Saturday, May 1, 2010

Eggplant Sweet Potato Curry

I've embarked on a new adventure in my life. An entire body makeover. This means working out at the gym, AND eating healthy foods. One of the ways to incorporate this into my lifestyle is to make delicious stir fries and curries. In this way I can use lots of vegetables at one time. One of the problems with traditional curries is that they use ghee, which is clarified butter in them. And lots of it! I've substituted olive oil for the butter. Traditional curries also sometimes use sugar to sweeten them. By using the sweet potatoes, the curry is naturally sweet. Add spices with a "sweet" flavor, and you have an almost authentic curry. I promise it's delicious!

Eggplant Sweet Potato Curry

2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 chopped, medium onion
1 Eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Sweet Potatoes
2 Finely chopped jalapenos (optional)
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice blend
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt

Prick sweet potatoes three or four times with a fork and cook in the microwave until soft. Set aside to cool.
Drizzle olive oil into hot skillet. (Stove should be set at medium high heat. )
When oil is hot put the chopped onions in. Saute for about a minute, and then add eggplant, spices, salt and chopped jalapenos. Stir fry until eggplant is mostly cooked through, and soft. It may be necessary to add some water to the mixture to keep the eggplant from sticking to the pan. Add by 1/4 c. fulls.
Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Add to the pan, and stir until warmed through.

I hope you enjoy my healthier version of a great curry! Leave me a message and let me know how you liked it. Happy eating!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I've been asked three times this week for this recipe, so, I figured I'd post it here since it's such a crowd pleaser. I've had people tell me that they thought that they didn't like hummus, an dthen they tasted mine and loved it.

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1/2 a medium sized lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbs tahini
water enough to make it smooth

Place all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
That's it. Easy huh?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

A friend of mine recently posted in her Facebook status that she's made my eggplant Parmesan recipe, and he family loved it. To which her friend replied that she wanted the recipe. I found the recipe for this in a vintage 1970's Good Housekeeping cookbook, and made some improvements on it to make it lower fat. I remember making it, but sadly I've long since given the book away. So, last week I made eggplant Parmesan for dinner, making it up as I went, and trying to remember what was in the original recipe. I've been cooking for quite a few years more than when I first made it, so the improvements are based on the new knowledge I've acquired over the years. The old recipe I used didn't salt the eggplant, and didn't use flour in the breading mixture. I wish I had a picture, but the dish was eaten so quickly! I guess that means it was good!

Eggplant Parmesan

1 large eggplant
sea salt
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp sugar
2-16 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 lb mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Spray 1 cookie sheet with nonstick baking spray (Pam)
Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Discard the ends. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
flour with 1/2 tsp salt into a shallow bowl or pan (I use pie pans)
3 eggs into shallow pan or dish, and scramble
2 cups bread crumbs with 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Rinse eggplant with water and pat dry with paper towels.

Dredge the eggplant slices in flour, then egg and then bread crumbs. Place on greased cookie sheet. when all the slices are finished, place in oven.

While the eggplant bakes, prepare the sauce.
Saute diced onion in olive oil, on medium high heat, until soft. Add cans of tomatoes, sugar and Italian seasoning. Turn heat down to medium, and simmer until heated through.
Your eggplant should be ready to take out of the oven.
Spray 9"x13" roasting pan with nonstick spray.
Layer eggplant slices with sauce.
Slice mozzarella cheese and place on top.
Bake uncovered until cheese melts and starts to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes.

If you want to make this faster, you can cheat by using Italian style stewed tomatoes instead of the canned diced tomatoes and omit the onions and seasoning from the sauce. You can also use pre-shredded cheese.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Great Dough

I have a great recipe for potato rolls that I love to make for special occasions. The original recipe yields a ton of dough, and I only use it as such if I'm making dinner rolls for a church function. However, if I half the recipe, I can still get two meals out of it and make two entirely different things. This week I made homemade hamburger buns, put the leftover dough into the freezer and pulled it out at the end of the week, left it on the counter to thaw and used it to make pizza rolls. It's also great for cinnamon rolls and hot dog buns.
The following is the recipe divided in half:

Potato rolls Makes 2 pans rolls

Mix in a large bowl:
4 cups bread flour (or 3 cups all purpose flour+ 1 cup high gluten flour)
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup potato flakes
3 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sea salt
Mix with a whisk, or with your mixer, to avoid lumps in your dough, for about 1 minute.

2 1/2 cups warm water
1/3 cup canola or olive oil
1/3 cup honey
3 eggs
Mix until well blended. If using Heavy Duty mixer, such as Bosch, or Kitchenaid, you can continue with the mixer. If doing by hand, use a spoon to mix in remaining flour, and then knead in the rest on a floured surface.

Continue adding flour until the dough is firm, but still sticky. Knead for about 5 minutes. It will take approx 2 1/2 pounds of flour to make this batch, possibly more or less depending on the climate.

Turn out into a well greased bowl covered with plastic wrap, and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled, in a warm place.

Turn out onto well oiled surface. You can either make into rolls, or with well oiled hands, spread the dough into a large rectangle for making pizza or cinnamon rolls. I would suggest dividing the dough into two parts for this, for easier handling.
Spread your sauce and cheese, or butter sugar and cinnamon.
Roll up lengthwise. Pinch end closed. Use a string or dental floss for cutting into pinwheels.

bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until the tops are slightly golden. Approx 25 to 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Falafel With Pita and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

I have found that one of the ways to economize whilst cooking is to prepare vegetarian recipes. I used to think this meant that you just used more cheese. Now I use beans and try to come up with as many ways as I can to disguise them, so that my family doesn't know that we're eating beans three times a week. Today, I will be sharing my recipe for falafel, pita and yogurt sauce.


1 15oz can of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 bunch of cilantro
1 1/2 small or 1 large onion(s)
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 large lemon
1 large egg
Sea Salt
All purpose flour
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
2tsp or 1 package fast acting yeast
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Canola Oil (for frying)
Warm water
Fresh chopped tomatoes for garnish
Peeled sliced cucumber or shredded lettuce for garnish

If this seems like a lot of ingredients, remember, this is for the whole meal!
I rarely use recipes, unless it's the first time I've made the dish. The amounts you see in the pictures are tripled to feed my large family and have (yum) leftovers.

Let's get started!

Turn on your oven to it's highest setting without it being on broil (about 500 degrees Fahrenheit). If you have a pizza stone, this is the perfect tool for making pita bread. If not, you can use a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet or pizza stone in center of oven and leave it in while the oven heats up.

I do all of the chopping at the same time and set it aside.
Start with the onions. Chop 1/2 small onion into large chunks and put into the blender. Cut remaining onion into small dice. Put half into a small bowl for garnish. The other half will be put into a medium bowl for the yogurt sauce.

Coarsely chop half of the bunch of cilantro. Place into the blender with the onion. Fine chop the other half of the bunch, discarding the stems, and place into the medium bowl for the yogurt sauce.
Slice your cucumbers and dice your tomatoes, and set aside.

Empty the can of garbanzo beans, including the liquid, into the blender. Add the garlic clove, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, and 1 large egg. Pulse until mixture is smooth.
Then empty it into a large mixing bowl.

Add 1/2 cup of flour, and mix with a spoon. Add flour until mixture has the same texture as muffin dough.
Fill a large pan about two fingers high with canola oil.
Set mixture aside and heat oil on medium high heat.

You are now ready to make the dough for your pita. Remember to remove your rings. This gets messy!
In a large bowl, combine, 1 1/4 cups warm water, 2 tsp yeast, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Whisk to combine. Add flour by 1/2 cups until dough consistency resembles play dough. Knead for 2 minutes. Set aside in an oiled bowl, and let rest.

Your oil should be ready to go. Drop batter by spoon fulls into hot oil.
When they've browned on one side, turn them over. When both sides are browned, remove from oil and let drain on paper towel.

The oven should be hot enough now to start baking the pita. On a well floured surface, shape dough into golf ball size pieces and set aside to rest. When all of the dough is in little balls, roll them flat, on one side and the the other. Set aside. make sure you have plenty of flour on your disks so that they don't stick to one another.
Place into oven, and let bake 4 minutes on first side and the flip over and bake 2 minutes on the second side.

Remove from oven and let rest for 2 minutes on top of the stove. Then place into a Ziplock bag, or tea towel to sweat. If you don't let them cool a bit, they will melt your bag!

You should still be frying falafel...

Add 1 cup yogurt, juice of 1 lemon, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp sea salt to the bowl containing the onions and cilantro.
When your falafel is finished frying, and the bread is finished baking, you're ready to eat!
Give yourself a pat on the back, and look at how much flour is covering your front!