A Loofah For Dasha #vegan #chinchilla

NO, I’m not suggesting vegans can eat chinchillas! Whaddayou, CRAZY?

Our #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, has a chinchilla named Dasha, and bought her a box of goodies, including a loofah to chew on. So I decided to dig out this column I wrote for the World Wide Recipes ezine about loofahs as actual people food.

Image from Flickr by adar.que.

Yes, I’m talking about the scrubber you use in the bath. Some may know and some may not: the loofah is a vegetable.

They probably originated in the Nile Valley, where they were grown as food. I planted some, one year. They grow on vine-like plants. The fruits look something like zucchini, long, thin and green, and are said to have a flavor similar to zucchini.

Although I have a recipe for loofah and eggplant ratatouille, I didn’t eat my loofahs. Like most people who grow them, I let them mature. Then I skinned them, shook out the seeds, and let the loofahs dry into bath scrubbers. How cool is that?

Loofah and Eggplant Ratatouille

1 large or 2 medium eggplants
1 pound young loofahs
1 large red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
8 ounces shallots, peeled
2 tsp ground coriander
4 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a few cilantro leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the eggplant into thick chunks and sprinkle with salt. Set aside in a colander for 45 minutes, then rinse well under cold running water and pat dry. Preheat oven to 425 F Slice the loofahs into 3/4-inch pieces. Place eggplant, loofah, pepper, tomatoes and shallots in roasting pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with ground coriander and olive oil. Scatter the chopped garlic and cilantro leaves on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the loofah is golden brown and peppers are beginning to char.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character eats something considered inedible by someone else. Not blood, Jane. And no zombies need apply.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “A Loofah For Dasha #vegan #chinchilla

  1. Dan Antion

    August 24, 2016 at 8:50am

    For a minute, I thought you had a vegan recipe for preparing chinchilla – I couldn’t figure out how that could be possible. It’s better your way 🙂

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Joey

    August 24, 2016 at 9:13am

    I’m relieved that there are no chinchillas in this recipe! Phew!

    Not that this doesn’t sound good, hello cilantro! But I think I’d rather my loofahs be dried.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 24, 2016 at 1:21pm

      Yeah, I don’t think I could cook a loofah deliberately, but I’d probably eat one if somebody fixed it for me.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Jane

    August 24, 2016 at 3:27pm

    Curiously, I was just looking at a Stuff you can eat that look like weeds article.

    While I think eating stuff from one’s own yard sounds reasonably economical, I’m not sure about the edibility factor for reals. Looks like I might need an actual guidebook, eh?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 24, 2016 at 4:00pm

      I bought a book about foraging, and almost everything said, like, “Be very cautious in gathering this, because it looks almost exactly like this other thing that will kill you.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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