I feel as though the only recipes I post are sweet/dessert recipes…which is not a good representation of the foods I really love and enjoy. So I am going to start making a conscious effort to post what I really eat, on the day-to-day, the healthy whole veggies and grains! We’ll start with a couple of eggplant dishes. I love cooking with eggplant because there are a lot of different options, roast, stuff, puree…
So, the story behind this delicious dinner: My best friend (slash, roommate) from my days when living in Milan came to SF for a two week visit! Cecile is such an amazing person and fills any room that she’s in with love and positive vibes. Unfortunately, for me, she is still living in Milan (running the marketing for a very high end jewlery/accessory company!) but we still manage to meet every year somewhere in the world!
The day after she touched-down into SF we took a day trip up to Napa Valley for a little wine tasting. Something all guests love doing when visiting, and something I never get tired of “tour-guiding” On our way out of Napa we passed a big beautiful produce stand and stopped to load up on goodies for the house (after having already loaded up on the vino!). Japanese eggplants, asparagus and cherry tomatoes were among the many things we grabbed (great low prices too)
This is a simple dish to make when you don’t want to spend a lot of hands oh time- plus I did it all on the same pan in the oven. Serve this on a whole grain (I used this) or over pasta or polenta
Serves 2 for Dinner or a 4 for a side Ingredients: 2 medium Japanese Eggplants 1 cup tomatoes 1 garlic clove thinly sliced olive oil Fresh Basil Parmesan Cheese Sea Salt fresh Pepper 10 spears of Asparagus Lemon zest
preheat the oven to 375 Chop the eggplant into about 1 inch cubes Halve the tomatoes toss in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, good salt and pepper to taste Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes. In the meantime trim the asparagus toss with a little olive oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper Up the temp to 400 Toss the veggies and scoot them to one side of the baking dish Add the asparagus in a single layer Roast for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through
I like to toss my veggies in lemon zest because I am obsessed with it. It is so fresh and clean feeling, I love it, but definitely optional Serve the Eggplant and omato over your starch of choice and top with fresh basil.
All the times I enjoyed tabbouleh in Greece and Turkey this summer, I thought, “how nice would this be made with quinoa as oppose to bulgur”
Well, quinoa has yet to find its place on shelves in Turkey, but it is available anywhere rice is sold here in California. I assume always use quinoa in a recipe that calls for a grain. Not only because it is gluten free but it is also a complete protein, making it the ideal grain for vegetarians.
I added chickpeas and stuffed into heirloom tomatoes (sorry no pic) and garnished with lemon zest and a mint leaf for a light lunch For dinner, omit the beans to keep it as a side dish, serve along grilled salmon and and asparagus, oooo and lots of lemon zest! Perfect!
Serves 6 side or 4 main Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa 1 large cucumber, chopped 3 tomatoes, seeded and cubbed 2 cups parsley, finely chopped 1 cup mint, finely chopped 1 can Chickpeas, rinsed well
Lemon Dressing: 1 lemon, juiced 1-2 garlic cloves, to taste, minced 3 T good quality olive oil sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Directions: Cook the quinoa. set aside in a bowl, even in the fridge, to cool completely. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside
Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables.
Toss the quinoa with veggies with the quinoa and gently toss with dressing Season with sea salt and pepper Garnish with lemon zest and whole pretty pieces of mint
This dish goes very well with many fall recipes. If you are gluten sensitive, try using rice or buckwheat in place on barley.
Even the young boys of my clients I cook for adore this dish and request it almost weekly.
1 T butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup barley
Walnuts, chopped and toasted
In a heavy sauce pan, heat the oil and melt the butter
Add the onions and cook over medium heat, about 3 minutes
Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms release their moisture, about 5 minutes
Add the broth, barley and Salt and bring to a boil
Simmer partially covered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally
Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with nuts and parsley
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