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!

Lentil, Collard n’ Fig Tapenade

Well, yesterday was quite a stormy one here in Manhattan…

Strong wind gusts, lots of rain and a broken umbrella left me with one choice.

Experimentation in my lil’ kitchen.

I purchased some fresh collard greens on Saturday at the Union Square Market, so I surely had to taste them.  Next step, my lentils, as you’re all aware of my love-affair with lentils.  And why not a touch of natural sweetness from my fresh figs, apple, pear n’ balsamic vinegar.

Mmmmm….

Pure heaven on a rainy, blustery day…

So, guess what I whipped up…

I toasted two pieces of gluten-free bread and topped them each with this delicious tapenade.

Lentil, Collard n’ Fig Tapenade

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups collard greens, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cups red lentils, cooked
  • 1 pink lady apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 red bartlett pear, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dulse flakes
  • 6 fresh figs, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Steam collard greens in a steamer until bright green and soft; approximately 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate; dab with a paper towel.
  2. Add collard greens and remaining ingredients into a food processor; process until smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.
  4. Serve at room temperature as a dip with corn chips, crudites and gluten-free pretzels.
  5. Enjoy!

Also, be sure to check out my tasty Dilmah tea recipes on Gloria’s Tea Cuppe.

I’ve created some delicious tea-infused dishes that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Green Tea Sweet Potato Soup

Grilled Tuna with Green Tea Coconut Sauce

Vanilla Tea Infused Fruit

 

 

Cucumber Almond Gazpacho Sauce

Last night I decided to whip up a cooling gazpacho sauce to take off the nonstop heatwave that we’re feelin’ here in Manhattan…it surely has been a bit too hot to turn on my oven and strike up the stove, so I opted for a fresh gazpacho sauce which I drizzled atop my tilapia dinner.

This sauce was the best idea because I was instantly rejuvenated and felt like  new person after sweating in this sweltering heat all day…So, why not get creative when making a gazpacho sauce and toss in some blanched almonds, agave and balsamic vinegar to add the perfect hint of pure sweetness to my fresh cucumbers and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Pinch of sea salt and white pepper
  • Chives for garnish

Directions

  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients; blend until well combined.
  • Serve atop fresh fish, tofu, salads or any summertime dish.  Garnish with chives.
  • Enjoy!

Do you enjoy making cooling meals during the summer days? If so, I’d love to hear your recipe for chilled go-to entrees.

Superbowl Casserole

Ready for the big game on Sunday?

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will have your Superbowl fans begging for more.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 cup SoyaKaas Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup SoyaKaas Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Jalapeno Cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/6 tsp. ground sage
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded chicken or turkey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups organic corn or rice chips
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Toppings: Greek plain yogurt, guacamole, organic salsa

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine vegetable broth, tomato sauce, tomato slices, onions, scallions, olives, spices, agave nectar, sea salt and pepper to form a sauce.  Set aside.
  • Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer half of the chicken, then beans, then half of the sauce, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeno Cheese and tortilla chips.
  • Repeat layers, ending with cheese on the top.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and cooked.
  • Garnish with cilantro and top with a dollop of each: Greek plain yogurt, guacamole and salsa.
  • Enjoy the Game!

Stonyfield Oikos Recipe: Orange Zest Chicken Gyros

gyro

I have been eager to share with all of you my fabulously delicious Oikos Greek yogurt recipe for the Stonyfield Oikos contest.

I created this yummy recipe last week.  As all of you know, I am a huge fan of Oikos Greek yogurt and always have at least one container in my fridge at all times.  It’s incredibly versatile and I often use Oikos in my morning breakfast, afternoon smoothies, lunchtime tuna salads and evening marinades.

This time around, I opted for creating a fun ‘finger-food’ meal, which is perfect for lunch or dinner.  If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the chicken with tofu, seitan or another alternative.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tbsp. Oikos Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 5 pitas (without pockets)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 (16  ounce containers) Oikos Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of olive oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk garlic, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, oil and cilantro.  Slowly add chicken and rub to ensure coating of the marinade.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Pour a dash of olive oil into a large skillet, cook chicken fully; toss to ensure even cooking.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, set aside to cool and slice onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place each pita in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray; heat for 10-15 seconds per side over medium heat.
  • Top each pita with chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, scallions and dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Directions for Yogurt Dressing:

  • Strain yogurt with a cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl; let sit overnight to release moisture.
  • Shred zucchini and carrots.
  • Combine yogurt, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top before serving.

Be sure to visit the Oikos Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/oikos and the Oikos website here for more tasty Greek yogurt recipes.



Cilantro Pesto with Pine Nuts

Call me crazy but I decided to create a pesto using cilantro last night.  I  recently purchased a beautiful, fresh bushel of cilantro at the farmers market and I couldn’t stand to see it wilt away in my tiny fridge.  Cilantro is by far my favorite fresh herb (although there is a close tie with basil); the flavor of fresh cilantro can truly add excitement to any meal.

pesto

I always try to have fresh herbs in my fridge for a nice dose of antioxidants and pizazz! If you follow my blog, you’re familiar with my posts on herbs and ways to add fresh herb flavor, which I do with every meal!

This pesto is a great way to enhance the flavor of any dish; it can be used as an appetizer dip, a sandwich spread or served atop fish, chicken and tofu.  My favorite way to enjoy this cilantro pesto is with my halibut tacos; simply top tacos with a dollop of pesto and fresh salsa for a tasty treat.  You can easily prepare my cilantro pesto in a matter of minutes and use it for a flavor boost to any dish!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegan Galaxy Parmesan Cheese
  • Nu-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Blend together all ingredients in a food processor; slowly add olive oil.
  • Serve at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!

Tasty Tortillas

These babies are tasty enough to knock your little socks off, I just couldn’t get enough of them last night and after one bite, I was in tortilla heaven.

I love experimenting in my tiny Manhattan kitchen with odds n’ ends that I have in my pantry. It keeps my meals exciting and my taste buds curious… to say the least.  Last night, I simply reached for a jar of salsa, refried beans and tortillas-the rest was left to my imagination, which always seems to run wild with condiments and mix-ins.  I had a nice pint of strawberries in my fridge, which added a perfect touch of sweetness to my dish.

I hope you enjoy this warm n’ tasty tortilla; the best part is the melted soy cheese- a the perfect way to warm up on a chilly September day.

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Ingredients

  • Tortillas (Gluten Free/ Whole Wheat)
  • 1 can Amy’s Organic Refried Beans
  • Fresh strawberries, sliced
  • Fresh or Frozen Spinach
  • Slivered Carrots
  • Greek Yogurt
  • SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cheddar Cheese
  • Fresh Scallions, chopped
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh Avocado, sliced
  • Amy’s Organic Corn and Bean Salsa

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place tortilla onto center of plate and spread re-fried beans over the entire surface.
  • Add sliced strawberries, carrots, scallions, avocado slices, cilantro, cheese and spinach atop of the beans.  Top with another tortilla.  Press down on the tortilla gently.
  • Place tortilla in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.
  • Finish off with a few dollops of salsa, mashed avocado and Greek yogurt.
  • Enjoy!