Monthly Archives: August 2010

If I could Escape

Fettuccine in Onion Sauce w/Grilled Eggplant

Banana pancakes. In bed. With an Iced Caramel Latte Joey style.
Now THAT is how a Saturday morning should begin.  Having to take a car into the Ford Dealership to find out the free schedule maintenance wasn’t really free…that is NOT something that should be a part of any day.  Needless to say that was not a fun part of my day, however having yummy Indian food for lunch did keep me from going completely Italian on the guy at Ford.  So score one for an amazing food day! And score negative something or other for the lying liars that lie with lies at Ford.
Now on to the most important section of the blog, the recipe! Today is a nice simple yummy pasta dish that is great for a last minute dinner.  It can easily be dressed up with some grilled vegetables and served with a fresh salad.  I prefer eggplant, but that could be because I have a slight eggplant obsession.  I tried growing my own this summer but my gardening skills are in need of improvement.

Ingredients
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup veg. broth
1 1/2 cup milk
6 scallions
1/3 cup Parmesean
1 1b Fettuccine
1/2 lb eggplant, sliced (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat, add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
2.  Add the onions and cook gently for 5 minutes.  Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil.  Turn heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
3.  Stir the milk, scallions, and parm.  cheese into the onion mixture.  Let simmer an additional 10-15 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile grill the eggplant using a George Forman (or actual) grill.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Also cook the pasta according to directions on box until al dente.  Drain the pasta and place back into the pot.  Once the sauce has finished cooking add it to the pasta, toss well and Serve!

The eggplant can either be served on top, as a substitute for bread, or can be quartered and tossed with the rest of the sauce.  I preferred to use mine as toast and used them to get as much of the yummy sauce as possible :-)

Tell you all about it


Tofu and Green Beans in Marsala Sauce

I had a great food story to share, one that came to me in a moment of enlightenment while at work.  However somewhere between the beltway and my house that brilliant thought slipped my mind.  The good news is that I at least remembered to sign up for my first cooking challenge: the International Incident Party which is hosted by a trio of fabulous foodie ladies.  You can more information here which is also a highlight of their latest incident which was operation SCONES!  The next one is Egg themed which is going to be a slight challenge for me.  While I occasionally indulge in a yummy toad-in-the-hole for the most part I’m not really an egg girl.  However I am going to rise to the occasion and figure out some totally rockin egg recipe.  So don’t be surprised if some random egg recipes start showing up in the mean time as I test things out.  Although I think some egg disaster stories are a lot more likely since I’m not an eggs-pert…sorry I couldn’t resist!
In the mean time a nice vegan meal to pass the time.

Ingredients
12 oz tofu, cut into fillets
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp parm. cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup marsala
1/2 cup soy milk
1 1b green beans
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions
1. In a small bowl mix the flour and parm cheese.  Lightly coat the tofu fillets in the flour mixture.
2. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Add the tofu and cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes on each.  Remove to a plate covered in a paper towel in order to “degrease.” 
3. Return pan to stove and add the marsala sauce and soy milk.  Simmer over medium heat, stirring, until the sauce is glossy.  
3.  Meanwhile lightly spray a large saute pan with cooking oil.  Add the garlic and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook 5-8minutes, until the green beans are tender or other desired firmness.  
4.  Plate the tofu and green beans on individual plates and cover with the marsala sauce.  


At the last minute I decided to add a starch to the dish in order to utilize this AMAZING sauce even more.  So I whipped up some mashed potatoes using some leftover potatoes but brown rice or egg noodles would have worked just as well.  I am not ashamed to say that I was seriously thinking about licking my plate in order to get all of the sauce.  Marsala sauces are one of my favorite sauces to whip up, with sherry sauces close behind.  Something about them adds just the right pop to almost every dish, plus they are easy to prepare and rather forgiving as well.

If you’re reading this

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole 

So I’m back from vacation, I got one blog done but that is better than my past trips when I didn’t get any blogs done.   This was my last vacation of the year, at least my last planned vacation at this point.  The good news however is that I have TONS of new recipes that I want to try and will probably be adding some more vegan recipes in the near future, along with some healthy snacks.  This recipe is neither of those things, this recipe is good old fashioned comfort food that is perfect for a rainy day.  There is just something about eggplant parm. that makes me so happy inside, and I love reworking it and recreating it in different ways.  I have stuffed it inside a pepper, baked it in the oven, and now I’m adding this casserole version to the roll call.  Plus this gave me a chance to show off my new stoneware :-)
Ingredients
2tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped finely
3 garlic cloves, chopped
14oz canned tomatoes
4 fresh basil leaves, shredded
3 eggplants, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups mozz cheese, sliced
1 cup parm. cheese, grated
1 tbsp butter
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on two baking sheets.  Brush w/olive oil and bake 15minutes.  Remove and turn oven to 375F
3. Meanwhile heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan.  Add the onion and cook 5 minutes, until soft.  Add the garlic and cook 3 more minutes, then add the tomatoes breaking them up.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10minutes,  Stir in the basil leaves and simmer an additional 10minutes. 
4. Arrange half of the eggplant in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Top w/one third of the mozz cheese and a third of the sauce. Top with half of the parm. cheese.  Create another layer omitting the parm. cheese and then a final layer topped with the remaining parm. cheese.  Cover and bake for 30minutes.  Remove the cover and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.  

One of the best parts of this dish is the potential for leftover eggplant, those poor little guys that don’t fit into the casserole dish.  I love to take them add some sauce and cheese and EAT!  A little appetizer if you will :-D 

You’re so fine

Tofu Florentine

Hello from the Eastern Shore! I am once again on vacation (!) but this time I’m resolved to actually take advantage of the down time and do some blogging. I was a cooking maniac this past week so I have a number of yummies to share with everyone, some of which were inspired by some of the meals I’ve had while out and about.  This dish is not one of those and is instead inspired by my LOVE of Italian food.  I have had chicken (and veal) Florentine before and have attempted vegetarian versions in the past with limited success.  The trick is prepping the sauce before baking, and making it slightly runnier than normal.

Ingredients:

14oz of Tofu, cut into 6 “fillets”
2 tbsp Olive Oil. divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
2 tsp flour
1/2 tbsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
1/2 tbsp red chili flakes
1 1/4 cups milk, divided
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 lb spinach (if using frozen thaw first)
1 cup white pearl mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2.  Heat half of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stirring constantly add in the flour to create a roux.  Slowly add 1 cup of milk, whisking, until the roux is firmly mixing.  Add the baby bella mushrooms, garlic, and spices to taste. Turn heat to low and simmer.
3. Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-low heat.  Gradually add in the spinach, adding more as the leaves  wilt.  Cook for 10minutes, until the leaves are soft but not mushy.  Drain and set aside.
4.  Arrange the spinach in the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish.  Cover the spinach with the white mushrooms.  Pour half of the mushroom sauce over the spinach/mushrooms.  Arrange the tofu fillets on top and then cover with the remaining sauce.  Cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove cover and top with the mozzarella cheese then bake for an additional 15-20minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and lightly browned.


I served this with some homemade whole wheat basil bread but it would also go perfectly with a nice salad.   This is also a great dish for a Meatless Monday because you don’t come away from this missing meat which is great when cooking for non-veggie people.

Oh Honey, Honey

I am slowly getting back to normal in terms of health, which is good seeing as how we are leaving on Sunday for the Eastern Shore.  Now it’s just a matter of taking it easy and not pushing myself too fast so that I can avoid winding up back in bed.  The good thing to come from all of that I’ve got time on my hands to do some much needed blogging.
I am finally ready to post my Peach Cake Recipe.  This was my first attempt to do a vegan cake, and only my second experience making a cake from scratch so this was more than a little daunting.  While it wasn’t as thick as I wanted the taste was amazing, and in the end that’s really all that matters!

Ingredients:

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) soy butter
  • 1/3 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup(s) (packed) light brown sugar, mixed with above granulated sugar
  • 1 pound(s) ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 3⁄4-inch-thick slices


Cake:
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) soy butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup(s) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  1. Place oven rack in lowest position; heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium skillet.  Add sugars, crumbling brown sugar; cook, stirring over medium heat, until mixture bubbles and looks creamy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Pour butter mixture into the bottom of a spring-form cake pan, making sure to brush up on the sides of the pan; arrange peach slices on top of butter mixture in concentric circles.
  4. In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl until blended. In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes; add applesauce and mix until well blended. On low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture, milk, maple and vanilla, once smooth add in the remaining flour mixture and mix again until batter is smooth.
  5. Spoon batter into pan, and using a spatula, gently spread batter over peaches in an even layer to reach the sides of the skillet. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until top is golden brown and a pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge. Invert a serving plate over top of the cake pan. Using oven mitts, invert cake onto platter (replacing any peaches that stick) Serve warm or at room temperature!