Every-day Eggplant Parmigiana

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Before you get started, I want to warn you that this is not a traditional recipe, this one is quick and simple enough for a week-night. Click this link if you were looking for a traditional recipe and want to bail out now.

Mine is low-fat, gluten free, and either vegan or vegetarian depending on whether you use mozzarella cheese or a vegan substitute. In case you worry that this is sacrilegious, don’t. First of all, the traditional dish it isn’t from Parma at all, despite the name it is from Southern Italy. Second, there are many regional variations on eggplant Parmigiana, also called eggplant parmesan in the USA, and third, there are two completely different traditions that claim the name, one is the baked casserole type and the other is the stacked slices type. I like the casserole type best but each slice of eggplant is generally salted, pressed, dipped in egg, breaded, then fried, and finally baked with sauce and cheese. That is just too many calories and way too many steps for me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Healthy Cream of Mushroom Soup!

This is a winner!

I just came up with this last night and it is amazing, fresh-tasting, rich, vegan, gluten-free, and low-fat to boot. The house smells incredible while it is cooking and your guests will never believe that there is no cream or flour in the broth. The original inspiration for pairing mushrooms and a serious amount of paprika is from The Moosewood Cookbook (this link is to the NEW book but the cover pic is the same.)

Now, make it and let me know how you like it!

Ingredients:

  • Mushrooms, I used baby bellas, about 12 oz.
  • Celery, 4 stalks
  • onion, about 2 slices, you can use more but I don’t really like onion
  • Miso (any color), 3 tablespoons, (you can sub your favorite bullion)
  • Almonds or walnuts, 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika, 1 tablespoon
  • Dill weed, 2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Tamari, 1 teaspoon, or to taste
  • 3 cups water or broth

Separate the stems from the mushroom caps, slice each mushroom cap into three or four slices. Place stems in blender, (I used my Vita-Mix), and mushroom caps into a slow cooker or crock pot, (you could use a soup pot on the stove).

Chop onion and celery and microwave on a plate until soft, add to mushrooms. Add remaining ingredients to blender or Vita-Mix and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour over mushrooms and cook in crock-pot on high, or on stove at medium, until mushrooms reach desired softness. Mine took an hour in the crock pot, it would take less time on the stove.

Options:

  • Saute your onions and celery in butter or oil instead of microwaving them
  • Sub milk for 1 cup of water
  • Sub wine or sherry for 1 cup water
  • Add sour cream to each bowl right before serving

Scott’s Crustless Quiche Recipe

Today is menu-Monday and this is one of Scott’s favorite everyday recipes. I like it because it uses up leftovers, stores well, and reheats well.

Variation with a ton of broccoli and a sprinkling of cheddar

Ingredients:

You’ll need a blender, a 13 x 9 pan, and an oven

4 eggs

1 pint cream or milk

About 10 oz of raw or cooked vegetables, 1 head of broccoli, stems cut small or 10 oz package of broccoli florets, mushrooms, green beans, peppers, marinated artichokes, really anything along these lines will work. Read the rest of this entry »


Labels, Calories, Marketing and You!

I learned an important lesson recently. That I have to read labels every single time even on products I “trust.” Product formulations and labels change. Protein bars I trusted in the past have substituted maltitol for sucralose and my BBQ sauce added high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The other thing is that according to independent lab testing, diet products, including products made for diabetics, have been shown to have sugar, corn starch and HFCS that are not on the label. It appears that when manufacturers run short of an ingredient, they just substitute something else, even if that something else is sugar in a sugar-free labeled product. This makes it impossible to trust anything.
Read the rest of this entry »


Eric’s Rutabaga Soup Recipe

Rutabaga Soup

Eric said I should write this one up, I guess that means it was tasty!

If you’ve seen rutabagas in the store and wondered what you could do with them, try this recipe. This soup takes advantage of the rutabaga’s sweetness while disguising its cabbage-y flavor. Rutabagas are an excellent source of Vitamin C, folate, potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, niacin, and Vitamin A. Raw rutabaga contains an exceptionally high amount of the cancer-fighting glucosinolates, even more than other cabbage members.

I had no idea, until I looked it up for this post, that the rutabaga originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip, and in my opinion, they taste better than either. In WWI Germany, the famine of 1916-17 was known as the Rutabaga Winter. They are tough to peel with a knife,  a vegetable peeler works much better. Many people serve them roasted and buttered, fried or whatever, but I like them to disappear into a soup. You can use a small one, two small ones, one large, whatever, this is a very forgiving recipe. Rutabagas are also called Swedes or Swedish turnips which would make this Swedish Turnip soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 rutabaga (any size, peeled and diced)
  • 1 carton low sodium broth or water
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 1 can stewed or readycut tomatoes (14.5 oz can)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste.

Process:

Slice and sauté onion and celery in oils, peel and cube rutabaga and add to pot, pour in half the broth, add bayleaf and simmer until rutabaga is soft. Then, mash rutabaga with a masher or fork, add tomatoes and remaining ingredients and simmer 15 minutes or so to blend flavors, serves 4, about 140 calories per serving.

Notes:

If you want to cook it faster, you can cut up the rutabaga and cook it in the microwave and then stir it into the sautéd vegetables.  For a more elegant and higher-fat soup, puree the finished soup through a blender and either stir in one cup of cream or serve each portion with dollop of sour cream.


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