Baby back Ribs with Roasted Vegetables and Eggplant


Diary of a Home Cook


Let me tell you I have been on a roll this week. In and out, easy and delicious. It doesn’t get much better. I would have made my apple tart by now but because my sugars are out of whack, (you know my diabetes problem) I am hesitating. However, it won’t be long now, so keep watching for it.
Let me state here and now, I love to cook but I don’t love to cook necessarily every day or when I am feeling lazy, or when a good movie is on, or when I prefer to indulge myself and sit around and read, or so many other times. My husband worked for 50 years in his career and I know he didn’t feel like going to work every day but he persevered and so must I. I just don’t want to paint a picture for you of a little miss dance around and be happy fairy that floats in and out of the kitchen smiling and saying “thank you for letting me work for you.” Let’s be realistic, cooking can be a chore but that can be minimized by preparing foods that satisfy something in your soul or makes someone you love happy. I relate my cooking exploits but don’t think that it is always easy or fun for me any more than it is for you. It is simply something I take seriously and push myself to do when I must, because I know I will like myself better if I follow through on my obligations. And the praise and love I get from a job well done doesn’t hurt anything either.
Today we opted for a late lunch having been out to breakfast after church. I like days like this where I can go slow and easy and yet enjoy a hearty meal that is healthy and delicious. Trust me, this is going to please your palate and make you want to run out and buy some ribs. BTW I do not use any meat that has been injected with salt solutions. Buy natural meat and you will have the best tasting meal you can imagine.
First things first, I preheated both ovens to 450 degrees F. Next I got out two oven pans, an oven broiler pan and a smaller lipped baking sheet about 11”x9”. I lined both with aluminum foil, shiny side down and sprayed them with oil. The larger pan I tucked the foil underneath the edge and on the smaller I let the foil stick up in the air around the sides to block the spatter in the oven. The foil lining makes clean up a breeze.
My ribs were only 7 ribs from a larger rack, just enough for my honey and me for one sitting. I put a metal rack on top of foil, sprayed it, seasoned the ribs on both sides with garlic powder (not salt) and black pepper, sprayed it all over with oil and laid it on the rack in the pan. I took one more piece of foil the width of the rack of ribs and sprayed it with oil on the dull side to use later.
The ribs went into the oven at 450 degrees F. for 30 minutes, then heat was turned down to 400 degrees for the remaining 30 minutes with sprayed cover of foil to help prevent ribs from charring too much and spattering on oven sides.
While the ribs roasted I washed and cut up 3 bell peppers (one each red, yellow, and orange) any combination works but that is what I had. I also scrubbed and cut 2 medium red potatoes in large bite size chunks and measured out 1 cup small carrots. Everything went in a four-quart bowl for a good toss. I drizzled olive oil, (I use light but you can use EVOO if you prefer) over all and tossed again. Then I spread the vegetables in my larger foil lined broiler pan, seasoned them with garlic powder and pepper, (you can also add parsley, rosemary or other favorites seasonings) and they were ready to roast.
In comes the sous chef to do his thing. I left the kitchen, it is small and not a professional kitchen, so at times it gets a little close with both of us cooking. Honey fixed fried eggplant, a favorite of ours and his specialty. He is not and doesn’t want to be a cook but has 2 or 3 things, like salad and fried eggplant that he will fix when requested. That man can put away some eggplant; I guess that is why he is willing to fix it.


When the ribs had been roasting 30 minutes and it was time to lower their temperature and add the foil cover, I slipped the vegetables into the lower oven. The vegetables roasted while Bob fried eggplant.
One hour and a few minutes after I began the meal was ready, hot and yummy. Bob likes barbeque sauce on his ribs so he added it at the table even though I would have been happy to add it while they were in the oven. The ribs were quite meaty, lean and tender, crunchy on the outside yet juicy on the inside and how delicious was that! With everything else being so healthy the fried eggplant did not tip the scale to unhealthy.

My hubby was just a smiling and smacking all through his meal. He loved it and that made me love it even more. No leftovers on this meal. Of course, we still have a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs to tide us over if the need arises. Knowing Bob he will get int that bowl before the evening is over.
I have found there is no magic to feeding a family apart from caring about making them happy and healthy to the best of your ability, while satisfying your cravings along the way. I really enjoy cooking, but it is often a chore on days like today when my elderly body would rather have been in my chair reading my book. Life has taught me that I can’t always do what I feel like doing, most days I must do what I must do and find joy in that as best I can. I really get a kick out of watching my husband enjoy his meal. It takes the edge off cooking when I am not really in the mood. Is there anyone you love enough to get out of your easy chair and cook for when you are feeling so self indulged? I certainly hope so, that is a part of what makes life worth living.

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Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now and come back to see us again soon!

Peggy Sholly
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