Author: vegcitychick

I’ve died and gone to Eggplant Parm Heaven

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Ok… Maybe this post title is a little dramatic, but I promise you I’m not kidding around. Tonight was my first time making eggplant parmesan, and it definitely won’t be my last. I was honestly shocked by how easy this was to make and how quickly it all came together. It looks like a lot of steps, but don’t be intimidated – it’s simple!

I adapted this recipe from Table for Two and subbed whole wheat Italian seasoned bread crumbs for regular, fresh mozzarella for shredded mozz, and (store-bought) organic tomato basil pasta sauce for marinara. Feast your eyes on this…

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^Dredging station

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^A little pan-frying action

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^The beginning of the layering process

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^Fresh out of the oven and topped with chopped basil

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^Served over organic whole wheat pasta

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^Yummy amazing goodness

In conclusion… Go make this right now! You won’t regret it 😀

Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 4

1 large eggplant, sliced into ½” thick slices
2 tbsp kosher salt
1½ cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
3 eggs
½ cup milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil, for lightly pan-frying
3 cups marinara sauce [I used store-bought tomato basil sauce]
2 cups fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish

1. Salt both sides of your eggplant slices and place them in a large colander in the sink. Let the liquid drain for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. When your eggplant slices have finished draining liquid, brush off the excess salt, as you don’t want it to be too salty!
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Add breadcrumbs to one bowl and whisk eggs and milk in another.
5. Dip both sides of eggplant slice into milk/egg mixture then cover with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess. Place on plate or large baking sheet and repeat until all eggplant slices have been coated.
6. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil into the skillet.
7. Once the skillet is hot, add two eggplant slices at a time to the skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown, remove and set on a large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil for every 2 eggplant slices.
8. In a large casserole dish, add 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish.
9. Add a layer of eggplant slices, then dollop marinara sauce on top of the eggplant slices. The idea isn’t to smother the layers with sauce.
10. On top of the eggplant slices, place a slice of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers until you run out of eggplants slices.
11. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown on top. I used the broiler for 5 minutes to get the cheese nice and brown – you don’t have to, but if you do, watch it carefully!
12. Serve hot and top with chopped basil, if using.

I repeat: go make this now! And enjoy!!

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Panko Dijon Salmon

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This has become one of my staple recipes. Few ingredients and a short prep time make this right up my alley. Not to mention it tastes amazing! Salmon coated in dijon mustard and a panko-parsley-lemon zest mixture = lots of great flavor. Check it out!

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Panko Dijon Salmon
4 servings

⅔ cup panko
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (6- to 8-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
lemon wedges, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine the panko, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly coated; set aside.
3. Place the salmon fillets on a lightly greased baking sheet.
4. Generously brush the top of each fillet with the mustard, then season with salt and pepper.
5. Press the panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard on each fillet.
6. Place salmon in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until cooked through and panko begins to brown.

I served mine with corn over some leftover quinoa I had in my fridge. It’s delicious no matter what you do with it! Enjoy:)

Hump Day Broccoli Pizza

Guess what day it is??…

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To help myself get through this hump day, I decided to try another recipe from my 300 Calories or Less! book. This time, I tried the vegetarian Broccoli Pizza recipe. It was a little more than an hour and a half process, but very low maintenance and well worth the wait! I’ve never made pizza before — especially from scratch — and I was pleasantly surprised with my results for a first-timer!

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Broccoli Pizza
274 calories per serving. Serves 8.

Dough
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 sprays of olive oil spray

1. Combine the warm water, yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir well. Let sit about 10 minutes, or until bubbly.
2. Stir in the olive oil, then gradually mix in the flour with an electric mixer until the dough forms a ball.
3. Invert the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two, or until firm.
4. Wash and dry the mixing bowl, then spray with olive oil.
5. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Topping
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 1/4 cups shredded vegetarian Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and spray a large baking sheet with olive oil.
2. Roll out the pizza dough onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.
3. In the meantime, put the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup of water and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
4. Microwave the broccoli for about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and chop the broccoli into small florets.
5. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
6. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
7. Remove onion and garlic from heat and stir in oregano.
8. Spread the onion mixture evenly onto the part-baked pizza crust, followed by broccoli and then Swiss cheese and pepper flakes.
9. Bake pizza for another 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden brown.
10. Serve immediately.

Enjoy and congrats on surviving another Hump Day!!

Cuckoo for Coconut Shrimp

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Happy Monday, yet again! Hard to believe it’s been a whole week since I last posted on here. But this one is worth the wait people!! I’ve been eyeing up coconut shrimp recipes on Pinterest for months (no lie), but I had such a hard time finding unsweetened coconut. Leave it to Reading Terminal Market to come through for me.

I ended up adapting two recipes from skinnytaste.com and Tracey’s Culinary Adventures to create the recipe.

What better way to celebrate the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars with my good friend/sous chef Maura?

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Coconut Shrimp
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Combine coconut flakes and panko crumbs in a bowl.
3. Mix the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and sugar in a bowl.
4. Whisk egg in another bowl.
5. Dip the shrimp in the flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then in the coconut crumb mixture.
6. Lay shrimp on the cookie sheet then spray the top of the shrimp with more cooking spray
7. Bake in the middle rack for about 10 minutes. Turn shrimp over then bake for another 6-7 minutes or until cooked though. Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce.

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1. Mix ingredients and serve with coconut shrimp.

We served our Coconut Shrimp and Sweet and Spicy sauce with baked green beans (coat green beans with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven with shrimp).

Enjoy! Oh, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!:P

Crustless Corn & Cheddar Quiche

Hi, friends! Happy Monday!

A few weeks ago I came across this great little book on sale for just $4.99 at Urban Outfitters.

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Gotta love a good Urban sale. And a lot of the recipes are vegetarian – jackpot!

This crustless corn & cheddar quiche was the first recipe I made from my new book. Let me just say that I literally could not stop picking at this – it’s so good! It also made great leftovers.

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Crustless Corn & Cheddar Quiche
1 spray of vegetable oil spray
2 tbsp dried bread crumbs
2 tsp unsalted butter (I used extra virgin olive oil instead)
1/2 white onion, diced
1 garlic glove, finely chopped
4 large eggs
2 cups skim milk
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
dash of hot pepper sauce
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with oil and coat with bread crumbs.
2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, scallions, flour, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Stir in the corn, sautéed onions and garlic, and 3/4 of the cheese.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
5. Bake in the preheated over for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the quiche is set in the center.
6. Remove from the over, cool, and enjoy!

The prep time for this recipe is only about 15 minutes, so the total time from start to finish for this recipe is under an hour. It serves 6 and is 298 calories per serving. I will definitely be making this again soon! And you should, tooooooo:D

Honey Walnut Shrimp

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This weekend, I was struggling to decide what I should give up for Lent this year. Eventually, I decided to give up fried food. That being said, I (obviously) had to make something fried for dinner tonight as my last hurrah. This was my second time making this recipe, and I really love it! May not be the healthiest dish, but you gotta splurge once in a while, right?

Some candied walnuts…

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Sweet honey sauce…

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Crispy battered shrimp…

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And, voila!

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Honey Walnut Shrimp
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup walnut halves
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 1/2 tsp condensed milk
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch

1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
2. Heat 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
3. Add sugar and stir, constantly, until golden and thickened.
4. Add walnuts and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined plate.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey and condensed milk; set aside.
6. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste.
7. Working one at a time, dip the shrimp into the egg, then dredge in the cornstarch, pressing to coat.
8. Working in batches, add the shrimp to the skillet, 8-10 at a time, and fry until evenly golden brown and crispy, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
9. In a large bowl, combine shrimp and honey mixture.
10. Serve immediately, topped with walnuts.

Source: Damn Delicious

Enjoy!!

Quinoa + Zucchini “Meatball” Monday

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This recipe is for all lovers of food – vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Let me start off by saying that I have never been a huge fan of spaghetti and meatballs or even marinara sauce for that matter (my apologies to all the die-hard Italians out there). This recipe intrigued me nevertheless. Truthfully, I think I would eat just about anything that involves zucchini, but I digress…

These “meatballs” are very easy to make, and I am amazed at how flavorful they are. Quinoa, zucchini, onion, garlic, tomato paste, whole wheat bread crumbs, parsley, and eggs. That’s it! Simple, right? I put mine over some whole wheat angel hair pasta with store-bought organic vodka sauce. I’m still too lazy to make my own pasta sauce – maybe one day! Anyways, check these bad boys out…

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Like I said, extremely flavorful and completely delicious! Great recipe to show non-vegetarians that vegetarian meals can still be tasty and filling. Honestly, I enjoyed these more than any meatballs I’ve ever tasted. Now, go make them!

Quinoa Zucchini “Meatballs”
*I halved this recipe and still got 10 meatballs out of it.
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
1 small chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 cup finely diced zucchini
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes until fragrant and softened.
3. Add the zucchini, oregano, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until zucchini softens. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
4. Add zucchini mixture to a bowl with the quinoa and stir to combine.
5. Add the eggs, whole wheat bread crumbs, and more salt/pepper if needed.
6. Roll into 16 meatballs, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and place on the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 12 minutes on the first side. Flip over and bake for 10 more minutes.

Source: Slender Kitchen

Enjoy!