Eggplant Parmesan will forever be one of my all time favorite comfort foods. There's just something about taking a bite of the gooey, sauce covered vegetable that feels like a great big hug. I don't even know when I became such an eggplant parm fan because as a child, I'm fairly certain that I refused to even try it. Or eggplant in any other form for that matter. I don't know when that all changed but now I can't seem to get enough of it. 😋
Even though I prefer to eat my Eggplant smothered in cheese and sauce, I'm calling this a plant based recipe. It's mostly vegetable based, right? I'm not sure I would go as far as to say that it's a "healthy" recipe but I feel like it's healthy-er than the deep fried Eggplant Parmesan recipes.
You may notice that this eggplant pecorino has no breading. I've always wondered why people go through the trouble of breading the eggplant in eggplant parmesan anyway. After you drench it in marinara, the breading on the eggplant gets soggy. I much prefer this method of lightly sautéing the eggplant before layering it with spicy marinara and salty cheeses. I've actually heard that this is the traditional way that Italians first made eggplant parmesan. Not sure if that's true but I choose to believe it.
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 anchovy filets, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon oregano
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 cup olive oil
2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 cup mozarella cheese, shredded
Repeat layering 3 more times. Spread remaining sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with mozarella.
Bake 30 minutes at 375. Place under broiler and cook until browned. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Hahahaha
It's officially eggplant season and I can't get enough of the purple fruit. 🍆 There has never been a better time to make my favorite eggplant dishes. I've got eggplant lasagna and eggplant meatballs on my menu for next week. Here's hoping my family doesn't get tired of eggplant dinners before the season ends. 😂
Got up close and personal with some of my neighbors this week. 🐮This is the closest I've gotten to anyone outside of my family in a month. 😂 These guys (and girls) are actually great company. They're just as curious about me as I am about them.
Panera introduced their warm grain bowls a few months ago and after exactly one bowl - they became my new favorite menu item at the restaurant. Their Mediterranean bowl is a brown rice and quinoa base with arugula, chicken, tomatoes, olives, cucumber and hummus. (I get mine without the greek yogurt and feta.) It's simple and yet really satisfying and delicious. I was so obsessed that I made a special trip to Panera the other day because I was craving one - only to find out that it's not on the limited drive-through only menu. 😢 I know - poor me.
Since I can't get my Mediterranean Grain Bowl from Panera until the dining room reopens, I decided to make them at home for myself. Best decision ever. These are surprisingly easy to make and just as tasty as the Panera version. I would love for you to taste the Panera grain bowls but if they're not available at your local restaurant either - give my homemade version a try. You might just like my recipe better. 🤭
Mediterranean Grain Bowl
2 cups spring mix
2 cups cooked brown rice and quinoa (look for it in the freezer section)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
10 grape tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 cup hummus
Top with lettuce. Mine came from my garden.
I'm not usually one to choose prepared frozen foods over fresh but in this case - the frozen rice and quinoa was a huge time saver. I microwaved both at the same time in 5 minutes! I am loving this Grain Bowl and thank you Panera for the inspiration.
If serving corn salsa for dinner is wrong - I don't want to be right. It's so stinking hot outside that salsa really seems like the best option for dinner. You know it's a scorcher when it's too hot to even stand on the deck and grill something for dinner. (I'm determined to try and fry an egg on my back deck one day -- I'll keep you posted on that little experiment. ) 🍳 Wouldn't we all just prefer to eat salsa and chips for dinner anyway?
This roasted corn salsa is delicious as a meal. It's equally delicious on a taco and a burrito. It's delicious on a salad and and over a bowl of grits. I would eat it in the air, I would eat it in a chair. I would eat it in the car and in a bar. I couldn't resist. 😂
This scrumptious roasted corn salsa is refreshing and hearty and the sweet corn just steals the show. You know how much I love a good pan of roasted vegetables and adding just a few fresh herbs and spices really brings out their flavor beautifully. Stock up on the chips friends - you're going to eat a lot of them while you devour this salsa.
Roasted Corn Salsa
1 pound plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 ears corn, halved lengthwise
2 onion, sliced into 1/2" rings
1 poblano chile, seeded and halved
2 jalapeno, seeded and halved
2 Tablespoon canola oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Process lime juice, cayenne, tomatoes, garlic and 1/2 t. salt until smooth. Add to corn mixture along with cilantro. Let sit for 1 hour.
Sometimes I add a half and avocado to my corn salsa because I'm obsessed with avocados and because they make everything better. I'd love to hear from any of you who make this salsa with modifications. Let me know what kinds of peppers, seasonings, and spices do you add to make it unique. 🌶
When it rains it pours. Literally. Right into our master bedroom closet. 💧We've known that our roof was in bad shape for quite a while now but honestly, we've been trying to ignore the not-so-great looking patch repair jobs and hoping that our HOA would also turn a blind eye to the mismatched shingles covering the giant holes in our roof. We've even tried praying for hail to come and finish it off so that our insurance company could help with some of the cost of replacing the roof. 🤣
Well, after this latest leak, we were forced to deal with our roof problem head on. It was either that or start wearing wet clothes everyday. As much as we hated to spend the money, we bit the bullet and shelled out the cash to replace our roof. (At least this major home expense is above ground so that we can actually SEE where our money went. 💩)
So while I wallow in self pity over our money pit of a house, I will console myself with my favorite foods. I'm not sure why the consumption of decadent food makes me feel better about spending money on costly home repairs but somehow it does. Maybe I feel like I'm actually SAVING money that we would otherwise be spending on restaurant meals. OR maybe food has always been my way of comforting myself. (Phycologists would have field day with me! 🤣)
I made this Sicilian Caponata to serve alongside some grilled chicken breasts. It was super easy to put together while the chicken cooked on the grill. I also prefer this stovetop method to roasting vegetables because I didn't have to heat up the house by turning my oven on in the middle of summer which is how I normally roast my vegetables. I think this Caponata is going to be a side dish that I make a LOT this summer.
6 Tablespoons oil
1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil
Stir in basil just before serving.
The good news is that our new roof is on and it looks amazing. The bad news is that the forklift driver that was delivering our shingles, knocked out irrigation system by driving over the power box. 🤦🏻♀️ Oh well, it's time to move on to our next repair job anyway. 💁🏻♀️
Do you have any idea how many zucchini a single plant can produce in one season? It's a ridiculous number. I would go as far as to say a single zucchini plant can yield more zucchini than my entire neighborhood could consumer in a summer.
I didn't realize how prolific zucchini plants can be and I foolishly put 4 plants in my garden one summer. 😬 Needless to say, I became a door to door zucchini saleswoman that summer - pushing my wares on anyone who would accept them. When I wasn't able to give away my vegetables anymore, I started disguising my zucchini in delicious baked goods like breads and muffins. Not too many people turned down my freshly baked zucchini treats. (There's more than one way to get rid of extra zucchini.) 😂
I ate so much zucchini that summer that I thought I was going to turn green. I scoured the internet and cookbooks for new and interesting ways to prepare it. I only wish that I would have had this grilled zucchini recipe in my repertoire when I was drowning in the long green vegetable.
The delicious Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is the perfect compliment to this Grilled Zucchini. I love how delicious this zucchini really is without adding sugar or fat or cheese. A healthy zucchini recipe that tastes amazing. This might even be worth planting a single zucchini plant next year.
Check out this beautiful pepper that I found. (Is it weird to describe a vegetable as beautiful?)
Grilled Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 1/2 Tablespoons + 1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
Arrange zucchini over sauce and drizzle with remaining sauce. Serve.
I have a feeling that this grilled zucchini was meant to be a side dish, but I turned mine into a main course. I served it alongside a spoonful of whole wheat couscous and triangles of toasted flatbread. It was a delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into our diet.
Like my page on facebook.
Follow me on Instagram