vegetarian

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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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!!

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

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!

Honey Mustard Salmon Sunday

What better way to enjoy the Oscars than with some honey mustard salmon and Brussels sprouts with corn? Sunday’s are the best nights to treat yourself to a delicious dinner to prepare for the week ahead, especially when there’s something great on TV.

I just discovered Brussels sprouts a month or two ago (I know, where have I been?). Although my relationship with Brussels sprouts is recent, they’re quickly becoming my favorite vegetable. And salmon I could easily eat every day. Both of these recipes are quick and easy, not to mention super tasty!

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One word: YUM!!

Honey Mustard Salmon
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
2 salmon filets

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine butter and brown sugar in a bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds until melted.
3. Stir in mustard, honey, and soy sauce.
4. Place salmon on baking sheet with foil.
5. Brush salmon with half of the glaze and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the salmon is firm and flaky (but before the white fat begins to form on the surface).
6. Remove, brush salmon with remaining glaze.

Adapted from Salmon Cooking.

Early Summer Brussels Sprouts and Corn
Serves 4 side portions. (Note: I don’t usually measure anything when I make this, I just make as much as I’m hungry for).
1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 ears of corn, kernels freshly cut off of the cob
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 lemons-worth of juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper

1. In a large pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Cut Brussels sprouts in half and add to pan.
3. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and generous pinches of salt & pepper.
4. Shake and stir to coat, continue to shake every so often, to enable a caramelized sear but not an over-cook on one side.
5. After about 10 minutes (adding more olive oil as needed), when Brussels sprouts are browned, soft on the outside, but a bit hard and crunchy on the inside, add corn kernels to the pan.
6. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the corn, sprinkle with more salt & pepper and stir to fully mix.
7. Cook for another 5 minutes, until corn is warm.

Source: Parsley & Polka Dots

Happy Oscar Sunday! Enjoy:)

Not your typical Buff C

How do I live without buffalo wings and buffalo chicken dip as a pescetarian? Simple. Buffalo Cauliflower. This is one of my favorite recipes, considering this was probably my fourth or fifth time making it. It’s easy, delicious, and low cal, and it makes a great appetizer or an awesome meal! Enough of me talking, let’s get to the good stuff.

Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Next, cut one head of cauliflower into florets.

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Mix the batter ingredients together in a bowl.
(1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried onion, dash of Frank’s buffalo sauce)

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Coat the cauliflower florets in the batter. I take the easy (lazy) way out on this and simply dump the cauliflower in the bowl and stir until evenly it’s evenly coated with batter. Once the cauliflower is coated, place on baking sheet with aluminum foil and non-stick spray. Bake the cauliflower at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

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While the cauliflower is in the oven, mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
(1/4 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce, 3 tablespoons of butter, dash of salt)

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Once the cauliflower is done baking, take it out of the oven and coat evenly with the buffalo sauce. Place the cauliflower back in the oven for an additional 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, and enjoy (with ranch and blue moon, preferably)!

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Buffalo Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower

Batter Ingredients
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
dash of Frank’s Wing Sauce (or Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried onion

Buffalo sauce Ingredients
1/4 cup Frank’s Wing Sauce
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
3. Wash your head of cauliflower and cut into pieces.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients.
5. Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter just hardens.
7. In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients.
8. Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and brush with the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.
9. Put back into the oven and bake for 7 more minutes, until the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy.
10. Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy! Tastes great dipped in ranch.

Source: Persnickety Plates

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

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I love spaghetti squash almost as much as I love Mexican food. So when I found this recipe combining the two, I knew it would be a hit. I’ve only made spaghetti squash two other times, and I can honestly say the hardest part is just cutting the thing in half. Make sure you have a good, sharp knife and a solid grip on the squash. (Confession: I am deathly afraid of knives and slicing my hand off).

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Once you’ve halved the squash and scooped out all of the guts, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in each half and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

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While this is happening, prepare the other taco ingredients.

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Once the squash is roasted and cooled, gently scrape out the flesh into a bowl using a fork. Combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and lime juice mixture with the squash. Now you’re ready to construct your tacos!

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Voila! For the full recipe, see below or go to the original recipe post on Marin Mama Cooks.

Spaghetti Squash Tacos
3 pounds spaghetti squash (either one large or 2 small)
2 tablespoons (about 1 lime) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained very well
roughly 1/4 cup finely diced red
crumbled queso fresco
shredded lettuce
10-16 6-inch soft corn tortillas

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prep your spaghetti squash.
2. While the squash is cooking, prep your ingredients. Squeeze 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice into a small bowl.
3. In another small bowl mix together the 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, set aside.
3. Dice up your red onion.
4. Rinse and drain your black beans.
5. Crumble your cheese into a bowl.
6. When the squash is finished cooking, let it cool for a few minutes so its easier to handle. Working over a large bowl, gently scrape out the flesh with a fork. Compost the skin.
7. Add the 2 tablespoons of lime juice to the bowl with the chili spices and whisk to combine.
8. Pour the chili and lime mixture over the squash strands and toss well to combine.
9. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Warm and slightly blister each tortilla, about 30 seconds per side.
10. Sprinkle each tortilla with a layer of black beans.
11. Throw some of the squash mixture on top of the beans.
12. Add some cheese and red onions.
13. Top it all off with some shredded lettuce.
14. Enjoy!!