Baked Eggplant Medley

I’m a sucker for eggplant.  Yes, it’s a nightshade veggie but I just love the sweet, soft taste of a freshly baked eggplant.  There’s something about that rich purple skin and those succulent seeds…it almost resembles a creamy texture when baked.

What’s not to love, right? A perfect dish for a chilly, winter night when your body’s yearning for a bit of warmth and ‘healthy’ comfort food.  Why not toss the idea of the heavy, rich comfort foods and create a dish that you feel good about eating and is fun n’ quick to whip up.

My Grandfather and father got me hooked on the ol’ eggplant when I was a kid and I haven’t turned my back since.

But, these days, my body enjoys a freshly baked eggplant and veggie dish instead of the heavy eggplant Parmesan that we made growing up.  My baked eggplant is gluten-free n’ dairy-free, delicious and farm-to-table fresh.

No need for processed bread crumbs.

No need for processed cheese.

Just a lil’ trip to the ol’ farmers market and you’re all set.

Trust me on this one; you won’t miss the ol’ version of eggplant parm.

The combination of chia seeds and flax seeds, both finely ground, make this meal hearty and satisfying.

If you’re going to add in a healthy fat, why not toss in these seeds or a bit of avocado instead of layering on heavy cheese and sauces?

I surely don’t miss the old eggplant parm.

Because this is new; it fits me and my lifestyle and is easy for my stomach to digest.

And that’s what life’s all about right?

Feeling good and feeling good about what we put into our bodies.

So, why not whip up this fresh veggie medley dish tnitey?

I create this dish every once n’ awhile with a few of my other favorite veggies and herbs.

This time around…it was all about the tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh parsley, turmeric, freshly ground white pepper, sea salt, dulse flakes, fresh tomato sauce n’ a sprinkle of both ground chia seeds and ground flax seeds.

And every time, I simply just can’t resist.

Can you?

Baked Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant,
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh tomato sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Pinch sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dulse flakes (sea vegetable)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh curly parsley, roughly chopped
  • Topping: Additional fresh tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a 9 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Slice eggplant into disk-like shapes approximately 1/4″ thick.
  3. Layer eggplant into the bottom of the baking dish; top with tomatoes, onion, scallions, tomato sauce and garlic.  Sprinkle with turmeric, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, dulse flakes, chia seeds and flax seeds. Place into the oven.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and tender.
  5. Remove from oven; garnish with parsley.
  6. Serve warm with additional tomato sauce.
  7. Enjoy!
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Thanks to POM Wonderful…’Taste of The Nation NYC’…Here I Come…

Thanks to POM Wonderful, I will be attending the Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation event here in Manhattan on Monday, May the 17th and I can hardly wait!

Speaking of POM Wonderful, last night I created a POM extravaganza in my kitchen…Ever heard of POM Pine Nut Banana Bread, POM Macadamia Nut Brownies or POM Pineapple Lime Dressing?  All three of these tasty POM Wonderful recipes are gluten-free and diary-free…Read on for the deliciousness…I assure you, your taste buds will thank you…and be sure to check my recipes out on the POM Wonderful website, as well!

POM Wonderful Pine Nut Banana Bread

Ingredients

3 large bananas, peeled and mashed

4 Tbsp. POM Wonderful

1/3 cup dates

2 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 1/2 cups rice flour

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of chili powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bananas, POM Wonderful, dates and almond extract; mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine pine nuts, rice flour, olive oil, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chili powder; mix well until smooth.
  4. Transfer batter into a baking pan; bake for approximately 1 hour or until bread is firm.
  5. Enjoy!

POM Macadamia Nut Brownies


Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 teaspoons almond extract

1/3 cup POM Wonderful

1/2 cup chunky apple sauce

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine coconut oil, honey, coconut milk, almond extract, POM Wonderful and apple sauce into a large bowl; whisk well to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine buckwheat flour, sea salt, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  4. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet; stir to combine.  Slowly add chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
  5. Transfer batter into a baking pan; bake for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked inside.
  6. Enjoy!

POM Pineapple Lime Dressing


Ingredients

1/4 cup POM Wonderful

1 cup frozen pineapple chunks

1 Honey Crisp apple, peeled, cored and sliced

2 teaspoons lime juice

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 Tablespoon lime zest

1 teaspoon honey

Pinch of chili powder

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients; process until smooth.
  2. Serve chilled atop salads, pastas, frozen yogurt or lean protein.
  3. Enjoy!

Be sure to tune in for my Taste of the Nation recap on May the 17th thanks to POM Wonderful!

Salmon Stuffed Sweet Peppers

We’ve all seen my tasty stuffed tomatoes, however, after purchasing a few yellow and orange peppers at Whole Foods earlier this week, I opted for a  stuffed pepper recipe that includes my favorite canned salmon from Trader Joe’s.  This is a quick n’ easy recipe that tastes just minutes to prepare and pop into the oven for a savory side dish or meal anytime of the day.

Ingredients

  • 1large yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. hazelnuts, ground
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s salmon, drained
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup rice cheese, grated

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut off top of each pepper, scoop out insides and discard.
  • Combine all ingredients (except rice cheese) into a mixing bowl; mix well.
  • Stuff mixture into hollowed peppers.  Sprinkle with rice cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  • Enjoy!

Squash Blossom Guacamole and Giveaway…

Last night, I had a bit of time on my hands and decided to once again get creative in my kitchen.  I recently purchased a few beautiful squash blossoms and I was yearning for a guacamole to have in my fridge for the weekend, therefore I decided to make the best of my blossoms and whip up a tasty guac with a pinch of saffron and chili powder to add a nice kick. The end result: Delishhhy.   Let’s just say there isn’t much left as I was tasting it all night long…

Ingredients

  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3 squash blossoms
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Dash of pepper

Directions

  • Toast saffron threads in a frying pan.
  • Mash in a mortar and pestle.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mash avocados with saffron and squash blossoms.
  • Fold in remaining ingredients.
  • Serve chilled.
  • Enjoy!

Wildwood Organics Coupon Give-Away


I have 4 Complimentary Wildwood Organics Coupons to giveaway as well as many discounted coupons, therefore I will be picking 4 winners on Monday, March the 15th.

4 Lucky Winners will each win 1 complimentary coupon along with many discounted coupons!

To enter this Wildwood Organics Coupon Giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me what Wildwood Organics product you’d like to try.

Good Luck.


In The News This Week…

Avoiding Processed Foods is a Good First Step Toward a More Healthful Diet

Improving Your Diet Doesn’t Mean You Have to Break the Bank

How Healthy is Going Gluten Free?

Salty, Sweet: A Study Says Fat is the 6th ‘Taste’

Green Fish Catches On

Gluten Problems for Babies

Monday is the last day to enter the Progresso Souper You Contest at www.Progresso.com/SouperYou.

Don’t forget to set your clocks for Daylight Savings this weekend…

Spring Ahead one hour!

Sweet Pea n’ Asparagus Guacamole

Last night, I got to thinking…its been quite some time since I’ve whipped up a guacamole, so I picked up an avocado at my corner farmer’s market and decided to get creative…how creative? Well, while at the farmer’s market I stumbled upon a fresh batch of sweet snow peas and a beautiful bundle of asparagus…I simply couldn’t resist and I purchased these incredibly fresh veggies to bring home and have a bit of fun creating a new guacamole recipe…after a bit of altering and tasting, I had perfected my new ‘guac’ and this may be the best one yet.  I present to you…my newest guacamole creation…

Ingredients

  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh snow peas
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. flax seeds
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Heat vegetable broth in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped onion and garlic; saute until onions are translucent.  Add snow peas, asparagus, sunflower seeds, sea salt and pepper; heat for approximately 4 minutes.
  • Transfer snow pea mixture into a blender or food processor.  Add avocado, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lemon rind, chopped parsley, sea salt and chili powder; puree until desired consistency.
  • Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  • Enjoy!

Fillet of Sole with Spicy Cilantro Salsa

Last evening, I created a delicious dinner for myself…I spent my afternoon in the long lines of Whole Foods Market at Columbus Circle…after waiting online and fighting the New Year’s Eve crowds (at 3 PM), I was a happy camper with my fresh piece of sole, parsley, cilantro, onions, tomatoes and kale.

I created a tasty dish, quite simple, in fact…I simply cooked the fillet on the stove top, covered, with a touch of low sodium vegetable broth, sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.  Once the fillet was cooked, I served it over steamed kale and my new concoction ‘Spicy Cilantro Salsa’.

Spicy Cilantro Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. spicy, stone ground mustard
  • 1 small tomato, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dulse flakes

Directions

  • Simply combine all of the above ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix well.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature atop fillet of sole, steamed kale and blanched sweet onions.
  • I served my sole with an additional dollop of Greek plain yogurt and salsa (gotta love the extra’s, hehe) as you can see in my picture below.
  • Enjoy!

Happy New Year Bloggies!

Harvest Pumpkin Tofu Frittata

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I was bit by the frittata bug last week and made this for a quick and easy breakfast dish, which then turned into a few meals throughout the week.  Aside from this tasty breakfast, I created an afternoon frittata lunch over arugula, pistacios and fresh figs and  a hearty supper earlier this week atop  al dente buckwheat noodles, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Over the years my clients have asked me, “What’s the difference between a frittata and an omelet?” Good Question, isn’t it?  Well, in case you are unsure of the answer…the main difference between these two is simply that omelets traditionally have the eggs cooked and folded around the filling, while a frittata gets everything mumbled, jumbled and mixed together.  I serve my frittatas at room temperature, which makes them a convenient option for ‘Cooking Once, Eating Twice’ through creating lunch and dinner plates.  The thought of frittatas reminds me of getting together with friends over brunch and gives me a cozy feeling inside…suddenly it’s not about the frattata anymore, yet the overall enjoyment of a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by one (me) or a large group.  For me, there’s nothing like a light egg dish combined with your favorite veggies and herbs, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.  Now, doesn’t that sound delicious?

Frittatas are a wonderful way to add a variety of veggies (and leftovers) to your meal; the flavor combinations are unlimited…simply let your imagination guide you when choosing what’s available in your fridge.  It’s quite easy to experiment and hard to go wrong when creating your frittata masterpiece…it’s a fun, effortless way to whip up a quick meal anytime of the day. My  flavorful pumpkin tofu frittata is packed with health benefits, which come from its rich source of vitamins A, C and K.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 oz. firm tofu, drained
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish
  • Optional Toppings: Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, vegan Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Prepare and chop all vegetables.
  • Puree tofu with eggs and egg whites, canned pumpkin, dried oregano and turmeric in a blender.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; let sit for 1 minute, or until it starts to steam.
  • Add onion, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, kale and sun dried tomatoes; saute for 1 minute over medium heat.  Stir often.
  • Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth and balsamic vinegar.  Pour tofu mixture over veggies, cover and cook over low heat until mixture is completely firm and cooked, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!

Here are some recent articles ‘In The News’ that I  thought I’d pass along:

5 Superfoods About To Make It Big

Diets That Promote Health and Always Have

How Your Toddler Can Get The Nutrients He Needs

Moms Spend Wisely