Chicken Roasted with Mushrooms and Shallots & Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (gf)

We’re officially on the gluten-free express train. Our kitchen was mostly gluten-free before Dave’s diagnosis but now there’s actual gluten protocol to follow (i.e., no gluten at all en la casa). This isn’t a huge deal, as I can always scarf chewy chunks of Panera baguette in my car and continue to have glutinous adventures at work, where we eat as if it’s the last day on Earth everyday (they get me).

chicken13

The new rules have inspired creativity [when I’ve had time to cook], as evidenced in last night’s ingenious mashed cauliflower. What a great idea! Total mashed potato fake-out. Yes, potatoes are gluten-free but cauliflower is a lower GI food, has more vitamins, blah blah blah. The mashed cauliflower can be as light or as creamy and indulgent as you’d like and, as for the roasted chicken, it’s delicious and easy and everyone loves roasted chicken. That’s all the intro roasted chicken ever needs. ‘Twas a hearty, warming, comforting dinner perfect for fall.

chicken 14

CHICKEN ROASTED WITH MUSHROOMS AND SHALLOTS

Adapted from the Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 chicken leg quarters, skin-on
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint white mushrooms (about 12), washed well and sliced
  • 4 large shallots, quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

GARLIC MASHED CAULIFLOWER 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets, OR 2 bags pre-cut cauliflower
  • 1 clove garlic, minced OR 4-5 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese, softened and/or 2 tbsp chèvre
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened OR 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp chicken bouillon or chicken base
  • cracked black pepper
  • fresh snipped chives

Directions:

Both of these recipes are pretty quick. The chicken pan roasts, then finishes in the oven; the cauliflower boils and is puréed. Facilisimo. Let’s start with the chicken and then make the cauliflower as the chicken roasts. Preheat your over to 350. In a cast iron or other oven-safe pan, heat the olive oil over medium. If you’re making cauliflower now, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken leg quarters liberally with salt and pepper and add, skin-side down, to the hot oil.

Cook for 5 minutes, letting the skin brown. Flip over and cook the backsides for 5 minutes as well. You may want to use a splatter guard, as the olive oil will be deliciously crackly and splatter-prone.

When both sides have browned, top the chicken with the sliced mushrooms, shallots, and rosemary, tucking the veggies in between the chicken pieces. Slide the pan into the hot oven and let roast for 20 minutes. Cauliflower time! If you haven’t already, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Drain well in a colander, but don’t let the cauliflower cool off too much- you’ll use its heat to melt and disperse the cheeses and butter (mmm, melting cheeses and butter).

When the cauliflower has drained, add it to a food processor or put it back into the pot you boiled it in if you’re using an immersion blender. Add your chosen cheeses, garlic, bullion, milk, and pepper. Blend. Taste for seasonings and consistency and adjust as needed (salt, pepper, more milk, more cheese, etc.). Eat a few spoonsful and top with chives. Back to the chicken!

chicken 11

photo credt: Dave Cruse

The amazing part is, your chicken is done. It will look fabulous. Remove the chicken and veggies to a platter, discarding the rosemary sprigs, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving to lock in the juices (I love saying that). Lock ’em in. Now would be the time to make a simple pan sauce or sprinkle with lemon juice, if you’d like. The dish is certainly tasty enough to not need a sauce, but it wouldn’t hurt. Pour a glass of wine (pairing recommendations here), scoop up some cauliflower, cut a piece of chicken, and enjoy.


Secret Ingredient Black Bean & Quinoa Chili (v, gf), Quickie Caulifower “Rice” (v, gf), and BeckyAmyLew

happy feet, happy place

After a lovely, relaxing 4th of July weekend spent fishing, reading, and sleeping at the cabin of some dear family friends, Dave and I came home happy and calm… and in dire need of a s’mores and hot dog detox. It was a vegemergency. While running through the grocery store on a typical post-holiday “we have no food in the house” weekday evening, I racked my brain for a vegan meal that would take little prep work and would allow me to get a few things done while it cooked.  An enticing Fit Foodie Finds recipe I’d Pinned recently popped in my mind and thought I’d give it a whirl.

I’M SO GLAD I DID.

chili split

ignore my ominous, hulking shadow… Lauren hungry, Lauren want food

This chili hit the spot, despite the 95-degree St. Louis summer upon us. Use any veggies you have lying around for your version; edit and add to use what’s in your pantry. Whatever you toss in will add bright, veggie goodness. We had a beautiful home-grown zucchini my in-laws gave us over the weekend (thank you!) and decided to add it to the mix; carrots, broccoli, potatoes, different beans, different peppers, or more or less of the ingredients listed below would all work well. I do recommend keeping the secret ingredient, though…

SECRET INGREDIENT BLACK BEAN & QUINOA CHILI

Adapted from Fit Foodie Finds

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into large dice
  • 3+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups water + 3 tsp vegetable base, or 3 cups vegetable stock + 2 cups water
  • 3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
  • juice of one lime
  • 3 tbsp good-quality chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • avocado, green onion, sour cream (obviously not vegan), hot sauce for serving
  • And…… 

The secret ingredient is…. a cinnamon stick!! BOOM! Vegan chili mic drop.

Directions:

OMIGOSHYOUGUYS. The chili was so very easy to throw together. There are just three little steps: chop veggies, sauté veggies, simmer chili. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven. Add the onion, green pepper, zucchini, and poblano pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent- if you want to. You could very easily dump all ingredients into the pot and crank up the heat. If you’re sautéing, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add all other ingredients (gah! so easy!). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low and cover, simmering for 50 minutes. Put chili in face. 

chili simmering

The genius addition of a cinnamon stick gives this chili a smoky, sweet quality that’s hard to pinpoint and plays well with the other spices and veggies. The cinnamon flavor isn’t overwhelming and having a secret ingredient to add makes this dish even more special.

hearty veggie goodness

hearty veggie goodness

Now- for the cauliflower rice, which you can whip up while the chili is simmering. I adapted this recipe from BeckyAmyLew, my old friend Becky Lewis’ paleo-friendly recipe and running blog. Cute site name, huh? Becky is a talented and creative home cook with international influences and lots to share. She describes herself as an:

“amateur Foodie and social media enthusiast living in the middle of America, USA. An expert in nothing. Simply aspires to inspire people through the gift of sharing.”

Check her out, especially if you’re looking for clever paleo recipes. In her cauliflower “rice” post, Taiwan-born Becky describes the globally important grain as a favorite and as what she misses most in her no-grain paleo diet; I completely relate and was drawn to this recipe instantly, as my Dominican bones also pine for white rice with each meal (damn healthy choices, depriving me of diabetes and the joy in life…). Rice is such a love of mine, my “dying wish” meal is my aunt’s habichuelas con arroz blanco, Dominican beans and rice. Becky’s cauliflower substitute was so satisfying, I just may update that wish.

CAULIFLOWER “RICE”

Adapted from BeckyAmyLew

Ingredients: 

  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Seasonings to your taste, optional (I used Goya Adobo)

Directions:

In a blender or food processor, pulse the cauliflower in batches. You’re looking for a rice-like shape and size, small but not ground into meal. This is a surprisingly easy consistency to achieve. Just pulse, pulse, pulse and keep an eye on it as you go.

cauliflower in blender

Set the cauliflower aside and sauté the diced onion in the olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium until the onion is translucent. Add the cauliflower and salt and pepper to taste, stirring well to combine. Cover the mix and let steam for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently and checking often.

"rice, rice," baby

rice, rice, baby

 There you have it! Cauliflower “rice!” Pairs perfectly with chili, stir-fries, and other saucy foods. What other grain alternatives have you tried?


Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw & Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

IT’S HOT OUTSIDE AGAIN… FINALLY. Glory, hallelu! Simple pleasures are the best, and there are few simple pleasures I love more than the feeling of sun on my face and limbs and a warm breeze blowing by. It’s my favorite time of year- time for long days and nights and living outside, for outdoor concerts and bikes and running and sweating and swimming and brewery patios and dinners from the grill. Time to jump in with wild abandon and really live!

29 Things You Can Expect Now Summer's Finally Here

I’m aliiiiive!!!

Speaking of dinners from the grill, these tacos are a favorite dish I had kind of forgotten about for a while (oops) and made last night to celebrate the change of seasons. Produce-heavy and no oven required. Perfect for a hot and steamy weeknight. Mama likey.

GRILLED FISH TACOS WITH CILANTRO SLAW

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs firm, white fish fillets (I used cod, mahi mahi also works well)
  • canola oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • corn tortillas
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives, if you have them around
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (optional but highly recommended)
  • white onion, diced (optional)
  • hot sauce for serving

fishtacos 11

CORN, TOMATO, AND AVOCADO SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • the kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp  chopped chives, if you have them around
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

For the fish tacos and slaw:  preheat a grill or an indoor grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Brush the fish on both sides with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dave grilled these (thanks!) while I prepped the veggies, and he cooked them in a grill basket for about 7 minutes per side. How long you cook the fish will depend on the thickness of the fillets and the heat of your grill or stove; basically, cook until firm and opaque, flipping halfway through. Set aside in a large bowl when done.

not a very colorful or exciting pic, but you can take that up with the cod

not a very colorful or exciting pic, but you can take that up with the cod

While the fish cooks, stir together the sour cream, juice of one lime, a pinch of kosher salt and about 1/4 tsp black pepper in a medium-sized bowl.

fish tacos4

Stir in the chives, cilantro, jalapeño, and cabbage. Taste this and adjust seasoning a needed.

fish tacos5

Toss the fish with the cumin and the remaining lime juice. Spoon into microwaved, doubled-up corn tortillas, top with onion and the cilantro slaw, and serve, passing hot sauce around. YUM.

For the corn, tomato, and avocado salad: okay, first off, to remove corn kernels, stand an ear of corn up on its flat end (the end you break the stalk off of) on a cutting board and slice the kernels off from the top down with a large knife. In my next life, I’ll add a video of how to do this (so many plans for this next life). Toss the tomatoes, scallions, parsley, chives, and corn together in a large bowl. Top with lime juice, canola oil, a big pinch of salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper and toss together. Fold in the avocado. DONE! This is crazy flavorful and so, so good for you. Enjoy!

fish tacos6

Winter was arduous, mmkay? Welcome, late spring and I love you, summer.

The 15 Phases Of Every Winter

who has two thumbs and figured out how to add gifs to her posts? hahaha…

 

 

 

 

 


Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole (veg, gf) & Planting Herbs Like a Boss

So I’ve cautiously planted a few things this year… useful things. Herbs. This is my first shot at eating something I’ve grown and, as of this morning, the herbs were still alive (victoreeeeeeeyyyy!). Though the herbs aren’t dead, I’ve formed a bad habit of tending to but not using them- and what’s the point of that?! Sheesh. I decided to make this casserole to pick some thyme and let it do it’s thing. To give it its thyme to shine, if you will (yuk yuk yuk).

cass2

Here are the products of my attempt at green thumbing-it. Irises I didn’t plant, the suspiciously healthy herbs, succulents that survive in desert conditions, coreopsis and other native plants that were the lone survivors of a Washington University drought experiment (thanks, Julie!), and basil, which would probably grow in a highway ditch.

Stand back. I am a master gardener.

To use my homegrown, real-life, big girl thyme and combine my love of grains, casseroles, and veggies, I made this delicious fare last night. Largely based on Heidi Swanson’s wild rice casserole (I know, I know, I keep coming back to Heidi), I added more dairy and waaay more veggies to make this a hearty and filling vegetarian side. Served with greens, another veggie, or with salmon as Dave enjoyed it, it’s a main dish. It’s quite tasty and addictive- I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

cass veggies

get jazzy on it

BROCCOLI WILD RICE CASSEROLE

Inspired by Heidi Swanson

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz cottage cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, diced
  • half a large yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic or 4-5 cloves roasted garlic
  • 3 leaves kale, ribbed and cut into ribbons
  • 1 small head broccoli, stems diced and florets cut into quarters

Directions:

To cook the wild rice: in a small stockpot, add the wild rice, water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is chewy. You may need to drain this, depending on how temperamental and stubborn your rice is. Set aside!

I got some wild, wild rice

I got some wiiild, wiiild rice**

As the rice cooks, heat the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan. Add your pre-chopped veggies and sauté in this order:

  1. carrots, mushrooms, thyme, onion, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt for 3 minutes
  2. add kale and broccoli, cook another 2 minutes
  3. add celery and garlic, cook 2 minutes more
  4. your kitchen smells amazing now.

cass veggies cook

Set the veggies aside or just scoot the pan to a cold burner. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, milk, and as much pepper as you’d like. You can whisk in the last 1/2 tsp salt here or omit it altogether.

cass eggs

Preheat your oven to 350. Using a bit more olive oil or some butter, grease a casserole dish. I used a large Corningware but a 9X9 would work well here, or even a 9×13. Fold the rice into the dairy and egg mixture and then fold in the veggies.

cass all mixed in bowl

Pour the rice and veggie mix into the greased casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes depending on the depth of your casserole dish. You want the casserole to be heated through and the top to be golden brown. All done! Let cool slightly and serve!


**


Healthified Caramelized Onion Dip (veg, gf)

You know what I love? I love old-school, high salt, pre-packaged, preservative-heavy onion dip. I enjoy shoveling the dip into my mouth using rippled potato chips. Not a good habit. Not good at all. The same part of my brain that thinks it likes the poisonous, gelatinous dip so much loves candy corn (partially hydrogenated corn syrup chunks), movie theater popcorn (yes, I would like that drizzled with trans fat sauce), and sour gummy worms (these are not food in any way). Also, it’s my eighth birthday. Also, sorry I’m not sorry.

dip

To trick this part of my palate, which was born 20 years ago in the candy aisle of 7-Eleven and is in it for the long haul, I make snacks like this:

HEALTHY CARAMELIZED ONION DIP
Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic or 2 garlic cloves, mincedingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh
  • splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, or crackers for dipping (especially good with Mary’s Gone Crackers)

Directions: 

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and salt and brown, stirring continuously, for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 more minutes. The onions will turn a lovely dark brown and smell heavenly.

onions caramelized

Stir in the garlic and thyme, raise heat to medium, and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add a splash of Worcestershire and allow it to mostly cook off. Stir the onions into the Greek yogurt and allow it to chill for a bit. Serve with veggies and bask in the healthy glow of your matured decision-making skills!


Heidi Swanson’s Broccoli Gribiche and My Coconut Kitchen Giveaway Winner! (veg, gf)

First things first: thank you to everyone who entered last week’s giveaway. I really enjoyed your responses- what healthy, creative people you are! To impartially choose a winner, I used the super-technical method of writing names on slips of paper and having a coworker choose one before lunch. All documented on high-quality iPhone video.

Rrrrrrroll ’em!

Congratulations Diana, winner of the My Coconut Kitchen coconut butter sampler pack! I hope you enjoy the sumptuous spreads as much as I do- let us all know how you use them.  Thank you to My Coconut Kitchen for the prize- be sure to check out Angie’s delicious inventory!

congrats

This week, I was looking for a meatless recipe with simple, clean flavors  that would fill me up, create leftovers, and be relatively simple to prepare. I was short on time and motivation and long on hunger, so who did I turn to? Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day, a wonderful cookbook given to me by a wonderful aunt. My last Heidi Swanson post brought us another delicious meatless dinner- white beans with cabbage. Heidi’s broccoli gribiche recipe is listed in Super Natural Every Day under “lunch” and would be a showstopper at a picnic or potluck. I know it was a big hit at my one-woman potluck. Here it is! Broccoli gribiche.

gribiche done

BROCCOLI GRIBICHE

Adapted from Heidi Swanson

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes
  • 1 large head broccoli, florets chopped into bite-sized pieces and some stem chopped
  • 2 tbsp + 1/4 cup olive oil (healthy fat!)
  • kosher salt
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, 1 cooked yolk set aside
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried chives

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and arrange two racks in the middle and top of the oven. Wash the potatoes and chop any potatoes larger than your thumb in half. Do not chop your thumb in half, only thumb-sized potatoes. Toss the potatoes and any thumb bits with one tablespoon of the olive oil and a large pinch of kosher salt in a large bowl; turn the potatoes out into a single layer on a baking sheet and roast on the middle oven rack for the first 15 of 30 minutes. Set the bowl aside.

While the potatoes cook, hard boil your eggs. You can find a foolproof allez! gourmet hard-boiling method here if you need it- super, super easy. While the eggs cook, wash and chop your broccoli and toss with another tablespoon of olive oil and another pinch of salt in the large bowl. Once the potatoes have cooked 15 minutes, stir the potatoes, turn the broccoli out onto a separate baking sheet and place the broccoli on the top rack of the oven, roasting the potatoes and broccoli another 15 minutes. You can set both baking sheets aside when the roasted veggies are done.

potatoes and broccoli

Back to the eggs: let your hardboiled eggs cool in ice water for speedy cooling and to prevent rings around the yolks. Peel one, remove its yolk, and mash that yolk in the trusty, large bowl you used for the potatoes and broccoli. I’m saving you dirty dishes here. My husband would be proud. Verrry sloooowly whisk the 1/4 cup olive oil into the mashed egg yolk, emulsifying the mixture. It will be a lovely, velvety, glossy yellow.

dressing emulsify

a!g action shot! bam! pow!

Whisk in the mustard and then the vinegar. Add the shallots, capers, and herbs, mixing the gribiche well. Chop the remaining 3 1/2 eggs and gently fold them into the mixture.

dressing shallots

Now for the fun part- combine the potatoes and broccoli in an an even larger bowl and add the dressing, gently tossing everything to coat. Serve. This stuff is seriously delicious, reheats very well, and can be served cold or at room temp. The flavors of the dressing were even better the next day, having had some time to mix and mingle overnight. Cheeky devils. I paired mine with Trader Joe’s new cruciferous crunch mix, braised in olive oil with a bit of red wine vinegar. Enjoy!

dinnah is served

dinnah is served

Harkening back to March of last year, here’s an allez! gourmet recipe for a classic Spanish potato salad, Ensaladilla Rusa.


Kale and White Bean Korma (v, gf)

This vibrant, fragrant dish makes me happy. Its colors and flavors of make me think of lovely Nepal and of colorful Northern India, which I imagine to be one of the most lively places in the world. The tantalizing smell of onion, ginger, and garlic cooking in coconut oil will make your kitchen feel like this:

Photo: National Geographic

Holi festival! photo: National Geographic

Korma is derived from the Urdu word ḳormā, or “braise.” Even though there’s no meat in this dish, you braise the sweet potatoes by cooking them with curry powder, onion, and a bit of tomato sauce before simmering them in coconut milk with kale and white beans. You can serve this korma with rice if you like or serve as a side dish. I found that it really holds up on it’s own; I dolloped mine with some plain Greek yogurt for a hearty meal.  स्वादिष्ट (delicious)!

kormalicious

kormalicious

KALE AND WHITE BEAN KORMA

Adapted from Food 52

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 oz tomato sauce (half of a small can)
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (see note below)
  • 2 large handfuls chopped kale
  • 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a large stockpot, heat coconut oil over medium. Add the onion and saute until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute another minute.

onion

Add the sweet potatoes, curry powder, and tomato sauce. NOTE: if you don’t like curry powder (and many people don’t), omit it for Pete’s sake. Add paprika or brown sugar and pepper or red curry paste, or nothing or anything you like in its place. But if you do like curry powder, add it now. Continue to cook the sweet potatoes over medium for about ten minutes, until they begin to soften a bit.

sweet potatoes

Add the coconut milk, kale, and white beans. Bring the korma to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

look at that nutritious jumble!

look at that nutritious jumble!

That’s all! Uncover and serve, you wholesome and adventurous veggie-lover, you. Top with yogurt or diced cucumbers. Enjoy!

KORMA BOWL


Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Parmesan (veg, gf)

I love eggplant parmesan. I love lasagna. I do not necessarily love heavy meals that can’t be scarfed without guilt and/or heartburn unless those meals involve pizza and/or cookies, which have their own special place in my life and in the universe. This lasagna is really a lovely meal to serve, is very cheap to make, and is easy to assemble. Fresh veggies, grain free, a blender sauce, creamy ricotta, earthy eggplant, light and rich all at once. Ahh.

eggplant lasagna

So satisfy your Italian cravings and up your veggie intake. I served it with mixed greens on the side and Parmesan for passing. How will you serve your eggplant lasagna?

EGGPLANT LASAGNA WITH RICOTTA AND PARMESAN

Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants, sliced lengthwise (see photo below)
  • 1/2 lb Roma tomatoes, seeded
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped or torn
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Parmesan for serving
  • salt and pepper

lasagna finished

Directions:

You will probably want to slice your eggplant first, as it’s the only pseudo labor-intensive part of this recipe. Cut the top off of your eggplants so you can stand them sturdily on one end. With a large knife, slice them in 1/4 inch slices from top to bottom (you may instead slice the eggplants horizontally, if you like; comme ci, comme ça). Brush both sides of the slices with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then arrange on two baking sheets.

sliced and ready to broil

sliced and ready to broil

Okay, now preheat your broiler. While it heats up, puree garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper in a blender. Sauce: done! Fabulous! Slide the first baking sheet of eggplant into the oven and broil your rustic slices for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once. Repeat with the second batch.

sauce in blender

While the eggplant cooks, grab a small bowl and combine the ricotta, egg, basil, and another 1/4 each salt and pepper. Mix throughly to combine. When all eggplant slices have been broiled, lower the oven heat to 400. In the bottom of a deep 8″ baking dish or a 9×13″ dish (whichever will hold the length of your eggplant slices), spread half of the tomato sauce. Layer one-third of the eggplant slices over the sauce and top with half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the eggplant layer and the ricotta layer, using the remaining ricotta.  Top with the last of the eggplant, the sauce, the Parmesan, and a few decorative basil leaves if you’re feeling fancy.

eggplant heading for oven

Bake for 15-20 minutes, uncovered,  until the lasagna bubbles and the top is slightly browned. Take an artful picture of your cat in the meantime.

artful cat

rawr

Remove lasagna from the oven and let cool ten minutes before serving. The mixed greens with oil and vinegar really were a perfect accompaniment. We had a few chicken breasts left over from the night before, so we had those, too. The greens alone would have been fine. This meal makes a very pretty and light lunch or dinner, all while being easy on the wallet and waistline. Enjoy!

eggplant dinner