The thing about going away for a weekend, even if it is to a food blog conference where you are surrounded by people who think, breathe, and dream about food almost as much, if not more, than you do, is that you never quite eat the way you want to.

Whether it’s too much food, too little food, too much dessert, or not enough veggies, I always find it a bit of a relief to return home to my own oven and get something on the stove so that I can lose myself in the act of creating something that is exactly what I’m craving, all the while reflecting on the goings-on of the past few days.


Surrounded by vegetables, all needing a little bit of tending to. Spices that must be measured out. And with my favorite exotic smells wafting through my kitchen.

That’s just how I think best.


There’s so much to be remembered and parsed through after these things. Which tips will you incorporate into your life?

Which friendships and connections will you follow up on?

How many times will you pinch yourself at the thought that you were the winner of the Amazing Apps Culinary Challenge for your black olive gougeres? And that not only do you have a new iPad to show for it, but also $500 worth of OXO products waiting to be purchased?  Pretty much incomprehensible. (Especially when considering where exactly you will store all of the aforementioned goodies. Hmm.)

Which is exactly why a good hearty meal, like this veggie-filled curry, is absolutely necessary after such a whirlwind weekend. You need it to fuel your memory and your ability to synthesize all that has happened, and all that you want to do in the coming days and weeks.

I love coming away from these conferences feeling inspired to make this little corner of the internet better and more compelling. So hopefully, there will be a lot of that coming up.

And in the meantime, there is curry. Always exciting, at least to my taste buds. And certainly always something I want to come home to.


One year ago…Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Two years ago…Pasta with Lemon, Baby Artichokes and Asparagus, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Lasagna, Strawberry Hazelnut Chocolate Crisp
Three years ago…Ravioli with Brown Butter, Almonds and Zucchini
Four years ago…Pumpkin Pasta with Broccoli, Gingerbread Pancakes

Eggplant, Red Pepper and Spinach Curry
Serves 4, adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant,


  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt
  • 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 oz spinach, washed and stemmed
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 8 oz dried tepary beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup jasmine rice


  1. Put the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit on a paper towel for 20 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom and salt. Saute for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
  3. Rinse the eggplant and then add it to the pot with the coconut milk and water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a second pot, cook the spinach in a bit of water until it is limp. Drain in a colander. Chop it when cool enough to handle.
  5. Add the bell pepper to the eggplant mixture along with the cooked beans. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach, lemon juice and season with salt to taste. Simmer until heated through.
  6. For the rice, combine 1 cup rice with 2 cups water in a small pan. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water has evaporated. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before fluffing and serving.
You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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62 Responses to Eggplant, Red Pepper and Spinach Curry

  1. Wow, congrats on your awesome contest win!!!
    And this looks like a great, healthy meal to get back on track with after a weekend of less than ideal eats…

  2. Last night I had a gigantic salad and gigantic fro yo, almost the best tasting things ever. This probably would have been up there as well!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS! Congrats on the win! Enjoy that iPad and money towards OXO.

    I often cook veggie dishes just like this. Simple blend of veggies, spices, some nuts thrown on top of rice or couscous. Eric hasn’t complained yet, so I think I’m doing something right.

  4. Beth says:

    Sounds like you had a great weekend! congratulations on the win, and hope you have a great week.

  5. Man, your weekend sounds like so much fun! I can see why returning home would be nice though. This looks great!!

  6. Sounds like an incredible weekend, and what loot! nice! Can’t wait to hear more about the event!

  7. This sounds great– I love eggplant! And I feel the same way about traveling — I can’t wait to get home and eat a huge pile of vegetables.

  8. london bakes says:

    Congratulations on your victory! It sounds like it was a fun and really inspiring weekend.

  9. Abby says:

    Sounds like a fantastic weekend! I feel that way too about coming home to my own oven, my own food…and I love this dish, so clean and hearty!

  10. I LOVE a delicious curry and have never made my own. Time to change that! Congrats on your winnings 🙂 🙂


  11. Congrats on your win – that’s awesome! I know what you mean about conference food – it’s never quite *exactly* what we’re looking for.

  12. Colynn O says:

    Aw. Jealous that you got to go! Maybe next year. Lol. Congrats on winning! You deserve it.

    I can definitely relate to how you feel about cooking. It’s one of the only things that can take my spastic mind off of everything around me.

    Believe it or not, I have never made curry, but I’ve been looking for a good recipe. Looking forward to trying this. 🙂

  13. sandra says:

    Wow Joanne, congratulations! I have never been to a food blogging conference. Sounds intriguing. After my last eggplant success I think I’ll be making more of them. This recipe sounds great.

  14. Sam says:

    I’ve been dreaming of vegetable curry lately. In fact, it might be dinner tonight. This one looks great! I think I may have even had one similar at The Moosewood back when I lived in Ithaca.

    I definitely agree–as fun as it is to travel, it is also amazing to get back to your own kitchen.

  15. I love a good veggie curry. The eggplant in here has got to be my favorite thing. Sounds great Joanne!

  16. Chris says:

    Good. Now I don’t feel bad that the MOMENT that I got home from Memphis in May, I was craving my OWN homemade BBQ and fired up the smoker the next morning.

  17. That Girl says:

    I love going away – even for a weekend, but it’s still nice to get home.

  18. Oh the perils of traveling. I’ve got a lot of bridesmaid events to attend this month, since I am in 3 weddings, and I am sure it will involve me eating a lot of food.

  19. I know what you mean about the food at blog conferences… it’s yummy, but it’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. This one is right up my alley, for sure!

  20. SallyBR says:

    Major congrats! Enjoy your iPad!

    this line:

    The thing about going away for a weekend, …… is that you never quite eat the way you want to.

    Made me scream in agreement! Having been away for only 3 days and “forced” to eat out at every meal, I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back home and cooking

    loved your curry, by the way

  21. i love cooking when i get home from a trip too! what a great curry recipe 🙂

  22. Pam says:

    Congrats lady!

    The curry looks like a big bowl of comfort to me. YUM!

  23. Amy says:

    One of these days I will make it to a conference. And eat my weight in sugar and butter. Oh wait, I do that at home..

  24. Gloria Baker says:

    I love this dish and I love eggplants (one of my favorites) and love how look you spinachs, sometimes when I buy are “sad” you know:)

  25. marie says:

    $500 worth of new kitchen products?! You are so lucky, that is awesome, congratulations! I’d rather have that than the ipad. ipads are cool and all, but I’d use the kitchen gear much more 🙂

  26. Mira says:

    I feel like I end up that way any time I leave my regular routine. I haven’t been to a food blogger conference, but even just being at my parents’ for this weekend seems to get me out of whack with my eating habits. Definitely on the too-much-food side of it…. oops. It’s definitely a nice feeling getting back in your own kitchen with your own food, and this looks like a great dish for it – full of delicious spices and tasty, healthy veggies.

  27. cindspectus says:

    That’s awesome, I can’t imagine what it’s like trying to figure out what to purchase!

    I’ve never heard of tepary beans, but they look pretty darn good so I may have to do some research.

  28. Gwen says:

    You can never ever go wrong with curry! Man, I so wish I could make it to a food loving conference! Someday…
    Congrats Jo! You rock!!

  29. I loved reading your tweets about the weekend, sounds like it was a lot of fun. Huge congrats on your winning recipe!! Great combination of flavors in this curry, it’d be the perfect lunch for me!

  30. Ashley Bee says:

    Super jealous! Sounds like you had a blast! 🙂

  31. A) This looks delicious!

    B) I totally agree about the eating thing while away.

    C) Congratulations on your amazing win!! What a great thing – have fun spending that money!

  32. Lynn says:

    Well deserved win! Congratulations.

    And that curry looks marvelous.

  33. No way Joanne!!! Go you – congrats girl – that is awesome!

  34. Congratulations! This dish sounds terrific! I could dig into it right now 🙂

  35. Christine says:

    Well, look at you, winning all that stuff! Congratulations! This recipe looks so good. Had a taste for a curry and since I’m going to the store this afternoon, I can pick up what I’m missing. Again, kudos!

  36. Dixya says:

    congratssss and I hear you about finding comfort at your own kitchen because no matter how elaborate or delicious meals are outside I find ultimate peace, happiness, and cravings for home cooked meal. This curry definitely sounds like one I could recreate and love it

  37. Betty says:

    Congratulations on your win! The curry looks wonderful, and just the thing to counter a weekend of indulging. 🙂

  38. Yum. I like the mix of tepary beans, Joanne. 🙂

  39. Amy says:

    Congratulations on your win. That’s an amazing recipe and I can’t wait to try. 🙂 This Eggplant, Red Pepper and Spinach Curry sounds amazing and comforting. I love veggie dishes like this after a trip (especial a trip that involves lots of indulging food!) Over a bowl of rice seems perfect too. That’s exactly how I’ll serve it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  40. Jeanette says:

    Congratulations Joanne! I remember that recipe. Love all the spices in this vegetarian curry – I agree – home cooked is the best after a trip.

  41. P says:

    Congrats on the win and nifty prizes! The food conference sounds like it’ll be so much fun :D!

  42. bellini says:

    My daughter just received her second CSA box and I know she has tons of veggies she needs to use up!! Perfecto.

  43. Juliana says:

    Wow Joanne, congratulations on your win…not bad at all 🙂
    This looks delicious, very tasty with curry and all the veggies and yes on top of white rice…yum!

  44. I always start to miss cooking at things like that, and usually something full of vegetables like this is the first thing I’ll make when I get home too! Congrats on your win, that’s an amazing prize!

  45. Cathleen says:

    Wow. What a prize. Congrats!
    Now this looks fantastic! I need to try cooking with eggplants sometime..

  46. I feel exactly the same way. I just went on a 2 week climbing trip and it was really hard to adjust to the lack of my own refrigerator, pantry, and oven. Your meal looks so comforting, definitely just like the meal I made when I got home. All those warming spices make me feel so comforted

  47. Hotly Spiced says:

    Congrats on your award. How lovely to have a brand new i-pad (especially as my husband dropped his onto concrete a few days ago so we had to say goodbye to the best gadget ever). I too, love to come home and head straight to my kitchen and cook the something I was craving through not being able to have it while away xx

  48. OohLookBel says:

    Great news about your contest win. Your kitchen must really be a wonderful place to be, judging from the lovely dishes (like this one) that you create.

  49. I love eating leafy veggies! This is a great way to have them over rice and with curry –delicious! Also, congrats on your win, Joanne! And have a lovely week.

  50. Love veggie curry! Never thought of combing eggplant and the flavour combo, Joanne.

  51. Congrats good lady, on your win! I know what you mean – it’s so cool to get away from home but there’s also no place like home – and your own kitchen. And this is one damn fine looking curry!

  52. I think most of us cooks are control freaks when it comes to what we eat. I too look forward to coming home to my kitchen to whip up something I want. Your photos and this spinach dish look great! Nice to have had the chance to meet you and talk food and blogging. Hope we can get together on my next trip to NYC.

  53. Honey says:

    I love that you love Indian food, or somewhat Indian. This looks so good.. love spinach that tastes Indian, gives it so much flavor. The touch of coconut milk seems like a great addition.

  54. Reeni Pisano says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what kind of loot you buy! It’s been a long time since I made curry and am really craving it after seeing yours! Coconut milk curry is the best.

  55. Ashley says:

    Congrats on your winnings! So awesome. And I’m with you – curry is ALWAYS a good thing 🙂

  56. No way! That’s totally awesome, congrats on your win! Now, pass me a plate of this curry, it looks amazing.

  57. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh wow, that’s great 🙂 congrats on the win! This dish looks wonderful!

  58. Louise M says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday, swapping tepary beans with green lentils and it turned out so, so delish! The eggplant was just heavenly! Thank you!

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