Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Old Purple Pal

It has been some time since I have cooked with eggplant. I figured it was due time to re-introduce it in my life. 
I am not vegan, but not too much of a meat eater. DH and I are trying to incorporate more vegan (or lacto-ovo vegan) meals into our lives. Meatless dinners are the first place to start.

My version of Eggplant Parmesan

(omit the meat section of the recipe)
Parmesan Cheese
Italian breadcrumbs


Wash eggplant and cut length-wise into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Eggplant has so much water in it. The best way to get rid of it (an make sure your dish isn't soggy) is to purge the water. To do this, put your eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let set for 20 minutes or longer. The water will rise out of the eggplant. 

After water has been purged, rinse off slices to remove excess salt and pat dry.

Now you will batter your eggplant. Dip the slices into an egg wash then coat in bread crumbs. Put on a large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes on each side.

After eggplant has been cooked, put about a 1/2 cup of red sauce in the bottom of your glass baking pan.

Now comes the fun. You are going to layer the eggplant, sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Then add an other layer of red sauce.

The next layers will be eggplant, sauce then cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove foil and use broiler to brown the cheese.

Let this cool for about 10 minutes so it will be easier to cut.

Dinner is served!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stuffed Red Peppers

Every time I see red peppers on sale, I have to buy them up! 

Here is my version on stuffed red peppers.

Cut the peppers in half length-wise, remove seeds and ribs.

Steam peppers for ten minutes.

Place in a baking pan and season with salt and pepper.

I make a filling of tomatoes, brown rice, sauted onions and lots of smoky paprika. You can really add just about anything you like. I threw in some corn this time, sometimes I use browned turkey burger or cubed tofu.

Cook filling until tender and thickened.

Fill steamed peppers with your delicious filling.
Cook in oven at 350 for 20 minutes. 

At this point, you can shred some cheese on top. DH used 2 year old aged Parmesan cheese and a tiny bit of sharp cheddar too.

Put peppers under broiler and cook until golden brown on top.

Plate pepper and sprinkle with some Mexican oregano to garnish.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mexican Food Night! Taquitos - Ole'!

Having left over roast in the fridge and a bag of corn tortillas in the freezer, I decided it was time for Mexican Fiesta Night.

Corn Tortillas
Meat (shredded beef or chicken)
Sharp Cheese

In a large bowl, combine left over meat, a 1/2 cup of salsa and a sprinkle of cheese. 

Warm the tortillas in the microwave with a damp paper towel over them. This makes them more pliable and easier to roll.

Scoop a few small spoonfuls of the filling on to the tortilla, roll tightly and put on baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with damp paper towel while rolling the other tortillas.

Bake Taquitos in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until crisp.

Once they have cooled to touch, use a serrated knife to cut them in half.

I like to serve this with black beans and guacamole.

For the black beans, I cook them risotto style with jalapenos, chicken broth, garlic and cumin.


For the guacamole, simply mix a clove of minced garlic with lime juice, pepper and a mashed avocado. YUM!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Delicious Dump Soup

Jackee's Dump Soup

1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can diced chilies
1 can chicken or veggie broth
1 medium sized onion- diced
4 cloves of garlic- minced
Red Pepper Strips (1/2 pepper)
2 teaspoons cumin & Pepper flakes
Olive Oil
Any white fish

Directions: Cook white fish (I usually use tilapia) that is seasoned with Old Bay seasoning. You can poach or pan fry. Sit fish aside.

Heat large pot and add olive oil. Saute onions until tender. Add garlic and red pepper and cook until tender. Add tomatoes (drained), beans (drained), chilies and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add corn (drained), cumin, pepper flakes and heat until corn is warm. Season with salt and pepper to your taste preference. (I use no-salt canned veggies, so some salt will need to be added).

Scoop soup into bowl and serve with a piece of fish on top, a dollop of sour cream, olives and tortilla chips. We like it with Chipolte Tabasco on top too.

This is one of our favorite soups. I call it "Dump Soup" because you just open all the cans of food and dump them in. Plus, it is a high fiber meal :)