Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Eggplant Parmesan CasseroleI had been eyeballing this dish for a while and given the fact that I just had some delicious leftovers for lunch, I am happy I tried it!!!

This gives you the feel of a lasagna but is lighter as it has less cheese and no noodles. I got the original recipe from Martha but of course modified it to add a few extra veggies in :).

I hope that you enjoy it!

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Olive oil, for baking sheets
  • 2 large eggs (can use egg replacer for a vegan version)
  • ¾ cup plain dry breadcrumbs, more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large eggplants (2½ pounds total), peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) homemade or store-bought chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced (approximately 2 cups)
  • 10 oz kale or spinach or combination of both
  • 4 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella or parmesan or a combination (can use non dairy cheese for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a pan, add onion and cook until fragrant. Add mushrooms and kale or spinach and cook until greens wilt. Set aside.
  4. One eggplant is done, spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then the mushroom mixture. Add 2 more cups of sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, then sprinkle with basil and mozzarella. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom RisottoWe made dinner for some friends last weekend who love risotto. It’s always tough making a dish someone loves because it might not meet their standards… However, this recipe will not fail you! Many people have the misconception that risotto is very unhealthy because it is loaded with butter or cream but this recipe is super simple as long as you are willing to give it a little TLC. The way you cook it makes all the difference and gets you that nice creamy texture that is oh-so good.

Mushroom Risotto
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (can use green onions too)
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (can eliminate if looking for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and leeks, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add ½ cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Photo Credit: Simply Recipes

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

I came up with this recipe and since then, I pretty much make it every time I ask myself “What am I possibly going to make for dinner tonight?!”

There is a nice contrast between the hot filling and the cool crisp lettuce… all combined with a crunch from the final few ingredients. It is incredibly healthy and incredibly delicious.

Enjoy!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For Sauce
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder, divided
  • ½ cup soy sauce or (braggs liquid aminos for gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
  • ½ teaspoon arrowroot
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • For Filling
  • ½ cup farro (use quinoa for gluten free version)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 package (15oz) soft tofu, drained
  • 4 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, chopped in half lengthwise
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
Instructions
  1. Cook farro (or quinoa) according to package directions.
  2. Make sauce by combining ½ tsp five-spice powder with remaining ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil and cook shallot until fragrant and it starts to be come transparent.
  4. Add block of tofu and smash with a wooden spoon until it becomes small chunks. Season with remaining ½ tsp of five-spice powder. Cook until slightly browned, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook until tender.
  6. Meanwhile prepare lettuce wraps, but removing butter lettuce leaves and setting aside.
  7. Add cooked and drained farro and sauce. Cook for a few more minutes until mixed together.
  8. Finally add bean sprouts, water chestnuts, cashews and scallions. Mix together and then remove from heat.
  9. Spoon a bit of the filling onto a plate with a side of the butter lettuce leaves. Make individual wraps at the table in order to not have lettuce get soggy.

 

Five 20 Minute Meals

Most people’s biggest excuse is that they don’t have time to cook… Well, you can throw that belief right into your compost bin. This is your go-to list for those late nights at the office or weekends where you are running around until it is time for a meal. These are some of my favorite recipes that will take you no more than 20 minutes to prepare! They all involve simple ingredients that you can grab on your way home so you will have a healthy meal in no time! Happy (quick) cooking 🙂

Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta

Lentils with Sweet Potato, Mushrooms and Kale

Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms and Kale

White Beans and Cabbage

White Beans and Cabbage

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino

Miso- Curry Delicata Squash

Miso-Curry Delicata Squash

Yet another thanks to Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks (I am obviously blowing through this book)! I do have to be honest though… as I was making this, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to taste as it just seemed too simple. But it turned out to be delightful. And it was even better as leftovers the next day, so be sure to make extra!

Miso- Curry Delicata Squash
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 12 oz delicata squash (or about 2 small ones) – can use butternut as a replacement
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white miso
  • 1 Tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ cups chopped kale, tough stems removed
  • ⅓ cup pepitas, toasted
  • ⅔ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to clear out all the seeds. Cut into ½ inch thick half-moons.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste. Combine the tofu, potatoes, and squash in a large bowl with ⅓ cup of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands to toss well, then turn the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet, and arrange in a single layer.
  4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until everything is tender and browned. Toss once or twice along the way, after things start to brown a bit. Keep a close watch, though; the vegetables can go from browned to burned in a flash.
  5. In the meantime, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining miso-curry paste, then stir in the kale until coated. You can also choose to saute the kale first if you prefer.
  6. Toss the roasted vegetables gently with the kale, pepitas, and cilantro. Serve family style in a large bowl or on a platter.

 

White Beans and Cabbage

White Beans and Cabbage

This is on the cover of Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday and it looks oh so inviting. I have this book displayed in my kitchen so I could barely wait to try this recipe out. I, of course, made a couple of modifications that are reflected below but a big thanks to Heidi for sharing her wisdom and to Steamy Kitchen for capturing this shot!

White Beans and Cabbage
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp hot paprika
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled white beans or about 1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the potatoes and spread them evenly in the pan. Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes or so, make sure you scrape and toss the potatoes during cooking so that you can get each side browned and cooked through.
  2. Add in the shallots, the white beans and the paprika spread all around the skillet. Let cook, undisturbed for 2 minutes to brown just a bit, then scrape and toss again, making sure to cook until the beans are nicely browned on both sides.
  3. Stir in the cabbage and cook for another minute or so until the cabbage looses a bit of its structure. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and toss again.
  4. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

 

Vegan Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

About 90% of the time I go out to dinner I want Italian food, so I love love love to experiment with healthy Italian dishes at home. I made this tonight and have a ton of leftovers… anyone want to come over?! I got the recipe from Veggie Belly but of course adapted it to make it my own. It was quite simple and very tasty. It will definitely fulfill your desire for a tomato sauce dish (which I love)!

Vegan Eggplant Rollatini
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided into 2 Tbsp portions
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into ¼th inch thick strips
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup couscous, uncooked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 12 oz spinach
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil or parsley
  • 1½ cups marinara sauce, use more if you like it saucy
  • ¾ cups of shredded mozzarella (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the couscous according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Pan fry the strips on 2 Tbsp olive oil till both sides are golden.
  4. In a separate pan, heat remaining oil and cook onion until fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add spinach and garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender and spinach is wilted.
  5. Add cooked couscous to mushroom and spinach mixture.
  6. Place a spoon of the the couscous mixture on one end of an eggplant piece, and roll it. Repeat with all eggplant strips. Place the stuffed and rolled eggplants onto a baking dish. Add any left over couscous to the center of the baking dish. Sprinkle basil or parsley on top. Then pour marinara sauce over. Non vegans can add ¾ cups of shredded mozzarella.
  7. Bake till the sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes.

 

 

Spice It Up – The Spice that Changed my Life!

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 1.26.43 PM

A friend and fellow food lover gave my husband and I this spice as part of our wedding gift. It changed my life, literally! I now buy it three at a time and have given it as a gift several times. Don’t worry if you are not a fan of spicy as it is not that hot. I honestly feel like this is the most universal spice and really adds so much to every dish so I thought it only appropriate to share with my fellow foodies. Even if it is not listed on all the recipes on this site, I usually throw in a dash or two :). You can find it al Sur la Table or online!!!

 

 

Here are just a few recipes where you can try it:

Red Lentil and Squash Soup

Soups

Paella

Rice Dishes

White Beans

Homemade Beans

White Beans and Cabbage

Veggie sides

And Many Many more!!! Enjoy 🙂

Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms and Kale

Lentils with Sweet Potato, Mushrooms and Kale

This is my go-to week night dish. I honestly think I end up eating it about once a week on nights where I don’t really feel like “cooking” or I get home late. It is super easy, tasty, filling and healthy! This recipe shows lentils but I have made it with almost every type of bean you can imagine: black, white, garbanzo… use whatever you have in the house!

Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms and Kale
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1-2 tsp garlic
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 – 2 bunches kale
  • 1 can (15 oz) or approx 2 cups of homemade beans of your choice (photo shows lentils)
  • Seasoning: I usually use a combo of spicy paprika, salt and pepper but I have also used taco seasoning when making with black or pinto beans or curry when using garbanzo. You need approx 2 -3 Tbsp of spice and then salt and pepper to taste.
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion and cook until fragrant and then add sweet potato. Saute approximately 6 minutes or until sweet potato starts to become tender.
  2. Add in garlic and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are cooked.
  3. Add kale, beans and spices and continue to cook until sweet potatoes are cooked through, mushrooms are tender and kale is wilted.
  4. Season to taste and serve.

Serving suggestion: Often times I serve this over a bed of arugula and put sliced cherry tomatoes on top 🙂

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Black Quinoa is a fun alternative to normal quinoa as it gives your dish a fun look. I made this the other night for my book club and the first compliment I got was on how good it smelled (thanks Alli) followed by several compliments on the taste. It is super easy to make for a big group and most importantly can be made ahead of time which is great when you are entertaining! You can find my homemade pesto recipe here.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry black quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1½ – 2 cups pesto (more if needed)
  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • ¾ cup feta cheese (omit of looking for a vegan version)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Olive oil (drizzle as needed)
Instructions
  1. Combine the water and quinoa in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Fluff with a fork and add stir in spinach while quinoa is still warm. Stir in pesto once spinach is mixed in.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Add quinoa and basil and mix well. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on top and add feta cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss everything together. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.
  4. Serving suggestion: Can use any combo of veggies bell pepper, olives, zucchini, etc.

Recipe modified from Eat, Live, Run.