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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Super Califragalistic Cauliflower!

Rick and I went to Birba, an excellent restaurant in Palm Springs. It’s a popular place with all outside tables and beautiful lighting, especially enjoyable on a warm night. We loved all the food, but were especially blown away by the cauliflower. It was served whole; twice cooked; boiled first and then baked with cheese. It’s actually quite simple to make and is a wow dish to serve your friends and family as a side dish; (true confession–we usually make one and eat it all ourselves).

I’ve tried to reproduce the dish we had at Birba, but have made my own variation, with more of an Indian spice flavor. You can use other spice combinations that you like, such as Italian seasoning, dill or basil. The main thing is the first steam or boil the vegetable whole, then add seasoning in an olive oil base, grate cheese on top and bake. Looks very elegant and tastes delicious!

Whole Cauliflower with topping of smoked paprika

Cauliflower with smoky paprika

Whole Cauliflower topped with grated cheese

Cauliflower topped with grated cheese

Baked whole cauliflower, topped with melted cheese

Baked cauliflower, ready to be served

 

Twice Cooked Cauliflower (serves 2-3, depending on size of cauliflower) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cauliflower (or make two to serve four or more)
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp. capers
  • Smoked Paprika
  • 1/3 cup grated aged goat or cow gouda, or Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or 1tsp. salt–your choice
  • TO DO: (Preheat oven to 400 degrees before baking) 

1. Wash and core cauliflower, but leave whole.

2. Boil cauliflower with approx. 3 inches of water, in a 4-6 quart oven proof pot, such as Calphalon, or Corning ware, until still firm, 10-12 minutes (test with knife)

3. Whisk all spice ingredients and capers in olive oil, except for Smoked Paprika.

4. Pour olive oil mixture over cauliflower, getting into crevices. (You can do this in advance–marinate the cauliflower by pouring the mixing over it and letting it sit for an hour or so before baking.)

5. Sprinkle paprika, and grate cheese on top.

6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until brown and cheese is melted.

Serve as a side dish; and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: Persimmon and Endive salad; (can be made with pears, orange/tangerine pieces or even strawberries, depending on the season).

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Favorite Meatloaf with Italian Tomato Paste Topping

Meatloaf with Italian tomato paste topping

Meatloaf with Italian tomato paste topping

It’s that time of year when I crave something warm and cozy to eat; ok, ”comfort food.” And my favorite is Meatloaf. Besides being satisfying and delicious right out of the oven, you can make my favorite
sandwiches on good whole grain toast the next day
(or two). With ketchup of course! You can make this Meatloaf with ground turkey or a ground beef/pork mixture depending on your preferences. It’s delicious either way.

I confess we often watch TV while we eat, and meatloaf sandwiches are just great to munch while watching British mysteries! Of course, Rick being the disciplined guy that he is takes a walk every evening after dinner to lower his blood sugar; I join him often; see the Journey for more Type2 diabetes lifestyle tips.

I’ve recently discovered something that makes my favorite Meatloaf topping very special and easy. It’s Italian tomato paste in a tube. You just squeeze out what you want – I like to make squiggles that melt and spread while cooking. Instead of opening a can and only using a small amount and the remainder then usually sits in my fridge and I forget about- yes, it goes bad and I throw out once I notice it!

INGREDIENTS (2-3 servings, plus leftovers)

  • 2-21/2 lbs ground turkey (I prefer thigh only as it’s juicier); or a ground beef/pork mixture
  • 1/2 large or 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup Cremini mushrooms, chopped fine (optional)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Italian tomato paste for topping
  • Thyme, and/or salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Mix turkey or meat with chopped onions, beaten egg and spices- I use my hands.

2. Sauté mushrooms in butter; after they’re browned (about 6-7 minutes), let Cool

3.  Add mushrooms to mixture. Set aside

4. Mix tomato sauce with bread in a bowl- mash with fork til completely mixed and bread is soft.

5. Combine all in a bowl- best using hands again.

6. Put meatloaf mixture in a loaf pan prepped with an oil spray; Pam or olive oil spray works fine.

7. Squeeze tomato paste on top

9. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Turn oven off and let sit inside for another 10-15 minutes.

10. Serve with your favorite whole grains and a great salad – this is a delicious one with goat cheese, persimmons and greens.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Sautéed Squash with Secret Sauce

A variety of squashes and onion

A variety of squashes and onion ready for sautéing

It’s starting to be fall in Santa Cruz – there’s a chill in the air, although we’re still enjoying the last of Indian summer. (Actually, September/October is our real summer- June, July and August are usually foggy and cool here by the ocean); except this summer which was unusually warm— say global warming anyone?

A mix of squash, onion and ketchup sautéed in pan

Delicious sautéed squash and onion dish

Sautéed squashes and onion with ketchup

German Secret Sauce

Which brings me to this recipe for your remaining summer zucchini/squash harvest – plus what’s still available at farmer’ markets. You can use any type of soft skinned winter squashes just as well. This family favorite is a great side dish for roast chicken, broiled fish or almost anything you serve.

I first enjoyed this recipe when I was visiting my mom’s cousin Erica in LA in the eighties. My mom and her cousins Hans and Erica were born in Germany- escaped here during the war. Erica was an excellent cook. This dish surprised me as I had no idea that the “sauce” was nothing but ketchup, and that ketchup is a mainstay of  German cooking!

This is a very easy to make dish with a rich, satisfying taste. It always comes out delicious. You can use any combination of squash and onions you like.  I make it for company and let them guess what is in the sauce- so far no one has figured it out!  But now you know!

German Squash with Secret Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 5-7 squashes- your choice (I like to vary the colors- using yellows and greens)
  • 1 large onion plus 1-2 cippolini onions if you like
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme or marjoram are my favorites for this

TO DO: (serves 3-4 or 2 with leftovers)

1. Chop onions into 1/2 “ pieces

2. Chop squashes in approximately 1/2 pieces also- they can be sliced but the way Erica made it they were chopped

3. Heat oil on med high heat in large sauté pan; add onions and sauté until just brown- 5-6 minutes

4. Add squashes to pan, and spices; sauté 3-4 more minutes uncovered- cover for about 5 more minutes til tender

5. Add 1/2 cup ketchup—sauté another 2-3 minutes; taste and add more if you like

That’s it! I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how rich tasting this is! Thanks Erica!

Serve as a side dish; and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/type2delicious.com/1075

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Hearty Lentil Veggie Soup

Lentils, tomatoes, onion, on cutting board to be made into Lentil soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

 

Lentil Veggie Soup -recipe to come

Hope you don’t mind, but before  I share this recipe I want to express something that has become even more clear to me; the difficulty it can be for folks who had totally different lifestyle and eating habits to make healthy choices–and how impactful that can be.

What prompted this are two people I met in different circumstances. Rick and I were shopping for olive oils at a World Market store, and a guy started asking us about our choices, and that he was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and was “trying to reduce sugars”– he had no idea about carbs – just that “sugar is bad.” He was buying two large cans of high carb snack foods (no sugar though), to substitute for sugary snacks. Actually I couldn’t help but suggest he try this blog (and especially read “The Journey” post).

The second incident was a woman who came to our house to pick up bottles we were giving away (we’re in process of stuff reducing)–she was thrilled as now she had containers for her own salad dressing, sauces, and such non-processed foods she was making for the first time in her life. She was so excited as this was a huge change for her!

It hit me strongly that these folks are representative of a large group of our population- who grew up with lots of processed foods and are used to eating one way, and are now faced with changing their diets- and what a major deal it is. I know this theoretically, of course, but it was reinforced!

Made me realize even more how lucky some of us are to have grown up mainly eating in a healthy way, with an emphasis on fresh foods; (although my son went through a fish stick and tater tot phase–I’m not a total purist (<*).

Makes me even more motivated to show that delicious, healthy eating and cooking is not difficult, not expensive, (cheaper that buying most processed foods, such as bottled salad dressings), and fun to do!

Stay tuned soon for the Lentil Veggie Soup recipe!

 

 

 

 

www.type2delicious.com

Fresh Chicken, White Bean and Vegetable🌶 Chili

Bowl of Chili with fresh chicken, white beans, carrots, tomatoes and other fresh ingredients

Fresh Chicken Chili with Vegetables and White Beans

We’ve been off our regular diet as we’ve been traveling a lot lately; to CO to visit with family and to the CO Music Hall of Fame concert induction of Joe Walsh, (my brother took the cover photo of JW’s Barnstorm album). Then turned around and went to OR for the eclipse!

So I’ve been craving some “comfort food” that’s tasty, healthy and satisfying.  I made this Chili soon after we returned–hit the spot!

It’s full of good protein and fiber with the chicken and beans, fresh carrots, onions and tomatoes–hearty and flavorful with just the right amount of heat for me; (I’m a bit of a wuss- but like a little.) It’s also easy to prepare, and makes great leftovers– another big advantage when you’re home after a vacation.

Serve with brown rice and a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette- delicious!

At the CO Music Hall of Fame concert

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3 with leftovers)

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs or breasts (we like the thighs- Trader Joe’s sells Organic thighs that I prefer)
  • 2-3 cans Cannelini and/or white great northern beans
  • 1 quart box low sodium chicken stock (TJ’s again)
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can diced jalapeños (mild or hot depending on preference- you probably know I use mild)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt free spices to taste; ground pepper
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 1-3 Tbsp olive oil

TO DO:

1. Chop chicken into 1″ pieces; brown in 1Tbsp. olive oil in 4-6 quart Dutch oven

2. Remove chicken from pan into a bowl, (will be added back soon).

3. Add 1-2 Tbsp. Oil- sauté  onions for 4-5 minutes. Add chopped carrots, sauté another 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken back with vegetables.

4. Add broth, tomatoes, jalapeños, spices.

5. Mash 1 1/2 cans of beans – (this is the Trick to thicken the Chili). Add this and unmashed beans and mix well.

6. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer for 1/2 -3/4 hr. til carrots are tender, not mushy.

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Marinated Swordfish

Two Barbecued Marinated Swordfish

Marinated Swordfish Steaks

Two Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Fish is great for lots of reasons and Swordfish is one of my favorites; low calories/low cholesterol, healthy for you, plus overall deliciousness.

We try to eat fish at least once a week, sometimes more often. If available, I look for fresh, line -caught varieties, or line-caught frozen fish; just as nutritious. See * below for more information about healthy fish choices.

(Trader Joe’s is a good source of many frozen fish varieties, and Costco often has fresh.) Our local farmer’s market as well as other local markets offer fresh line-caught fish depending on the season– yes, a California coastal option, not everywhere.

Barbecuing fish in warm weather is a great option and actually very easy. While the grill is hot and there’s room, we like to add sliced fresh vegetables such zucchini, onions, eggplant, red pepper ( I’m not a fan of green peppers- but if you are add them too). You can also broil the fish for equally great results. We’ve done it both ways and both are delicious!

Starting with a tangy marinade gives great flavor. The one I’m giving you has lots of citrus, garlic and a touch of heat. We love it- hope you do too!

* https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/swordfish/overview

Marinated Swordfish 

INGREDIENTS

  • MARINADE:
  • Juice of 1lemon, plus 1-2 tsps. grated rind (yellow only as the white is bitter)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine (something dry like Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Dijon-type mustard
  • 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • 1tsp. Ground red chili pepper ( we get a mild/medium mix at a Mexican grocery store- use whatever type you have)
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme is my favorite
  • Paprika to dust on top before serving
  • FISH:
  • 1 Swordfish steak per person, preferably wild, line-caught

TO DO:

1. Prepare Barbecue coals (spread coals on sides. When hot; put fish in middle and vegetables on sides)

2. In a Pyrex glass or Corningware pan (I used Pyrex 9×13 size) lay steaks on a single layer on a thin layer of olive oil ( approx. 1Tbsp.).

3. Mix/wisk together marinade ingredients; olive oil, mustard, white wine, lemon/rind and herbs/seasonings.

4. Pour marinade over fish.

5. Let fish marinate approx. 1/2-1 hr.

6. Barbecue 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of fish; (we like our fish moist and just a tad underdone- cook yours how you like it).

7. Sprinkle fresh herbs and dust with paprika.

Serve with grilled vegetables, your choice of whole grain rice or other grains, and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/type2delicious.com/1075

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com