ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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How do you Provence that?

IMG_2369.JPGSummer Vegetable Bake ala Provence

2 medium onions, cut into 1/4″ slices

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 t salt

2 cloves garlic put through a press or finely chopped

15 oz cooked (rinsed, if canned or homemade) beans (cannellini, kidney, black beans, etc; you can even use lentils)

2 1/2 t herbes de Provence

1/4 t black pepper

~ 1 lb eggplant, cut in half lengthwise, then into 1/4″ slices

3 large zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/4″ slices

1/2 lb white potatoes (optional) cut in 1/4″ slices

3 plum tomatoes (or the equivalent; can use canned), cut into 1/4″ slices

1/4 cup 1% fat cottage cheese (or substitute any creamy/tangy cheese of your choice)

1 T grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Heat 1 T oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and 1/8 t salt. Cook ~ 10 minutes until onions are soft. Add garlic, cook another minute and then stir in beans, 1/2 t of herbes and 1/8 t black pepper.

Pour above mixture into a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and spread to cover bottom of dish.

In a large bowl, toss remaining vegetables with remaining oil, 1/4 t salt, remaining herbes, and black pepper.

Arrange the veggies atop the onion/bean mixture overlapping each vegetable.

Cover the dish with foil, press down on the foil to pack down the veggies into the bean mixture. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove foil, crumble mixed cottage cheese and Parm on top of the casserole and bake another 15 minutes.

Makes 8 side dish servings or 4 main course servings.

 

 

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Eggplant going mush? Baba Ganoush!

Baba Ganoush (Eggplant and Sesame Purée)

1 eggplant
3 T sesame seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1 T water
1 clove garlic, crushed in a press
2 T finely chopped Italian parsley

Purée the sesame seeds with the lemon juice and the water (this is easiest done with a mini-chopper but can be done in a blender). Place mixture in a medium sized bowl.
If using a mini-chopper combine the garlic (whole clove) with the parsley (unchopped) and chop in mini-chopper, then add to sesame seed purée. If not using mini-chopper, add the crushed garlic and hand chopped parsley to the purée.

Meanwhile, poke multiple holes in the whole eggplant and either grill on an open flame or broil in oven broiler on all sides until the skin is slightly blackened. Allow eggplant to cool, place in colander and allow juices to drain away. Peel eggplant, scrape as much eggplant flesh as possible from the skin. At this point, it’s easiest to place eggplant into a food processor and process until smooth. If you don’t have access to a food processor*, then you can mash the eggplant to as smooth as possible.
Add the smooth eggplant to the sesame purée and enjoy!
Baba Ganoush can be used as a dip for vegetables or crackers/bread or as a sandwich spread. As this recipe is cooking the eggplant to soften it, a slightly “worn” eggplant will do as firmness is not required. If your eggplant is very large then you may want to increase the sesame seeds to 4 T and the garlic to 2 cloves.

A word about food processors: If you don’t have one, get one! My wonderful food processor and I have been together for well more than 30 years and it is without doubt my favorite electric tool in the kitchen. A food processor will save you a lot of time and make many difficult tasks very easy. Buy quality. Read reviews about different brands; as you see, I bought a good quality food processor and it has lasted a very long time. While I have had to replace bowls over the years, the motor continues to be strong as do the blades.


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Parmigiana

Eggplant and Broccoli Soy Parmigiana

1 large eggplant, sliced ~ 1/4″ slices

dried basil, oregano, garlic and red sweet peppers

olive oil cooking spray

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and lightly steamed

8 oz soy mozzarella, shredded

1 pkg firm tofu, drained and chopped finely (use food processor) until the tofu resembles ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 32 oz jar spaghetti sauce (or your own homemade)

Spread eggplant slices on pizza stone or baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with dried herbs/seasonings. Bake eggplant at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, flip slices over and bake another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Mix together prepared tofu, mozzarella and parmigiano cheese.

Spread a few tablespoons of sauce on bottom of 8″ square baking pan. Add a layer of eggplant, a layer of broccoli and about 1/2 the cheese mixture. Repeat layers once and top with remaining spaghetti sauce.

Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes until nice and bubbly hot.

Serve with Italian bread.

Serves ~ 6 people. Refrigerated leftovers can be reheated in oven or microwave.