Eggplant Cheese Stacks

stacks of eggplant topped with cheese and marinara sauce

Delicious eggplant stacks!

I’m reposting this eggplant recipe as I just made it again a few nights ago. It had been awhile and I remembered how delicious and easy this is! If you’re a fan of Eggplant Parmesan, but want to lower the calories and carbs, this is for you. The key is baking and not breading the eggplant. We also use non-dairy cheeses but that’s not a carb issue. Also we love eggplant in almost any dish. This is a favorite.

This dish is easy to make; scrumptious, rich tasting and especially satisfying as a treat with good friends; to share with a good glass of chianti and a fresh green salad, such as Persimmon and Endive Salad. 

By the way, Rick is doing very well with his reduced carbs, exercise, including walks after dinner, and lots of veggies and fruits. So far no meds necessary!

Eggplant Cheese Bake (type of Eggplant Parmesan)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 eggplants (choose ones that are full and glossy, deep purple colored)
  • 32 oz. jar of marinara sauce (make your own from canned or fresh tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, or buy prepared – I’m a fan of Mezzetta’s sauce for this dish.)
  • 1/2 lb. cheese in slices (we use Dayna’s non-dairy Jack but if no dairy issues use mozzarella or regular Jack)
  • cheese for grating (again, goat Midnight Moon* or regular Parmesan)
  • Optional- 2-3 tsp Breadcrumbs for topping
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

TO DO:

1. Wash and slice eggplants into 1″ rounds; preheat oven to 400.

2. In a bowl, shake eggplant slices with 1 Tbsp olive oil.

3. Lay parchment on baking sheet and lightly spray with olive oil. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on parchment.

4. Bake eggplant for 20 minutes until almost tender.  Remove from oven.

5. In a 9×13 casserole (I use Pyrex); spread about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.

6. Make a stack base of eggplant in a single layer on top of the sauce, usually 6-8 slices; (depending on the size of your eggplant).

7. Top each eggplant slice (stack base) with a slice of cheese, grated cheese and a dollop of sauce. Stack  remaining slices evenly on the bases, using the same order of ingredients.

8.  Top the dish with remaining sauce, add grated cheese and, if you like, about 2-3 tsps breadcrumbs.

9. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and cheese is melted.

Remove from heat and let set for 10-15 minutes. Serve at least one stack per person.

* http://www.cypresscreamery.com

www.type2delicious.com

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Hearty Lentil and Veggie Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

Here’s the recipe as promised:

When the weather is turning colder we like a hearty, healthy soup chock full of fresh vegetables. It’s easy to make and very satisfying as the evenings get cooler and we like to prepare soups and stews for comfort and warmth. And I like to make a sufficient quantity so we have leftovers; (this freezes well too).

If you have veggies from your summer garden such as zucchinis and tomatoes, this is a great way to use them.

It is a thick soup; almost like a stew. You can, of course, thin it with additional broth, but we enjoy the texture and heartiness of it as is.

Recently, however, I made this soup with red lentils from a company called “Preger” and found that the lentils never got totally tender, even with repeated cooking. First time for one hour, then, as I had made a large batch, we had leftovers, and cooked them for 1/2 the next time, then 45 minutes. Still not tender! I did add cumin, and allspice, and the flavor was very good, but still disappointing. Have any of you, dear readers, had this experience?

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6 or 2-3 with leftovers)

  • 1lb. Dried Lentils, any kind; (rinsed and any bad ones removed- no advance soaking necessary)
  • 1-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 large onion -chopped
  • 2-4 carrots (depending on size), washed, chopped or diced
  • 2-3 zucchinis-chopped
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes in juice ( plus 3-4 fresh diced tomatoes)
  • 2-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 32 oz/quart low sodium chicken stock (or more, depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • salt free seasoning (or 1 tsp salt if you like), pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp.fresh herbs or 1tsp. Dried; thyme, oregano, marjoram (you probably know that dried herbs are much stronger tasting- also best to crumble or crush before adding)
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika
  • (Optional) 2-3 fully cooked, smoked chicken sausages, chopped into 1/2 “rounds

TO DO: in a 6 quart Dutch oven or other large pot:

  1. Sauté onions til soft (medium to medium high heat depending on your stove, on stove top) in 1-2 Tbsp. oil (4-5 minutes); add carrots -sauté another 4-5 minutes; add zucchinis, sauté additional 2-3 minutes. Add another 1Tbsp.oil if needed.
  2. Add garlic; sauté another 2 minutes
  3. Add rinsed lentils, Bay leaves and seasonings to pot
  4. Add broth, tomatoes and wine; stir
  5. Bring to low boil- then reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes-1 hr. Til lentils and carrots are tender
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs
  7. optional: add cooked sliced sausage before final cooking; and grate cheese on top of each bowl

For a delicious meal serve with whole grain toast and a green salad with your favorite vinaigrette, (for a suggestion see ).

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Hearty Lentil and Veggie Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

Here’s the recipe as promised:

When the weather is turning to fall we like a hearty, healthy soup chock full of fresh vegetables. It’s easy to make and very satisfying as the evenings get cooler. And I like to make a sufficient quantity so we have leftovers; (this freezes well too).

If you have veggies from your summer garden such as zucchinis and tomatoes, this is a great way to use them.

It is a thick soup; almost like a stew. You can, of course, thin it with additional broth, but we enjoy the texture and heartiness of it as is.

Recently I made this soup with red lentils from a company called “Preger” and found that the lentils never got totally tender, even with repeated cooking. First time for one hour, then, as I had made a large batch, we had leftovers, and cooked them for 1/2 the next time, then 45 minutes. Still not tender! I did add cumin, and allspice, and the flavor was very good, but still disappointing. Have any of you, dear readers, had this experience?

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6 or 2-3 with leftovers)

  • 1lb. Dried Lentils, any kind; (rinsed and any bad ones removed- no advance soaking necessary)
  • 1-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 large onion -chopped
  • 2-4 carrots (depending on size), washed, chopped or diced
  • 2-3 zucchinis-chopped
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes in juice ( plus 3-4 fresh diced tomatoes)
  • 2-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 32 oz/quart low sodium chicken stock (or more, depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • salt free seasoning (or 1 tsp salt if you like), pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp.fresh herbs or 1tsp. Dried; thyme, oregano, marjoram (you probably know that dried herbs are much stronger tasting- also best to crumble or crush before adding)
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO: in a 6 quart Dutch oven or other large pot:

  1. Sauté onions til soft (medium to medium high heat depending on your stove, on stove top) in 1-2 Tbsp. oil (4-5 minutes); add carrots -sauté another 4-5 minutes; add zucchinis, sauté additional 2-3 minutes. Add another 1Tbsp.oil if needed.
  2. Add garlic; sauté another 2 minutes
  3. Add rinsed lentils, Bay leaves and seasonings to pot
  4. Add broth, tomatoes and wine; stir
  5. Bring to low boil- then reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes-1 hr. Til lentils and carrots are tender
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs
  7. optional: add cooked sliced sausage before final cooking; and grate cheese on top of each bowl

For a delicious meal serve with whole grain toast and a green salad with your favorite vinaigrette, (for a suggestion see ).

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Blanch Your Veggies! And a sauce to go with…

A variety of colorful blanched vegetables

Beautiful blanched veggies!

imageimageimageWhen much of your diet is low carb and you prepare recipes with lots of vegetables there’s often a great deal of chopping and prep work. Or you eat lots of raw vegetables, especially for appetizers with hummus or other low carb dips. (I admit that can get boring). One way I’ve found to enjoy fresh veggies and have them on hand for snacks and appetizers is to blanch a lot of them at one time.

Actually I’d never blanched a lot of veggies at one time, (I had done a few just for a one time use); then I was invited to a large party and had volunteered to bring hummus and a quantity of veggies. I had had enough of raw veggies for awhile so decided to try blanching them. And it was a revelation! They were so much tastier than the raw–tender, fresh and full of flavor- some crisp, some not so, but still very tasty; (this is a process–there’s a big difference in blanching a few to doing a few pounds). I chose asparagus, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers and bright green pea pods- not only good to eat but good to look at–beautiful!

Blanching means boiling vegetables for a few minutes and then plunging them into ice water; one kind at a time. One trick/method I learned from Cook’s Illustrated is to blanch the darker vegetables last as they can discolor lighter vegetables, (as you use the same pot in turn for all the veggies — details in the TO DO section).

I invite you to blanch a quantity and variety of your favorite veggies–store in the fridge for a week of snacks or serve to your guests and/or family for a delicious, healthful treat.

INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES 

  • 1/2 lb. each of a variety of vegetables (your choice), such as carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, snap peas, red pepper, cauliflower…)
  • 1 red and/or yellow pepper
  • A large pot to boil the veggies in
  • a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water
  • A large slotted spoon
  • paper towels on a large plate or tray
  • EASY TASTY SAUCE:
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Best Foods, or make your own)
  • 1/2 -1 tsp. Siracha (to taste)
  • juice of 1/3 lemon

TO DO:

1. Wash (don’t peel); then slice vegetables into matchstick or 2″ long slices; snap asparagus in half.

2. Prepare ice water bath in bowl next to the boiling water

3. Bring water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven

4. Add sliced veggies into the boiling water, starting with the lightest colored vegetables; (make sure the water is boiling for each batch). For example, I started with the cauliflower, then yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, peas, asparagus, red pepper).

5. Boil each batch for 1-2 minutes.

6. Immediately lift out with a large slotted spoon or a sieve and plunge into the ice water for 1-2 minutes. (You’ll most likely need to add ice for each batch as the hot veggies will increase the temperature.)

7. Lift out each batch from the ice water and drain on paper towels.

8. Repeat for each type of vegetable.

9. Mix sauce and let sit for at least 1/2 hour.

10. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Grandma’s Fresh Applesauce with Cinnamon

<img alt=" Fresh no sugar applesauce with cinnamon"

Fresh Applesauce with Cinnamon!

IMG_1378

It’s fresh fruit season! Our apple tree is full of fruit and apples are dropping all over our yard. So naturally it’s applesauce time! I realize that usually apples are an autumn crop but somehow ours are ripe now.

My grandma made the best applesauce –kinda chunky yet tender and very flavorful. Her secret was use mainly white wine, lemon juice, cinnamon and a very little water, if any. And yes, sugar. It was always a special treat. And now there’s a way to make Gran’s applesauce without sugar or weird tasting substitutes.

One legitimate lament of diabetics and other carb conscious folks is the lack of sweets and desserts in the diet. One solution I’ve found is making desserts with fruit and using a sugar substitute called Xylitol to add sweet flavor with limited carbs; (the label states that it is “75% fewer carbs than sugar” with “40% fewer calories”). There are 4 gms of carbs per tsp. and 10 calories. (Note: I have no relationship with any Xylitol manufacturers or distributors.)

I use it sparingly in any case, but it definitely makes desserts such as this tasty cinnamon applesauce very satisfying without sacrificing flavor. It’s also easy to make (and smells divine while cooking). I’m sure it will become a staple in your household as it is in mine!

I also make a delicious fresh plum jam using Xylitol and no sugar; recipe to come.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

  • 2-3 lbs. fresh apples (best from a tree or farmer’s market)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I like to use any Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough area of New Zealand); you may add more if the apples are too dry.
  • 1/3 cup Xylitol
  • 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4-1/3 cup water as desired or needed
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (optional; you can add blueberries if you like–I like it “straight” best but sometimes add them for a variation, especially if there are an abundance at the local farmer’s market.)

TO DO

  1. Rinse, peel and chop the apples; you can leave some skin on; chop roughly into about 1″ pieces.
  2. Add apple pieces into a large cast iron or dutch oven, on the stovetop with medium high heat.
  3. Add white wine and Xylitol, and cinnamon stick.
  4. Stir constantly, until the apples are bubbling.
  5. Cover and turn down the heat to low, and cook for approximately 1/2 hr., stirring every so often, until the apples are tender. Add additional liquid in small amounts as needed (apples should be moist).
  6. Add lemon juice and ground cinnamon to taste.

 

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Easy Winter Vegetable Soup

image image image Hot, tasty vegetable soup When the weather’s cold or rainy, (I live in California so our cold isn’t as extreme as much of the US, but we do get our chilly, rainy days), nothing satisfies like a hot, steaming bowl of soup, especially one that is full of seasonal vegetables like kohlrabi, parsnips, cabbage and onions.

This soup is delicious, natch; plus very easy to make and chock full of ingredients that are very good for you. It can also be made ahead of serving. As you know, soup is always better the next day!

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2-3 carrots cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 kohlrabi, chopped into 1/2 ” pieces
  • 2-3 parsnips chopped into (yes- you guessed it) 1/2″ pieces- a chef told me that it really doesn’t matter if you have elegant chopping technique but that the point is to chop similar density food so that it is similar in size so it cooks approximately at the same time.
  • 1 small regular cabbage or savoy-type cabbage chopped; (savoy is a  cabbage with more curly leaves and a rectangular shape- I use this when I can get it for this soup)
  • 1-2 zucchini or winter yellow squash, chopped into 1/2″ rounds.
  • 1 med. onion chopped (can be finer chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-2 scallions, chopped fine
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Herbs; your choice
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute)

TO DO

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add the kohlrabi, carrots, parsnips and saute for 6-7 min., stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chopped cabbage and saute 4-5 min. more. It will seem like a lot of cabbage but it cooks down.

3. Add the onions, garlic and shallots and saute a few minutes until they start to become translucent. Then add the zucchini and/or squash.

4. Add the tomatoes with juice, wine, stock, bay leaf and spices to taste.

5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 40-45 min. until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

6. Optional: add chopped cooked sausage.

Serve with crusty whole grain toast, if allowed on your diet, and a tangy vinaigrette-dressed green salad. ( I also like a dollop of plain yogurt on top.)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Fruit Dessert with low carb Raspberry Sauce

One legitimate lament of diabetics and other carb conscious folks is the lack of sweets and desserts in the diet. One solution I’ve found is making desserts with fruit and using a sugar substitute called Xylotol to add sweet flavor with limited carbs; (the label states that it is “75% fewer carbs than sugar” with “40% fewer calories”). There are 4 gms of carbs per tsp. and 10 calories. (Note: I have no relationship with any Xylotol manufacturers or distributors.)

I use it sparingly in any case, but it definitely makes desserts such as this delicious fruit plate with raspberry sauce taste wonderfully satisfying. It’s also so pretty- a real party pleaser! *

I also use Xylotol in my fresh applesauce; recipe to come.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6) (you can use almost any fruit of your choice- this is a winter version featuring local, fresh ripe citrus)

  • 3-4 oranges, your choice (for maximum color, I like to use a combination of Cara Cara, blood oranges and sometimes a Navel.)
  • 1-2 tangerines
  • 1-2 Kiwis
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/3-1/2 cup raspberries
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 bag frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Xylotol
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Rum or Cognac or water

TO DO

  1. Make the sauce first so the flavors can meld.
  2. Pour the frozen raspberries into a deep sided mixing bowl. Let sit for 1/2 hr. to thaw slightly or thaw 3-4 minutes in a microwave. They should still be somewhat frozen.
  3. Add rum, cognac or water and Xylotol.
  4. Using a hand mixer or stick immersion Mini pimmer, mix til the consistency is thick but liquid enough to pour; somewhat the consistency of Hollandaise sauce. Add lemon juice and additional liquid in small amounts if needed.
  5. Peel and slice fruit into rounds. (Obviously not the berries (<*)
  6. Lay fruit in a circular pattern on a large round, preferably glass, plate or platter. Start with larger pieces, then smaller on top, (I like the Kiwii rounds on the top of the orange pieces), with edges overlapping. Finish with berries as a garnish.
  7. Serve with sauce; I add a bit over the plate and offer the rest of the sauce in a gravy dish with a small ladle.

* I’ve produced a video demonstrating making this dessert; to be featured soon on the blog. Stay tuned!

This has been the hit of any parties I’ve brought it too. Hopefully you have the same experience!

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com