Roasted eggplant with tomato stuffing

Eggplants are popping out in northeast CSA shares this week.  And farmer’s markets are crawling with tomatoes.  Thus this seems like the perfect dish to try this week.  It can easily fly solo as a vegetarian main course, or be served as a hearty side to a simple sausage or chicken breast.  You can add or subtract as many veggies as you like to the stuffing- for instance collard greens would go great as would broccoli, green peppers, or even butternut squash.  Go ahead and get creative with your favorite flavors!

1 small eggplant, halved lengthwise

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 small onion, sliced

4 oz. cremini mushrooms, cubed

1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced

1 small carrot, quartered and sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tomato cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F
  • Place eggplant halves in a 9×9 pan, cut sides up. Sprinkle each half with about 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • In a small skillet over a medium heat, sauté the onions, mushrooms, zucchini and carrot in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until onions begin to be translucent, about five minutes
  • Transfer the mixture into a small bowl and stir in the tomato, basil, and remaining salt
  • Pile the mixture on top of the eggplant halves and drizzle the remaining olive oil, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes
  • Remove the foil and bake until eggplants are soft and tender, uncovered, for about 20 more minutes

We opted to have chicken sausages for our protein with this dish so I added them to the baking dish at the point where I removed the foil and baked for 20 more minutes (as my sausages were pre-cooked).

This recipe was inspired by this post and tweaked by me.

J

Black Bean Chili with Chicken & Zucchini

This recipe is a great way to get some low-fat protein and fiber worked into your diet with a huge flavor profile.  It’s simple to make and only takes about half an hour from start to finish.   And did you know that the Chinese black bean, also known as Douchi, is a fermented soy bean? So if you’re trying to eat a more primal diet, these are an acceptable item.

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Salt & pepper

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium zucchini, quartered & chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups of black beans

2 cups of diced tomatoes

1 small can mild green chilies

2 Tablespoons ancho chili paste

1/2 cup cilantro

Sour cream

Directions:

  • Warm a skillet over a medium heat, add olive oil
  • Season the chicken breast with chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper & sauté for a couple of minutes per side- just to get the cooking process started.  Remove from heat & set aside
  • In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, zucchini and garlic for 5 minutes.  While these are cooking, cut you chicken into bite-sized pieces
  • Add the chicken, beans, tomatoes, chilies and chili paste to the pot, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Top with sour cream & cilantro and serve

Ginger Pork Tenderloin with Asian Vegetables

This meal was inspired by a recipe posted on WHF for Asian Sauteed Cauliflower.  I say “inspired by” because, of course, it grew into something very different.  The stand-out element here is the dressing that you make for the vegetables.  It’s a little salty and a little sweet, and it’s made almost buttery, if you will, with the addition of cilantro at the end.  I used many of the same ingredients to dress the pork with.

Ingredients:

Pork:

1 pork tenderloin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon tamari

salt & pepper

Vegetables:

1/2 of a medium head cauliflower, trimmed & florets cut into bite-sized pieces

1 decently-sized carrot, sliced into rounds

1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-rounds

½ of a large onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
5 Tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 medium cloves garlic, diced small
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoon tamari
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Season the pork with salt & pepper
  • Heat a cast iron fry pan on the stove top at a medium-high heat, add the oil, then begin searing the pork tenderloin
  • While the pork sears, mix the ginger, vinegar, honey & tamari, then pour it over the seared pork
  • Pop the frying pan, with pork & dressing, into the oven for 23 minutes (adjust up or down depending on size)
  • While the pork finishes in the oven heat the chicken broth in a large skillet at a medium to medium-high heat and when it begins to steam add the cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, onion & ½ of the garlic, cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes
  • While the veggies steam, mix together the ginger, remaining garlic, vinegar, honey, tamari, olive oil, salt & pepper
  • After the veggies have cooked for 5 minutes, uncover them and add the dressing
  • Turn the heat off under the pan, and stir the veggies every couple of minutes to distribute the dressing
  • Serve the veggies topped with cilantro

This meal was very tasty 😉

J

Black Bean Soup

In my ongoing quest to discover recipes low in fat and high in protein, fiber and nutrients, I came across this one.  While it’s not necessarily what I would term “soup weather” in New England right now, this really doesn’t heat up the kitchen all that much, and it’s packed with flavor.  The yield on this recipe is such that Neil and I each had heaping bowls of soup for dinner and there was equally as much left over so I froze it (which will come in handy this weekend when I’m running around like a lunatic prepping food-stuffs to co-host a baby shower with my sister) so it will easily feed four.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 TBS ancho chili powder

3 cups + 1 TBS chicken (or vegetable) broth

1 small zucchini, quartered and diced

1 cup chopped collard greens

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen yellow corn

1 4 oz can diced green chili

1 roasted red pepper

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup pepitas

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot. Sauté onion and garlic in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes
  • Add red chili powder and mix to coat
  • Add broth, zucchini, collard greens, and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add beans, corn, green chili, roasted red peppers, oregano, and cumin
  • Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes
  • Add chopped cilantro, pumpkin seeds, salt, and pepper

We decided to have a nice fresh green salad with our soup.  It was a great combination because there was something cool to pop in our mouths when the heat of the soup got to be a bit much.

J

Calabacitas

Are you in need of a side dish for your dinner with a Mexican twist?  Do you love fresh squashes?  Colorful foods?  Adding vitamin C and powerful antioxidants to your diet?  Well then, you’re in luck as I have just the recipe for you!

simmering calabacitas

As an alternative, you could add some goat cheese to this dish and serve it as a vegetarian entree over brown rice.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, cut in a large dice

4 medium cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups zucchini , diced into cubes

2 cups yellow squash, diced into cubes

15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

4 oz can of diced green chili

4 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth

¼ cup chopped cilantro

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Slice onion and chop garlic
  • Prepare all other vegetables
  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a large skillet. Sauté onions in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add zucchini, yellow squash, remaining broth, green chili, and cook for another 3 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender, stirring often
  • Add tomatoes and continue to cook for another couple of minutes
  • Stir in herbs, salt, and pepper

calabacitas as a side to salmon & brown rice

J

Adapted from a recipe posted on the world’s healthiest foods