Today I had an eggplant that was starting to look a little worse for wear. I’m not a huge eggplant fan – I like it in certain dishes, mostly hidden – but I didn’t want to throw it out either. My sister suggested making baba ganoush. I don’t have tahini right now, but I have pesto (even better!) and so eggplant pesto was born! This is delicious and hides the eggplant, while giving your pesto a nutritional boost. Bonus: it whips up super fast and easily.
- 1 eggplant, sliced in 1/4-1/2″ rounds
- olive oil
- 1/2t. salt
- 1/4c. pesto
- 2T. lemon juice
- 1/4c. nutritional yeast (optional)
Lay the eggplant rounds out on a cookie sheet and spray both sides with olive oil. Roast at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until starting to brown. Remove and let cool. Add to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth (you might still see some pieces of purple eggplant rind in the spread, but that’s okay). Serve on top of toast, eggs, potatoes, veggies, whatever!
My aunt made this soup for me the last time I visited and it was delicious – a perfect fall or winter soup, loaded with veggies, warm and comforting and thick. I made it New Years Day and am happy to have leftovers for the rest of the week!
Aunt Penny’s Cabbage Soup
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head cabbage, chopped small
3/4c. uncooked long grain rice OR 1/2c. quinoa
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
6c. vegetable broth
1 can beans, drained and rinsed (I used black)
1T. worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the carrots, celery, garlic, and cabbage until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer 20-30 minutes until rice or quinoa is cooked. Add more water or broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.
I pulled the recipe for Spring Onion Alphabet Soup out of Better Homes and Gardens last month and made it last night, with some adjustments and substitutions. We loved it! It’s a really light soup, but warm and comforting. Good for a rainy spring day (like yesterday) or as a vegetarian substitute for chicken noodle soup. We’ll definitely make it again.
- 1/4c. butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 leeks, white parts thinly sliced
- 2c. frozen peas
- 8c. vegetable broth
- 1 1/2-2c. small pasta
- 1t. salt
- 1/4c. pesto
- 1 lemon, juiced
Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add the onions and leeks and saute for 10-15 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent and just starting to caramelize. Add the peas, broth, pasta, salt, and pesto. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering for 10-12 minutes, until pasta is tender. Remove from heat, add lemon, and serve.
The beauty – and sneakiness – of this recipe is that it gets in a whole head of cauliflower. It’s delicious, comes together quickly, and was a big hit with Dave and I and both the kids (a dinnertime where we’re not fighting to get them to eat the meal? Priceless!). I’ve had a version of spaghetti pie made with ricotta or cottage cheese, which was really good. But I liked this version even better!
Sneaky Spaghetti Pie
- 1 head of cauliflower, cored and chopped into large pieces
- 1lb. spaghetti, any variety (gf also works)
- 1/4c. pesto
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2c. shredded parmesan
- 3-4c. spaghetti sauce
- salt to taste
Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Scoop out the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and place in a food processor or blender. Return the water to a boil for the spaghetti noodles and add more water if needed. Cook the noodles as directed. While the noodles cook, blend together the cauliflower, pesto, and eggs until smooth and creamy. Add salt as needed. When the noodles are finished, drain and return to the pot. Add the cauliflower sauce to the noodles and mix well. Add 1/2c. parmesan and mix again. Pour into a greased 8″ round pan. Top with the remaining parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Take off the foil and back for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown. While the pie is baking warm the spaghetti sauce in a small pot. Slice the pie and serve, topping with sauce. Serves 6.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt
- 2c. plain greek yogurt
- 1/2c. peanut butter
- 3T. cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- splash of vanilla
- sweeten to taste (I used stevia because we were out of honey, but I think any kind of sweetener would work – sugar, agave, honey, etc.)
Mix the ingredients well. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Put the mixture in a prepared ice cream maker for 10 minutes on low. Serves 4 (… or 2). Dance for joy.
I’ve got lunch for you. Or dinner. Or maybe even breakfast. Whatever meal you want, but bottomline: make this.
I was inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s recent posting on her blog and decided to modify it a little bit for my own lunch.
First, trim up a head of cauliflower and then slice it thinly. Some of it will stay in big chunks and other parts will crumble and either way is okay. Add a sliced onion and also some broccoli (I used defrosted florets – about a head’s worth). Slather with olive oil and spread it out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for about 30 minutes or longer – you want the cauli and broccoli to start getting brown and crispy and the onion to caramelize. Pull it out and top it with shredded parmesan, then roast it again for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is melted and a little brown. Serve it on top of brown rice.
Here’s my secret to brown rice: prepare it as normal, but add some olive oil and salt to the water before you boil the rice (or in my case before you set the rice cooker). The rice comes out perfectly chewy-tender. I swear, the olive oil addition is definitely worth it for the added plumpness and softness of the rice.
I’m pretty sure this would be good hot or cold, fresh from the oven or next-day leftovers!
This soup is simple, flavorful, and has great texture. It comes together really fast, too, which is definitely a bonus!
Black Bean Crockpot Soup
- 5 cans of black beans
- 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
- 3c. vegetable broth
- 2t. cumin
- 1/2t. salt
- 1t. (heaping) chili powder
- 3 cloves of garlic (or more), minced
- 1/2t. oregano
Rinse and drain 4 cans of black beans. Combine in the crockpot with the tomatoes, broth, garlic, and seasonings. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup. You want it to still have texture, but for the large chunks of tomatoes and most of the beans to be broken up. Drain and rinse the remaining can of beans and add to the pureed soup. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serves 4-6.