Tag Archives: Healthy

Eggplant Burgers

14 Sep

One of the many good things that has come from getting a CSA this summer is how much more vegetables that we consume than we used to. It’s very rare that I actually go to Whole Foods and buy any meat anymore, because of the abundance of veggies that we get each week. We usually supplement our veggie meals with some sandwiches, and when we go out to eat we usually have meat, but we’ve unknowingly become almost vegetarian!

I explained this phenomenon to my husband, and he wasn’t quite sure how he felt about it.

But when you are eating deliciousness such as Eggplant Burgers, who needs meat anymore?

When I spotted these on Lizzy’s blog, I knew what I needed to do with the excess of eggplant we had been receiving of late. I clicked over to the inspiration behind Lizzy’s post  to see what kind of ingredients I needed.

I noticed that there actually wasn’t as much eggplant as I was hoping there was, so I adapted it and got rid of the extra beans, and subbed much more eggplant and hoped for the best.

And the verdict?

They were delicious! They definitely had the extra oomf of eggplant that I was craving, and because they are baked, they are super healthy to boot! I served them with a simple tahini sauce and pickles on a seeded bun, and BAM, dinner, is served.

 
Eggplant Burgers

Adapted from The Tolerant Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 medium sized eggplants, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and line the eggplant slices on the pan (you may need to use 2). Brush on olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper onto both sides of the eggplant.
– Bake for 10 minutes on one side, flip over, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Take the eggplant out of the oven and reduce the oven to 400 degrees.
– In a medium skillet, add 2 tsp of olive oil to the pan and cook the shallots and garlic until the shallot softens, about 10-15 minutes.
 – In the bowl of your food processor, combine the shallot mixture, parsley, pine nuts, cumin, red pepper flakes, hummus and eggplant and pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth, about 15-20 pulses.
 – Scoop the mixture into a bowl and with a spatula mix in the panko breadcrumbs. If the mixture appears too loose, add a few more tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
 – Make four large patties and place them on an aluminum or parchment paper lined baking pan. Bake the patties for 45 minutes, turning them over halfway through, until browned.
– Serve on a bun with tahini sauce (recipe below) and your favorite condiments.
Tahini Sauce
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp tahini (based on your preference)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined. Add additional lemon or tahini to suit your tastes.

Currant Chicken Salad

20 Jul

This recipe was a lot of firsts for me. We recently got some red currants in our weekly CSA and I honestly had no idea what to do with them. I don’t even know if I had eaten anything with currants in it up to this point in my life. Is that sad? I hope not.

I popped a currant into my mouth and immediately tasted the tartness with a slight sweet undertone. I decided I would make something savory with these red currants, but what?

Why, the answer was simple! (Sort of) Chicken salad! I love love love chicken salad. There is a lunch spot near my office (Al’s South Street Deli in case you are wondering) that served a MASSIVE chicken salad sandwich. I could down one of those in a heartbeat. And then I would have to check that my heart was actually still beating.

You see, they use A LOT of mayo. I’m actually not a huge fan of mayo unless it’s in a chicken salad sandwich. Even then, I try to put more mustard than mayo in my salad concoction.

This time I decided to forgo mayo entirely and substitute it with it’s healthier cousin, Greek Yogurt. I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Greek Yogurt on its own, but when it’s paired in a dish such as this? Amazing. You will not miss the mayo in this salad people. And you don’t have to be guilty about eating seconds, because this salad is actually HEALTHY for you!

Stick some on a bed of lettuce or even with your favorite bread, and you are golden.

Currant Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I roasted mine beforehand)
  • 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped spring onions (use the greens too!)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup whole currants, packed tightly
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped roasted walnuts

In a small sauce pan, add the currants and sugar and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat until boiling and then reduce the heat and simmer to your desired thickness. I like to mash up some of the currants as well. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the greek yogurt, garlic powder, paprika, dijon mustard and red wine vinegar and mix to combine. Once the currants are cool, add the mixture to the yogurt mix. Add the chicken and spring onions and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add walnuts if you want an extra crunch.

Can be served slightly warmed, or if you want the flavors to meld a little more, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for an hour. Serve over lettuce or in your favorite sandwich bread!

Pan-Roasted Fish Fillet w/ Olive, Almond & Orange Relish

21 Jun

Fish is something I grew up with when I was a kid. Being half Portuguese, I would probably be excommunicated if I didn’t like fish. Especially if that fish was cod or sardines. My Mom makes this killer baked cod with olive oil, potatoes, & onions. I’ve tried making it a few times, and my husband says that my version is pretty tasty as well.

This particular dish left me with some battle wounds. You see, I tend to get a little frazzled in the kitchen. I have my music playing in the background, 4 different pans going, the oven on high, and stuff scattered EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I don’t pay attention. Sometimes I take a pan out of the oven, plop it on top of the oven, go do something else, and FORGET that I JUST took said pan out of the oven, and proceed to grab HOT handle and yelp and run to the bathroom.

All while my husband plays video games.

While it hurt like a b&*tch it wasn’t actually as bad as I thought. And I got my first kitchen battle wound. Guess worse things have happened….

Have you entered for a chance to win a copy of America’s Test Kitchen’s Cooking for Two yet?!? Head on over HERE to enter. Remember, you have until 3PM on Wednesday 6/22 to enter!!


Pan Roasted Fish Fillets w. Olive, Almond & Orange Relish
From Cooking for Two 2011 

For the Fish

  • 2 (6-8oz) skinless white fish fillets, 1-1.5″ thick (I used haddock)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
Adjust oven to middle position and preheat to 425 degrees. Pat fish dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp sugar evenly over skinned side of each fillet.
Heat oil in 10″ oven safe non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Place fillets in skillet, sugared sides down, and press down lightly to ensure even cooking. Cook until browned 1-1.5 minutes. Using two spatulas, flip fillets and transfer skillet to oven.
Roast fillets until centers are just opaque and register 135 degrees on instant-read thermometer. 7-10 minutes. Serve immediately w/ lemon wedges and relish.
For the Relish
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted lightly
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange zest plus 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh mint
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Pulse almonds, olives, garlic and orange zest in food processor until nuts and olives are finely chopped, 10-12 pulses. Transfer to bowl and stir in orange juice, olive oil, mint, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and spoon over fish before serving.

Asian Black Bean Burger

8 Feb

Ever since I started back up on Weight Watchers, it’s been a little hard on the husband. I told him that I was going to limit baking to once every two weeks and I think he might have looked at me like I just told him Christmas was cancelled. I told him no ifs ands or buts about it.

I also told him that we would have to start eating better. The days of Stove Top Mac & Cheese were over (unless it’s Thursday night and I’ve already weighed in for the week!). I introduced him to such things as quinoa and more vegetarian meals, including this one!

“A veggie burger? Is that going to be enough?” My husband quipped. I told him to eat more edameme.

This was pretty simple to throw together, and is wildly interchangeable. I was originally going to put some broccoli and carrots but then realized the ones I had in the fridge had a funny smell to them. Whoops!

You need to make this. And then you need to slather it in Sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce and maybe some extra soy sauce because you’re feeling frisky. Maybe slap some sriracha on your edamame. Yeah, I went there.

Asian Black Bean Burger

  • 1  can black beans
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame ginger seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Peanut Oil, for pan

In a food processor combine all ingredients. You may have to put the spinach in a little at a time until it’s properly chopped up. If you like your burgers on the chunkier side, pulse until it’s to your consistency.

In a medium saute pan, heat the peanut oil. The mixture will be slightly wet, if you prefer, you can refrigerate for a half hour to firm up the batter.

Form into patties and pan fry for about 4-5 minutes per side.

I served mine with some hoisin and sriracha sauce, on a sesame seed bun. I had some leftover fontina cheese that I melted for the top. Then I served it with a heaping pile of edamame.

Sausage & Cheese Quinoa

30 Jan

I introduced my husband to the wonders of quinoa a while ago. He had never heard of quinoa before. I don’t even think he knew how to spell or pronounce it. I think the first time he saw it he thought it was some dried form of couscous.

My friends, if you’ve never had quinoa before, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. I have never seen something so versatile. Quinoa can be eaten at any time of the day. You can have it for breakfast. Or maybe you want to have a light lunch. You can have it for dessert. Or you can have it for dinner like I did.

And quinoa isn’t just a side dish. It is the main character here. The star of the show, if you will. Front and center, it’s all about the quinoa.

Did I also mention that quinoa is one of the healthiest foods you can eat? It’s got a lot of protein, essential amino acids, dietary fiber, is gluten free and is easy to digest. Not to mention that it is very filling and will keep you full for a long time. You pretty much can’t go wrong with it.

After I made this quinoa dish my husband said, and I quote, “Feel free to buy and make quinoa whenever you want. It’s really good.”

If I haven’t sold you on quinoa yet, then by the time you finish reading this recipe, you’ll be a convert for sure.

Sausage & Cheese Quinoa

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa*
  • 9oz fresh spinach
  • 1 cup sliced gouda
  • 2 links of cooked turkey andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

*If you want to learn how to cook quinoa, click here.

In a large saute pan heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is nicely browned. Add in the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add in the sausage and stir for another 2 minutes. Add the quinoa and the cheese and stir until the cheese has been distributed evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and add more sliced cheese to the top because it’s that delicious. Garnish with some dried parsley.

If you want to make this vegetarian, just take out the sausage! I would recommend adding more cheese though, or combining 2 different cheeses, to make the dish more interesting.

Daring Cook’s: Poached Eggs

14 Dec

One of my favorite ways of eating eggs is poaching. It’s kind of magical. If done correctly, you have a perfect white coccoon, and nestled in the center is a beautiful butterfly that is waiting to burst out into yolky goodness.

River of gold

I’m also a fan of the sunny side up egg. My mom used to make me sunny side up eggs with a side of toast, and I loved to break open the egg yolk and dunk my bread in the yolk. I still do it to this day. My cat also likes sunny side up eggs, because she licks up the leftover yolk on the plate.

 
For this month’s Daring Cook’s we were challenged to make poached eggs. Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.
 
I decided to forgo the Eggs Benedict (Even though I do love them to pieces!) and went with a poached egg salad. Everything was going absolutely SPLENDID until I got to the poached egg. First, I forgot to add the vinegar and salt. Then my clear beautiful water turned into an eggy mess. I ended up getting one pretty poached egg, one ugly poached egg and one trashed poached egg. All in all it was quite the experience.
 

Poached Egg Salad

Part 1: Croutons

  • 3 slices of day old bread (I used 12 grain from Whole Foods)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread in with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spread the bread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until browned. Set aside.

Part 2: Bacon & Roasted Garlic

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Line another baking pan (or use the same one for the croutons! The less dishes the better!) with aluminum foil and lay out the bacon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and olive oil.

Remove excess from garlic bulb. Cut garlic bulb at the top to expose the garlic. Place in a heat proof ramekin and sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Bake bacon and garlic together for 15-18 minutes, turning the bacon once, until your level of crispiness. Take the bacon out and bake the garlic for an additional 15 minutes. Put both aside.

Part 3: Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Part 4: Poached Eggs

Bring a pot of water to a simmer, just before the boiling point (Between 160-180 degrees) Add 2 tbsp vinegar and salt liberally (This I forgot to do, D’oh!) Crack first egg into a small cup and then gently (Gently I say!) place into the water. Using a slotted spoon gather the egg whites towards the yolk. Shut off the heat and cover, cooking for 3-4 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolk. Repeat as necessary.

Part 5: Assemble your salad

  • 1 bunch red leaf lettuce
  • 4 grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 raw onion, chopped

Combine your salad greens with the tomatoes and onions. Crumble up the bacon, add the croutons, coat lightly with dressing and add your poached egg to the top.

That’s the not so pretty egg, in case you’re wondering

This was definitely no easy task! I now have a greater appreciation for a good poached egg at a restaurant. The people that can make poached eggs like nothing, well, I bow down to you. Hopefully, with a little practice, I’ll be able to whip them up in no time.

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