Tag Archives: dinner

Eggplant Parm Make Over

This weekend, Brent and I were sitting out on our porch talking about what foods we wanted to get for the week. After spending about a year with my parent’s, Brent picked up the love for Eggplant Parm. It’s become a running joke that it’s one of the only ways we can get him to willingly eat veggies.

I haven’t really been eating pasta all too often and wasn’t really feeling the heaviness of it. It’s not on my summer food loving list. Immediately, the idea was born. Spaghetti squash Eggplant Parm.

The recipe below is actually a combination of two that I have done before. Baked Eggplant and just a typical Spaghetti Squash.

Eggplant Parm Makeover

Ingredients:

1 Large Eggplant 3 Eggs
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs 1 16oz Jar Tomato Basil Red Sauce
2 Medium Sized Spaghetti Squash 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste 1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded

Directions:

Spaghetti Squash:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each squash in half and remove the seeds. Spread the olive oil over the inside of half and place them face down on a baking sheet. Bake them for 40 minutes or until the outside has become soft or wrinkly.

2. Let them cool off to the side for a few minutes. Then take a fork to the inside of them and scrape the squash from the inside. It will turn into strings. Place the squash in a bowl.

Eggplant:

1. Slice the eggplant in even slices with 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch width, depending on your preference. It’s more important to make them even.

2. In a flat dish with edges, whip up the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water until it is uniform. Place the bread crumbs on a separate plate. Take a slice of eggplant, place it in the eggs mixture until well covered, then transfer it to the bread crumb plate and cover it with the crumbs. Don’t forget to do the sides!

3. Put the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Once all of the slices are finished, bake them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, flip them over and bake for another 15 minutes or until as crispy as you want.

4. To serve, top the squash with the eggplant and finish with some red sauce and mozzarella.

DONE! You can make the squash and the eggplant at the same time. So don’t wait for the squash to finish in the oven before starting the eggplant.

Eggplant Parm Make Over Steps

Brent took a bite of it and I quote, “This may be the best thing I have ever eaten.” Words like this are really rare because normally I get, “Yea, it’s good.” And it’s a plate of veggies!! This will be making another appearance.

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I used a new red sauce for this as well, and it was delicious. I would recommend you give it Rao’s Homemade Red Sauce a try. You could make this gluten free by just substituting gluten free bread crumbs.

Have you ever changed a favorite and had it turn out better?

 

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Ginjo’s

Yesterday AM, I woke up and made myself a ham and cheese omelet and headed out the door for a busy day. I had a meeting in Quincy that I had to get over to and a few more stops to make on the way.

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For the lunch meeting, I brought a spread from Chili’s and ordered myself a salad that was recommended by the waitress. As she was describing it I thought it had potential…but I don’t think I realized that there was an entire quesadilla on the top of it.

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I didn’t have any of the dressing because I really didn’t think that it needed it. But definitely a tasty little salad.

I originally had plans to head over to a Hip Hop Yoga studio in Boston to work out with a friend, but I messed up on the time and we ended up having to reschedule. Instead, Brent wanted to head out for dinner. So, we actually ended up going to the same place that we went on Valentine’s Day, Ginjo.

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I didn’t end up writing anything on the date, but it was really fun. Instead of hitting up the Hibachi grill and ordering a scorpion bowl, we settled fro some sushi. Well…not really settled.

Brent ordered up some calamari to start and I started with some Miso Soup. I love that stuff. The calamari I have to say, was one of the best I have ever had. It was lightly breaded but still had a great flavor.

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Yummy. For sushi, I was trying to stay somewhat healthy and ordered the Caterpillar Roll, which was eel and cream cheese wrapped in avocado. The little guy REALLY looked like a caterpillar!!

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I’m not really sure which two Brent opted for, but the plate looked pretty impressive. It was also delicious!

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They were also phenomenal. I love when the plates look like mini pieces of art that you get to EAT.

Just after we too our first bite of our meals, the waitress came over and placed a plate of two Sashimi in front of us. She said it was a special from the chef and it was called the “DRAGON BOMB.” Slightly scary name but I have to say, it was one of the best sushi bites I’ve had.

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Lightly sears tuna with a spicy sauce on top. The chef ended up coming over to us after we finished our meal and I asked him what the name of the roll was again because I couldn’t quite remember and he just threw his hands up and said it had no name. It was a special roll. 🙂

Well, they should put this roll on the menu because it was a winner.

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Happy Elves filled with sushi.

The hibachi grill was also a great time for Valentine’s Day.

Yoga is going to have to wait until next week, but I also have a few places booked for Saturday to look at WEDDING DRESSES! Should be interesting!

Have you ever gotten to try something off menu??

 

 

Easy and Fresh Tomato Soup

Since moving up to Boston, Brent and I have been planning on buying a house simply because we are both absolutely sick of renting. I don’t really want to throw away rent money anymore and really want to put it into something that has some sort of return. We’ve been talking to some realtors just to get an idea of what is out there and where we stand. She suggested that we just go out and start looking at houses so we know exactly what we want. That way when it pops onto the market, we can swiftly take it off 🙂

Brent had emailed me with a house to consider last week, and the house looked perfect for what we were looking for. The only problem…the address. It was less than a mile from my parents house. I’m thinking we could just break out of the neighborhood that I grew up in. We went looking anyways…and it really gave us a good idea of how to look at the pictures online and translate it into actuality. I think if we were ready to buy a house, Brent would have been all over this one.

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It had a cute little backyard for BBQing, and around it, a perfect little Oreo pen.

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It was definitely a good idea to take a look at a house that we would consider buying, just to get an idea of what’s out there.

After I got back home from the open house, I went to work making some dinner. I wanted to make a soup and ended up making this Fresh Tomato Soup that was delicious and really light. I added some mashed potatoes to give it a little more weight and substance.

Fresh Tomato Soup

 

Ingredients:

3lbs Fresh Tomatoes (Any Kind)
1 Bulb of Garlic 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Thyme, Chopped Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Potatoes 1 Tablespoon Parsley, Chopped
Parmesan Cheese to Top  1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

Directions:

1. Pierce your potatoes with a fork several times and place them on a baking sheet. Cut the top of the garlic bulb off and sprinkle about a teaspoon of olive oil over the bulb. Place it in tin foil and put it alongside the potatoes on the baking sheet. Bake the potatoes and garlic at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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2. While the potatoes and garlic are in the oven, spread out your tomatoes on a baking sheet, lined with tin foil. I used two different red tomatoes and some Sunburst tomatoes. You can take the stemmy heads off the tomatoes now, or after they bake. Whatever is easiest for you.

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3. Over the tomatoes, sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and the chopped thyme. Then put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins split.

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4. Once the skins have split on the tomatoes and a fork goes smoothly into the potatoes, it’s ready to start smashing. First, put a colander over a bowl, and smash the tomatoes. The juice will fall into the bowl below while keeping the chunks in the colander.

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5. In a large pot, smash the potatoes. Use the juice from the tomatoes to help the process.

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6. Next, mash in the garlic from the roasted garlic bulb. They should be easy to just squeeze out of the cloves. Stir in the chopped parsley, the tomato chunks and even some more thyme if you would like. Finish it with a cup and a half of chicken broth. Let it heat for 10 minutes under low heat.

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Serve it with some parmesan cheese on top and enjoy! The potatoes really help to add some substance to the soup without over doing it. The soup is extremely light and full of the tomato flavor. It doesn’t have the big chunks of tomato if you don’t want it to and it’s crazy healthy!! All good things!

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I was planning on keeping some for lunch the next day, but everyone kind of cleared it out. This soup will be making an appearance again. It’s very easy on the labor end, so when you don’t feel like making something, this is the perfect answer.

Do you like your tomato soup to be smooth or full of tomato chunks??

 

 

 

Cauliflower and Herbed Barley Salad

This week Mama C was cooking up some dinner for the family and she was working on this cauliflower dish. She called me and Maggie over to give it a try because she wasn’t sure about how it tasted. As soon as Maggie and dove a finger into, we were hooked. This dish is filled with a strong lemon and garlic flavor that really took the cauliflower to another level. We couldn’t get enough of it.

So, Mama C has allowed me to share this amazing recipe with all of you 🙂 I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed. She has somehow found a way to take cauliflower and make us WANT to eat it. Crazy.

Cauliflower and Barley Salad

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Quick Cooking Barley Salt
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest 3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil Black Pepper
1 Head Cauliflower 1 15oz Can Small White Beans
1/2 Cup Parsley Leaves 1 Clove Garlic

Directions:

1. Start cooking the barley in a large saucepan, according to the directions on the package. Once it is cooked, drain it and set it aside.

2. Whisk the lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, 3 Tablespoons of Olive oil. Finely grate the garlic clove and whisk it into the dressing as well. Finally season it with salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a large skillet, heat up apprx. 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the cauliflower and occasionally stir it until it begins to brown in spots. It should take about 10 minutes.

4. Add in 2 tablespoons of water, then cover it and allow it to cook for 2 minutes longer, or until they are tender. Season them with salt and pepper to taste.

5. In a large bowl, add in the dressing, then add in the cauliflower, barley, beans (washed under cool water) and parsley. Toss it to coat everything and top it with the zest of lemon.

I can’t tell you how delicious this is. We had it as a side dish, but you could definitely have this as a main dish and even top it off with some sort of meat. You can also substitute the barley for quinoa or any other grains. The dressing is really simple and could compliment just about any grain.

Snowing Again!

This weekend we were hit with another storm, which was actually originally going to get up to 13 inches. But the temperature rose just enough last night to turn it into rain, and really reducing the amount of snow…and just making everything slushy.

However, that didn’t stop Bacon and Oreo from heading outside to get a spot of exercise. They have been kind of cooped up and Bacon has been staring at us begging to let him out. Colleen ended up taking the two of them out in the snow and throwing a ball around. You couldn’t have pictured any happier dogs.

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If you couldn’t tell, Oreo is back to her old self. We are trying to keep her from jumping around too much, but she doesn’t really have any interest in doing so. I took her to the vet on Friday and they came to the conclusion that it wasn’t took bad of a herniated disk because she did recover so quickly.

Hopefully the snow isn’t took bad for my flight tomorrow 🙂

Eggplant Parm, Love it or Hate it?

I have NEVER really been a fan of eggplant. The texture, the flavor…the everything about it. Well, the color is kind of pretty. But, I can’t really say I ever would have ordered eggplant anything throughout my entire life. But, I feel like the whole, your taste buds change while you grow up is completely true. I really like eggplant now. And onions, and tomatoes, and veggies in general. Brussels sprouts might just have to stay in limbo for right now.

  • Fun fact: They say that the bitter flavor of brussels sprouts is really distasteful to children because when you are younger you have more taste buds. The bitter flavor typically indicates something that may contain toxins, where as sweets are generally safe to eat. So children will spit it out in response to the bitter flavor, where adults won’t be keying in on the bitter flavor and be able to enjoy them a bit more. 

Eggplant I think has always been a texture thing to me. I’m finally getting used to the texture of a nice fresh eggplant and it is kind of growing on me. It is also my father’s favorite so I know this meal is going to be around for a long long time. My dad had been talking about eggplant parm for a while and when my mother was out of town for a few weeks, we decided to whip some up for him.

Eggplant Parm

 

Ingredients:

 

 

2 Large Eggplant 2 Jars of Tomato Sauce
2 Eggs 2 Tablespoons Milk
2 Cups Bread Crumbs 1 16oz Bag Mozarella Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Minced Garlic 1 Large Onion
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

 

Directions:

1. In a medium sized pan, add in a tablespoon of olive oil, minced garlic and your large onion, diced. I used a vidalia onion, but a yellow onion would work well too. Set it on a medium heat and stir frequently until the onions are cooked through. When the onions are cooked, add in the two jars of sauce. It can be any flavor you like. I used an italian sauce.

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2. With the sauce sitting on simmer, take your eggplant and cut them into thicker slices.

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3. Next, in a flatter dish, whisk the eggs with your milk until they are well combined. Then dip the eggplant slice into the egg, covering it on both sides and then dip it into your bread crumbs, covering it on both sides, as well as the edges.

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4. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and bake them all at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplant looks browned. Then, flip them over and give it another 5 minutes.

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5. In 13×9 baking dish, line the bottom with some sauce and start layering the eggplant on the bottom. You want to fill the bottom as much as possible. You may have to cut a few in half.

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6. Then top the layer off with some more sauce, and a mozzarella cheese layer. Then another eggplant layer and so on. Until you have no more eggplant and the top layer is sauce and cheese.

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7. Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 25  minutes, covered with tin foil. You need the dish to completely warm up and the flavors to blend. If you do not cover it, you will get a crunchy top. You can always take the tin foil off for the last 5 minutes if you want that effect.

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Not too complicated but just a little time consuming! On the other side, you will have enough eggplant parm to hold you over for a while! And if you have any left over baked eggplant, you can put it on sandwiches or on salads for other meals!

 

What are some foods that you like now as an adult that you may have hated when you were a kid??