes to steam some broccoli in your microwave. But that kind of cooking, especially if you're gluten free and trying to lose weight, is sometimes so boring it can bring the most committed vegetarian to tears.
Time to look to other cultures for some help. In many parts of the world vegetables are the focus of most meals, with meat, fish and poultry being no more than flavor accents, if not totally absent from the menu. India is a country whose home cooks know many ways to transform even the humblest of vegetables into tasty treasures. Here is a recipe inspired by an Indian one that is perfect to serve when you need a break from humdrum vegetables that doesn't involve breading or frying or anything else that will sabotage your weight loss goals.
INDIAN EGGPLANT AND PEPPERS
Makes two generous or four smaller servings
1 eggplant, approximately one pound
1 sweet red bell pepper, or several smaller ones, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 T oil
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
dash of cayenne, or to taste
4 oz water
2 T chopped cilantro
Peel and cube the eggplant.
Mix with salt and let stand 30-60 minutes.
Squeeze all liquid from cubes.
Add fenugreek and fennel seeds. When they darken, add onion, peppers and eggplant. Cook on low heat 20 minutes, stirring so eggplant doesn't stick to pan.
Add water and remaining spices. Stir and cook until eggplant is soft, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Serve hot or cold. If you are being very careful about your weight loss, the best solution for protein would be to toss some precooked meat or soy protein in at the end of the recipe. For a higher calorie meal, but still nowhere near what a traditional burger would "cost" you, since these are all vegetarian, take a look at these burger recipes.