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

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

beautiful fruit salad with oranges, raspberries, kiwi and blueberries

Video #2! Beautiful Fruit Salad with no-sugar Raspberry Sauce

Here’s the link to make beautiful, low carb fruit salad with raspberry sauce– follow the step-by-step video!Make this beautiful fruit salad!

Follow the video link to make beautiful fruit salad with a no-sugar, low carb raspberry sauce. I’ve made this with all kinds of fruit–and it’s always been a big hit at my dinner parties or when I’ve brought it to others. One thing that makes it look so beautiful is to make sure that you add a variety of colors, using fruits such as kiwi, for green, peaches/nectarines in summer for orange/yellow, oranges/tangerines for the same in winter, blueberries and raspberries, etc. The raspberry sauce is made with frozen berries, so the season doesn’t matter. It’s so good and a great dessert for those who want a delicious, sweet, yet low carb treat.

My brother Dan Mainzer, a professional photographer/videographer, (Mainzerphotography.com) was here in Santa Cruz last winter, and we collaborated on a series of three recipe videos. Hope you’ve seen the first one, how to roast Delicata Squash, now followed by How to Create a Fruit Salad with No-Sugar Raspberry Sauce, and coming soon, a Making a Scrumptious Cheesy Appetizer.

I hope you like them! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Enjoy!

Susan

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