Friday, February 24, 2012

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

With the way I have been cooking you are all probably starting to think I have turned into a Vegetarian.

 Not to worry, not to worry I still eat the way of the meat.  It just so happens to be Lent, and during the season of Lent Catholics do not eat meat on Fridays.  I am Catholic so I eat no meat...and yes, lamb is meat. : ) So I have been making more meatless meals then I usually do.

Do you ever wonder about Vegetarians?  Do you think they have a special bond with animals?  Do you think animals can sense that they don't eat their kind and instantly like them more then carnivores?

These are the things I ponder when cooking vegetarian meals.  Which is by they way not very acceptable in my home.  Usually the men in the house go and get some bacon or ham from the fridge and top my vegetarian meals with it.  "If there ain't not meat in it, I ain't going to eat it.!"

How do you feel about Eggplant?  I think it is the ugly stepsister in the family of vegetables.  I mean come on, what a weird shape it is!  The color however redeems it, along with the outstanding taste and texture it has going on.  I have only recently been convinced that I do in fact like eggplant.  I mourn all those lost years I lived without it.  Don't make the same mistake I did, find and eggplant today and make a renewed commitment to add it to your diet.  You will thank me in the end.

This recipe is lighter then the traditional Eggplant Parmesan where they deep fry the eggplant...which is of course - delicious, but heavy and unhealthy.  This version is equally delectable, and way healthier for your belly.  Make it as your main course, or as a side dish.  Paired with a nice salad it makes a wonderful meal!

Eggplant Parmesan Lightened Up
serves 2-3 people

1 eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2"slices
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mozerella cheese, shredded or whole - the less you put the heathier it is : )
2 cups Tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel, slice, and cut the eggplant, set aside.  In small bowl beat together the egg.  In medium bowl mix together the bread crumbs, parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and garlic powder.  Take each eggplant slice and dip it into the eggs covering completely.  Take out of the eggs and let drip for a second, then dip it into the bread crumb mixture.  Coat evenly on both sides.  Place on a greasedcookie sheet.  Continue until all eggplant are coated in bread crumbs.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes until golden on one side and then flip and bake another 10 minutes.  The crispier and the darker the better : )

Once eggplant is cooked remove from oven.  Now assemble the Parmesan!  Place a layer of the eggplant on the bottom of a 8x8 pan.  Cover with sauce and some cheese.  Then repat with another layer of eggplant/sauce/cheese until you run out of eggplant.  Place back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes.

I am soooo very close to buying a camera...I know I have been telling you that for sometime now, but really this time it is true and soon!  Stay tuned for better pictures!!!!  PS.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE FOOT!  YOU ARE AN ADULT NOW...WATCH OUT WORLD HERE SHE IS!

Eat your heart out,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Roasted Veggie Wrap with Hummus and Goat cheese

I once had a roommate.  This roommate and I didn't often agree on our food choices.  Then one day she made this and it was delightful.  Then we were friends. : )

This isn't her exact recipe, but like all recipes it is open to personal interpretation.

This is a great recipe that can be made ahead of time and made to impress guests.

I used a gluten free brown rice wrap for this, and since they are pretty fragile you can't really roll them, just fold them like a quesadilla.  Alternately you can also put it on bread.

This guy would probably opt to put it on bread and slather it with bacon : )

This guy is Gunnar, aka, Brodo Baggins, aka, little brother.

He just joined the Marines and they make him dress like this.

We are proud of his decision...that is his decision to join the Marines...not his fashion decisions...we do not endorse those.  For obvious reasons. : )

Roasted Veggie Wrap with Hummus and Goat Cheese

(you can always buy this pre made from the store, but really it is so simple to throw together)

In food processor or blender blend until smooth the following ingredients:

3 cups canned chickpeas, drained (which is 2 cans)
1/2 cup tahini (which is ground sesame seeds and can be found in the international food isle)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the following vegetables on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper:

1 eggplant (peeled and sliced into 1/2" disks
2 red peppers (sliced into large slices)
1 yellow pepper (sliced into large slices)
2 cups fresh mushrooms (sliced into quarters)

Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until peppers are tender, but still have a slight crunch to them.
FYI you can use a variety of veggies here instead of what I put...zucchini, other peppers, spinach, asparagus, carrots, onions...anything you have or like should work fine.


Heat a frying pan up and place each wrap into pan for a few seconds to slightly soften and warm.  (Or you can keep it all cold as well) Or you can assemble to whole thing and pop it in the oven or a toaster oven for a few minutes.

 Remove from pan and lay on flat surface.  Spread each tortilla/wrap with 1 TBS Goat cheese and 2-3 TBSP Hummus.  Layer on as much of the veggies as you like.  Optionally add lettuce and spinach to up the veggie content.  Drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper if you like!  Fold, sandwich, or roll and enjoy!

Eat your heart out,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 "Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education" - Mark Twain

When I was a wee sprout I loathed cauliflower.

We would only really eat cauliflower when Dad was in charge of making dinner. He would steam the cauliflower just to the point of mush and give us all huge helping of it. Yuck.


At one point in time my Mom was on weight watchers and she mashed the cauliflower trying to convince us all it was mashed potatoes. We were on to you Mom, and we didn't buy it.

I realize that cauliflower is an acquired taste, and I am proud to say I finally acquired it.

If a boy would show up on my doorstep with a bouquet of cauliflower I would marry him then and there.

As many of you are on board with the Pinterest craze you probably came across a pin for pizza crust made with cauliflower. Weird right? I think I pinned it about a million times before I decided maybe I should just get it over with and test the recipe out for myself.

The result was different. Surprising. Interesting. Intriguing. Quite good when all was said and done. I made these pizzas on Superbowl Sunday, and then fed it to our sweet cleaning lady the next day. Poor thing, she doesn't speak English, so when she bit into the pizza she was really confused and my explaining didn't help. After the initial shock wore off she ended up liking it and finishing it off. We should pay her more just for testing out all my weird cooking experiments : )

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Serves 6; Adapted from Your Lighter Side, and eat drink smile blog

3 cup riced cauliflower (1 head makes about three pizzas)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 eggs, beaten
3 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

olive oil (optional)

12 TBS of tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)
1 box frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed super dry or your pizza will be soggy
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself. Alternately you can steam it on the stove top, just don't submerge it in water or it will be too wet.

To Make the Pizza Crust:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 3 cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together cauliflower, eggs, and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, pepper flakes, and stir. Divide into 3 equal portions. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of each mixture to help with browning...this is optional but highly helps the crust become more crispy.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes until very golden brown. Make sure you make the crust nice and brown this will help it stay together and be crispy.

Remove from oven. Top each crust with 4 TBS sauce...spread around...then 1/3 of the box of defrosted super dry spinach, and 1/2 cup cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

I also made the crust ahead of time, put the toppings on it and froze it until ready to eat. Then just stuck it in the oven until cheese was melted.

Eat your heart out,


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

VALENTINE COOKIES 2012 cookies are on ETSY!  I have been so busy with the new job, and local orders that my shop still had bat cookies posted from Halloween. OH BOY.  Now my friends, let the Valentine cookie making madness commence!

Check out my shop, and be sure to place all orders before 5 pm THIS Thursday in order to get the cookies by Valentine's day.