Kabocha, Eggplant and Mushroom Stir-Fry

There is nothing more amusing than the food combinations that other people find appealing. Today I was sitting with my friend Karen and after drinking some blackberry tea (and bitching/ rhapsodizing about boys) we decided we were a little hungry. So she waltzes into the kitchen and returns with the following: yellow spanish rice, salted edamame with lemon juice, apple sauce, and cheddar cheese chunks. WTF? I was cracking up.

My friend Bri would have preferred a spoonful of cottage cheese and spoonful of peanut better, directly out of the containers. Sebastian would just have cup after cup of coffee and hand-rolled cigarettes, and widen his eyes at the suggestion of something as bourgeois as a "snack." My roomate M. prefers french bread slices spread with nutella and strawberries (especially when her boyfriend makes it). Can you tell anything about a person by what they choose to snack on?

Me? I like potato chips and chocolate soymilk... but don't make me pour it into a glass, because that would ruin it.

At any rate, I was still giggling at Karen's little feast when I came home to make dinner for myself. I thought up a combo that was also a little strange to my thinking, but it worked out deliciously! Sweet, earthy, a little spicy.. How great when disparate elements come together to make something harmonious... a lot like my friends and I, come to think of it.

Kabocha Squash, Eggplant and Mushroom Stir-Fry*

(Serves 4)
-1 Onion, diced
-1/2 T fresh ginger, chopped and crushed with a knife
-1 Small Kabocha Squash, Seeded, peeled and diced into 1" cubes
-1 Graffiti Eggplant, sliced and quartered
-A handful of mushrooms, sliced
-1 1/2 T Mirin
-1 1/2 T Soy sauce or braggs
-salt and 1/2 T red pepper flakes (or to taste)
-Sprinkle of sesame seeds

1. After preparing veggies, heat 1 T of oil in a wok over Med-Low heat. Add in onions, ginger and squash. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until onion are transclucent. Add an optional pinch of brown sugar and cover for 4 more minutes (to steam the squash.)
2. Raise heat to Medium and add in eggplant and mushrooms. Stir fry until veggies are softened and browned. Add in mirin, soy sauce, salt and red pepper flakes. Turn up heat and cook 1-2 more minutes. Serve hot over brown rice.

*Tofu would be nice in this too, I bet.

Song of the Day: The Extraordinaires- "Wings over Siros Island"

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