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

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

Roast Broccoli

Fresh broccoli mixed with olive oil and spices

Roasted and delicious!

I’m a broccoli fan, but confess I’ve always just steamed it; didn’t think of any other preparation, til now.

We recently had steamed broccoli and received extra in our biweekly farm produce shipment. I was looking for something different than our regular version, and thought, since we love roast cauliflower why not try to roast broccoli?

After checking a few internet sources (to see if this is a crazy idea) I found several recipes which I combined and added to–so thought; here goes!

Rick’s comment; “Why have broccoli any other way?”

(Side note: we read the eulogy Steve Jobs’ sister delivered which mentioned a meal Jobs and his wife served of steamed broccoli with fresh herbs; simple and good. But I must say that roasting adds another level of flavor.)

INGREDIENTS ( serves 2-3)

  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 2-3 Tbsps. Olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Lemon juice, plus 1 tsp. grated Lemon rind
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute) and 1-2 tsps. thyme (or other herb of your choice); I suggest using only one herb to savor the single flavor.

TO DO

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Peel all rind from broccoli. (I insist on really peeling it thoroughly–having had unpeeled broccoli–dealing with the tough skin ruins this vegetable experience for me.)

3. Break into flowerets and slice the stalk into 1/2 ” rounds.

4. Mix broccoli pieces with olive oil, lemon, garlic, herb and seasonings.

5. Rub oil on a baking sheet – put pieces face down; make sure each piece is separate on the pan.

6. Bake for 15 minutes – turn pieces over and bake another 10-15 minutes until tender and brown on both sides.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Best Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Condiments

 

healthy-chicken-curry-condiments

Condiment ingredients; Cucumbers (with yoghurt), cashews, tomatoes and onions, bananas (also with yoghurt) and avocado

healthy-chicken-curry-with-vegetables

The final Chicken Curry

diabetes-friendly-chicken-curry cooking-healthy-chicken-curry

This is a variation of an an authentic Indian recipe taught to me years ago by a lovely Indian woman when I lived in Toronto.

This version adds veggies including carrots, mushrooms and spinach. The condiments are as I learned, with the optional addition of avocado.

I recently cooked it for friends in FL, and it was a big hit! Yes, we also had Basmati rice–again, Rick was limited to 1/2 cup.

The prep is somewhat time consuming, including the condiments, but they are essential to the experience– don’t skip them!

Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Condiments 

INGREDIENTS (this is for 2-4; 2 with leftovers–increase if you’re feeding a larger group)

  • 1 chicken breast, 2 whole legs/thighs; deboned and chopped into 1″ pieces; (I buy them with bones and skin and chop and remove the skin myself as it’s cheaper, but you can buy the skinned, boneless – definitely faster)
  • 1 large onion chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped  into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup mushrooms (we use Cremini), chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2-4 Tbsp. Safflower or other high heat oil
  • 1-3 Tbsp curry powder to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco or red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Coconut cream* or plain full fat yoghurt (if dairy is not a problem)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 tsp. lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)
  • Condiments:
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted or raw unsalted cashews
  • 2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • optional: 1 avocado, sliced; squeeze of lime

TO DO: note: have 3 (4 if serving avocado) medium bowls and 1 small one for serving condiments

Curry:

1. Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in large saucepan or electric skillet.

2. Add the curry powder and brown for 5 minutes, sprinkling with water if it seems to be burning (this is important as it brings out the flavor). Add the chicken pieces and brown 5 minutes per side, mixing them in the curry powder. Put aside.

3. Heat 1-2 Tbs oil, add the onions and saute for 5 minutes; add carrots and mushrooms, and saute for another 5-6 minutes.

4. Add the spinach and cook 2-3 minutes; add the chicken back in the pan, and add the coconut cream or yoghurt, and water, and Tabasco. Stir all gently together.

5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste- add more curry powder and Tabasco/red pepper to taste.

6. Squeeze lime in and mix.

Serve with condiments, and whole wheat Nan bread, papadums and rice as you like; other grains, or not, per your dietary restrictions.

Condiments (serve each in a separate bowl):

1. Mix chopped cucumber and yoghurt to cover, sprinkle with paprika or red pepper for color.

2. Mix chopped bananas and yoghurt to cover, sprinkle with nutmeg.

3. Mix chopped tomatoes with about 1/3 cup chopped onion and red wine vinegar.

4. Squeeze lime on sliced avocado; (these are not a traditional condiment).

5. Raw or roasted cashews (serve in small bowl; I like glass for these)

I also like lemon/mango pickle (found in Asian markets)–they are very pungent, but I like the taste with the curry.

*Coconut cream can be found in Asian markets, and is low in carbs.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Rainbow Swiss Chard

chopping-rainbow-chard

Such pretty rainbow colors!

sautee-rainbow-swiss-chard-stems

The chard stems are cooked first

sauteed-rainbow-swiss-chard

The final cooked chard

 

Chard (Swiss Chard) was a new vegetable to me. Rick had made it previously, so I wanted to try it. This is really his recipe.

We buy rainbow chard at the farmer’s market– so pretty, so easy and so delicious! I love the colors! If available, choose the rainbow variety, though the plain Jane is just as tasty. Also, of course, both are low carb, and full of good greens; see the link below for nutritional info. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16

Rainbow Chard

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 -2 bunches Rainbow (or just green) Swiss Chard
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Wash the chard (I use a large colander and wash each large leaf )

2. Strip the leaves from the stems and cut off ends and discard any large, tough stems

3. Chop stems into 1/2 or 1″ pieces, then chop leaves into I” pieces; separate stems from leaves

4. Preheat a large sauté pan, add oil. Add vinegar

5. Saute stems for approx. 10 min., then add leaves, and saute approx another 10 min. until vinegar is reduced

6. Add spices and seasonings to taste. Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com