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

New Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast topped with Fried Egg

Avocado Toast topped with Fried Egg

Avocado toast is the latest rage-it’s being offered on menus in almost every cafe and  bakery I’ve been to lately. Actually, it’s so easy to prepare at home. No reason to pay a lot for this simple dish! As you probably know, avocados are a healthy food choice; here’s some of the reasons Why Avocados are a healthy food choice.

Avocado toast is even more delicious topped with a fried egg; more protein and a great breakfast, especially with some fruit to complete the meal. We like citrus, especially the little tangerines that we find now at farmers’ markets. Here’s my recipe for this avocado treat.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 medium size avocado
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
  • 1tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 slices cheese- we use goat Gouda slices (Trader Joe’s sells pre-sliced Dutch goat Gouda that we like))
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • salt free seasoning (or salt if you like), ground pepper, lemon juice; to taste
  • fresh herbs- chopped chives or dill or your choice
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO

  1. With a fork, mash the avocado and the mayo together; (not too smooth- should have some chunkiness). Set aside.
  2. Add salt, (or no salt seasoning), and pepper to taste; (also a squeeze of lemon if you like.)
  3. Toast the bread.
  4. Put a slice of goat cheese on each toast; either microwave for 20-30 seconds until cheese is slightly softened or saute toast topped with the cheese for 1-2 minutes to soften the cheese. (I actually prefer the microwave method- but either works fine.)
  5. Spread avocado mixture thickly on top of the cheese toast.
  6. Melt butter in a hot nonstick pan; crack eggs gently into the pan and fry til whites are opaque and edges are brown and crisp; turn over and cook an additional 10-20 seconds (depending on your preference for the firmness of the yolk).
  7. Top each avocado toast with hot fried egg.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.
  9. Sprinkle with Paprika (or smoked Paprika) to add a bit of color

That’s it- avocado toast-so easy and delicious!

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

Low Carb Clafoutis–Fun Fruit Dessert!

No-sugar fruit dessert made with peaches

Summer fruits beg to be eaten and one delicious way is a low carb, no-sugar version of the French fruit dessert, clafoutis.

I make it with Xylitol*, a low carb sweetener that my readers will recognize- it has no weird aftertaste and allows folks with carb restrictions to enjoy at least some sweet tasting desserts to their low carb diet.

Clafoutis! Just the name makes me smile- such a cute word for such a tasty dish! I made this version mainly with peaches, (and a nectarine), but I’ve made it with plums with just as delicious results; (if you read my previous recent blog posts, you’ll know we had a bumper crop of plums last year).

Clafoutis is originally from France, made with dark cherries that traditionally aren’t pitted. There’s a chemical, amygdalin, in the pits which gives a unique flavor. However, I’ve never made it that way. In any case, I’ve been a clafoutis fan this summer especially, and have made it almost every time we’ve had dinner guests. I can’t have it too often!

In winter or fall, it can be made with apples and/or pears. I look forward to trying it then too, but now I am reveling in the summer fruit version.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 4-6 fruits sliced, – peaches, plums, nectarines (depending on size), in any combination; peeled if you like, (I usually don’t peel them). The main thing is to cover the bottom of the pie plate.
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (or milk substitute- I’ve used almond milk, for instance)
  • 2/3 cup flour- I use King Arthur whole wheat white flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Almond meal (Trader Joe’s has this–I keep a bag in my freezer–lasts a long time)
  • grated peel of one small lemon
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. Xylitol
  • butter for greasing pan

TO DO: preheat oven 375 degrees F

1. Butter a 10″ pie pan (I use a glass one) and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the Xylitol  over the bottom.

2. Arrange the fruit slices so that they cover the entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 2 more Tbsps. of Xylitol over the fruit.

3. Combine the remaining Xylitol, eggs, milk, flour, lemon zest, almond meal, vanilla and salt (remember, just a pinch- about 1/4 tsp.); blend in a blender or use an immersion blender.

4. Pour this liquid over the fruit in the pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until “toothpick” firm and the top is lightly brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack.

6. Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing. (if you have no restrictions, vanilla ice cream is great with this.)

That’s it! A real treat!

* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Easy Tomato Salad and Greek Salad 2

Back to Greece for a Greek Salad update-plus a salad with the first tomatoes from our garden-I wait all year for this–tomatoes from the garden can’t be equalled! And of course, low carb and easy to prepare. With such delicious fresh ingredients simple preparation is the best.

diabetes-friendly-Fresh-Tomato-Salad

Simple, delicious, fresh tomato salad

healthy-greek-tomato-salad

Special Greek Salad I made a version of the special Greek Salad I enjoyed in the one (only) high end restaurant. The feta is soaked in olive oil and covered in toasted sesame seeds plus plump capers were added – a delicious variation. Rick loved it! ( see my blog post on “Superb Greek Salad” for more details.)

Fresh Tomato Salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 ripe, fresh sliced tomatoes (depending on size),  per serving
  • Walnut or other nut oil ( I also use Hazelnut oil from Trader Joe’s) or good Greek olive oil
  • Fresh chives cut and sprinkled on top (chives are easy to grow in pots)
  • Fresh ground black pepper and salt-free seasoning if you like

TO DO:

1. Slice tomatoes, put on serving plates

2. Drizzle with oil ( about 2 Tbsp per serving)

3. Sprinkle chopped chives on top

4. Grind pepper, add seasoning if you like

That’s it! So simple and delicious!

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Moroccan Chicken and Vegetables

healthy-moroccan-chicken-vegetables

Moroccan chicken and veggies

 

This is my version of a recipe I originally saw in Sunset Magazine. I made the Sunset-as-was recipe first and found it somewhat boring. I now add a more intense spice flavor, with cumin, cinnamon and turmeric; spices that also are supposed to help with blood pressure, plus we like the taste.

This dish is a two- step process, as you brown the chicken first, but still quite easy and very satisfying. I serve it over brown rice to sop up the juices. (Rick only eats 1/2 cup, but enjoys every grain!)

By the way, we like leftovers, so we make more than what the two of us eat in one meal; if you do too, this recipe serves 3-4. Of course, you can make amounts as you like.

As usual, we also have a green salad with a vinaigrette. My parents were European so I still carry on the habit of eating my salad after the main course, which is even more delicious as I think I enjoy the tastiness more as a “finish” to my meal.

Note: This dish could be made with leftover turkey from your holiday meal. Even simpler; just cook the vegetables, add chunks or slices of turkey, spices, lemon, and heat for 5-10 minutes. Just thought of it as I’m making a turkey for our families’ get together Christmas Eve, and may make this for Christmas Day.

Enjoy! And happy holidays!

Moroccan Chicken and Vegetables

INGREDIENTS

  • 6-8 chicken thighs (I skin and defat them before cooking); also don’t rinse them as it’s been found to spread any bacteria that may be on them. Cooking kills the bacteria.
  • 3-4 peppers, sliced or julienned (I don’t like green, so I use red, orange and yellow- plus they look pretty)
  • 3-4 carrots, sliced in 1/2 ” rounds
  • 2 med or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • flour for dusting chicken
  • 1/2-1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • salt free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • 1-2 Tbsp juice plus grated rind (yellow only as the white is bitter)
  • 3/4–1 cup white wine
  • ground red pepper or cayenne to taste and dust on top before serving (or use paprika)

TO DO:

1. Shake chicken thighs in a bag with flour and salt/salt free seasoning and pepper

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet; add chicken thighs in single layer. Brown on one side for 5 minutes; turn and brown second side 5 minutes.

3. In Dutch oven, sauté peppers, onions and carrots in 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Add 1/2 of the wine. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add chicken on top of vegetables.

5. Add rest of wine to skillet. Scrape chicken drippings in skillet and add mix to Dutch oven.

6. Add spices and lemon juice/rind.

7. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes; (check meat for doneness– meat should not be red or pink).

Serve over brown, wild rice or other whole grain of your choice, and a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette.

www.type2delicious.com