Eggplant is something people have strong opinions about. I happen to love its hearty texture and delicate flavor, but I prefer it when baked instead of fried, because eggplant likes to soak things up, and frying can cause it to soak up too much oil. For this Mediterranean-inspired eggplant chickpea bake, we are going to broil the eggplant instead of frying it. Then we layer it with yummy things like tomato sauce with oregano, tangy feta, and hearty chickpeas, and we bake it. While baking, the eggplant will soak up beautiful, sunny Mediterranean flavors from the sauce, rather than oil from frying. I call that winning at eggplant! Continue reading
It may not be completely obvious what these are. Because this is some next level carrot action! Have you heard of pigs in a blanket? Little smoky sausages in a crispy crust? Well, these are little smoky carrots in a crispy crust! Baked, not fried, and containing hardly any fat. How on earth did I come up with this? It falls into the category of having to find out if it could possibly work. I read the basic recipe in The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever, and having also been on a Sheet Pan Suppers bender, I decided to make them on a baking sheet instead of in a casserole dish, thinking the shallow sides would allow more air circulation to add crispiness. I also added a hit of smoked paprika, which made a huge difference in turning them into a super-savory snack. They’d be really good with some sort of dip, but we didn’t wait for that – we ate them right off the pan, standing up in the kitchen! Don’t judge us until you’ve tried this fun little appetizer for yourself!
Imagine if a pizza and a croissant had a baby. It would be a savory, flaky tart just like this! Puff pastry makes the flaky crust, topped with mushrooms, shallots, and thyme, then drizzled with a bit of truffle oil, sprinkled with goat cheese crumbles and baked till puffed and golden. This was my first time working with puff pastry and it was not as difficult as I had feared – it was actually quite easy. I always thought of it as something akin to phyllo dough, which requires brushing each layer with oil or butter as you use it, but puff pastry was much easier to work with. You just kind of unroll it and use it. What a nice surprise! Continue reading
I have never met a lentil I didn’t like. They’re a gentle and friendly little legume. You don’t have to presoak them, and they’re generally simpatico with my way of being. In looking for unusual and creative ways to prepare them, I happened across this recipe from the awesomely named Veganomicon. One of the authors of Veganomicon is the author of a cookbook I’ve blogged about before: Salad Samurai. Check out more Terry Hope Romero recipes I’ve tried here and here!
Zoodles seem to be taking over the world. What are zoodles? They are zucchini “noodles” made using a spiralizer, which creates long thin strands out of vegetables. I’m highly entertained by the fact that the British call them “coodles” because they call a zucchini a “courgette”. Coodles, zoodles, whatever you call them – they’re a perfect way to use up those zucchinis / courgettes that are everywhere this time of year. Low-carb fans often substitute zoodles for pasta noodles, but I like to make salads with them since I prefer them cold. This particular salad features a lemony oregano dressing with tomatoes, feta cheese and toasted pine nuts. Just the thing for a hot summer day! Continue reading
For your summer enjoyment: Chilled, crisp-tender green beans and carrots lightly splashed with a simple tart and sweet dressing, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. What do I mean by crisp-tender? When you blanch veggies by briefly cooking them in boiling water, then plunging them into cold water to stop the cooking, they stay brightly colored and become tender while still remaining crisp like a fresh veggie. You can make this simple preparation with all beans or all carrots if you like. Red bell pepper would also be a great addition. This makes a fabulous accompaniment to Asian food or a refreshing mayo-free side dish for your next barbecue.