In November I'm teaching an Indian cooking class so I thought I'd better bone up. With lots of eggplant in the garden and a cool, rainy day outside, this stewy, roasted eggplant dish is just the trick. Serve with nan or pita as an appetizer or over rice for a main dish. Eggplant is high in fiber and the breadth of herbs and spices offer flavor without a lot of fat.
Rosemary-Roasted Fall Veggies, Gruyere and Sage Béchamel Lasagna
November 15, 2009
If that name doesn't get you drooling, I think your belly may be broken. This is a ridiculously delicious, warm and cheesy in-season main dish that would be great for any chilly weeknight meal and also would make an exceptional vegetarian main for Thanksgiving. Sage-infused, creamy béchamel hug layers of lasagna noodles, sauteed spinach, onions and garlic, and rosemary-roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms. A combination of tangy gruyere and sharp parmesan compliments the vegetables throughout the layers and forms an amazingly gooey and crunchy crust on top. And it's surprisingly not too high in calories and fat - I'm in heaven!
Roasted Garlic Artichoke Pesto with Penne, Asparagus, Peas and Leeks
April 22, 2012
The ultimate spring-time dish using all the season has to offer - artichokes, garlic, lemons, asparagus, leeks and peas. This light dish can be served as a main or first course. Swap out sage for mint or thyme. For a gluten-free recipe, use corn or rice pasta.
Patsy’s Two-Step Chili
January 16, 2011
Michael's mom, Patsy, makes some kick-ass vegetarian chili. Two-step here refers to the ease of putting this protein-fiber-packed main together or just it's Southwestern Country style. The best part is you can really take it in any direction you want. In this version, I opted for Texas-style veggie burgers and added two fiery chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, dried oregano and ground cumin. Patsy called for three cans of beans so I went for the trifecta - black, pinto and red kidney. Add grated cheese, more hot peppers, chopped cilantro, diced green onions, crumbled tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream - garnish possibilities are endless.
Roasted Carrot Mac N Cheese
April 29, 2012
This is another lovely spring time pasta, this time using in-season carrots. They do double duty: cutting down on the fat and calories of traditional mac n cheese as well as adding healthy vitamins and nutrients. I roasted them as I did in my Roasted Carrot Soup (click for recipe) and used smoked cheddar and fontina, which allows you to use less and still get a rich, deep flavor. This is great as a main course or side dish. I think both little and big kids will eat their veggies tonight!
Artichoke Feta Panzanella Salad
April 28, 2013
Artichokes were born in Greek mythology, then traveled across the Mediterranean to France and from France to Louisiana and finally carried by the Spaniards to California. Today, Castroville, California (near Monterey on the coast) proclaims itself "The Artichoke Center of the World." And rightfully so, Castroville, with a population of less than 7,000, boast 75% of the world production of artichokes. I paired some home-grown artichokes with bright, spring flavors reminiscent of ancient Greece rather than the traditional Italian summer panzanella (but summer is right around the corner...here's my Italian version with tomatoes, peaches and basil).
Tofu Tostadas with Grilled Orange Chipotle Sauce
February 17, 2013
What happened to crispy tacos and tostadas? The taco food craze is all about the soft tortilla, which I'm loving, don't get my wrong, but I do miss the crunch of the hard shell. Inspired by seasonal produce and the warming day, I got busy on an indoor grilling session. Grilled, brown sugar-coated oranges add sweetness, and complement spicy chipotle peppers in a marinade/sauce for grilled tofu and veggies. Mashed avocado and queso fresco brighten as well as tame this snack, app or main dish. Simply omit the cheese for a vegan delight!
May 19, 2013
I've always loved this Greek meze, and recently had a wonderful version similar to this in San Francisco. The gigantes bean (pronounced yee-gahn-tes) has been grown in the Kastoria region of Greece since the 17th century. Like California has the American Viticultural Area (AVA) wine-growing regions, the gigantes has a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) - that's one important bean! Serve with bread and a salad for a main dish. For a vegan version, simply omit the feta.
Roasted Green Bean Tortellini Salad
October 13, 2013
I saw these beautiful purple beans in the farmer's market yesterday, and was inspired to adapt my summer Roasted Eggplant Tortellini Salad into a fall version. Roasted beans are tossed with other fall goodies - toasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries - and dressed with a maple syrup-mustard vinaigrette. It's a super easy take-along to a party or for a weeknight main or side.
Fresh Pea and Parmesan Risotto
May 28, 2014
Don't let risotto make you run for the hills! I always thought it was so hard to make, but now I can't believe I missed all those years of having this creamy, satisfying dish. I finished it with fresh spring peas and sharp Parmesan cheese to boost the protein and fiber (the peas) as well as the bite (the Parm!). As a side dish, this risotto is "High In" calcium, iron (go meatless!), phosphorus (good for bones/teeth), and thiamin (helps turn carbs to energy). Hold off on any additional salt until you get to the table - the stock and Parmesan already contribute a lot.
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