olive oil

Yowzers thats a lot of Eggplant!

Tonight's mission: Figure out what to do with all of the eggplant in my fridge before its too late.

Recipe #1: Grilled Eggplant slices (for atop salads or sandwiches) (courtesy of Giada, love you girl!) 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch wide slices
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the olive oil over the slices of eggplant and toss to coat. Grill the eggplants until tender and grill marks appear, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Place the eggplants side-by-side on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, goat cheese, basil, and mint. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

 

Recipe #2: Baba ganoush (without tahini, no time for a trip to the supermarket!)

(courtesy of http://vegetarian.about.com/od/saucesdipsspreads/r/fatfreeganoush.htm)

This baba ganoush (eggplant dip) recipe has no oil and no tahini, making it a fat-free vegetarian and vegan appetizer or dip that you can enjoy any time! I like to spread a little baba ganoush on a flour tortilla with some lettuce and veggies for a quick and healthy low-fat vegetarian sandwich wrap.
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 cloves minced garlic, preferably roasted
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice eggplants in half and pierce with a fork in several places. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool slightly, then scoop out inside of eggplant, leaving skin behind.

In a blender or food processor, process eggplant with remaining ingredients until smooth.

What's for Dinner?

Some nights it is impossible to think of a good, healthy dinner for two that doesn't involve a trip to the store for extra ingredients.  So, tonight's menu will be a combination of "clean out the fridge night" and "look what's been hiding in the pantry night"....delish!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Peppers and Roma Tomatoes (adapted from Food and Wine magazine)

* with a side of sauteed chicken breasts seasoned with Adobo (my secret magic ingredient) and olive oil!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 medium cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and finely diced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the quinoa and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and spread on a baking sheet to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, roast the red and yellow peppers directly over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning occasionally, until charred all over. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel and seed them and cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  3. In a medium skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil with the vinegar. Add the quinoa, peppers, pine nuts, cucumber, tomato, basil and/0r mint and toss well, breaking up any lumps of quinoa.
  5. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve.

 

What's for dinner? Israeli Couscous

Israeli Fruited Couscous (adapted from Food Network.com, trader joe's boxed Israeli Couscous and ideas in my brain):

  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  finely chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup  dried currants or raisins (or craisins!)
  • 1/2  cup  diced dried apricots (or other dried fruits)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt to taste
  • 3  (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 2 1/2  cups  uncooked Israeli couscous
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro or fresh basil

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in raisins, apricots, (or other dried fruit) salt, water and cinnamon sticks; bring to a boil. Add couscous, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Let couscous mixture stand 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Stir in cilantro or basil.