Whats Cooking #4: Eggplant + Soy Vay

Zucchini Tots

I really need to dedicate a whole post to zucchini. It is by far my favorite vegetable because it is so versatile and easy. Recently my favorite healthy blog Skinny Taste posted a list of all of her fabulous zucchini recipes and these “tots” caught my eye. They remind me a lot of my mom’s unspellable dish  called “keulikeith” which is a  ricotta, egg, zucchini tart. These mini delights were superb!. A super easy side dish that is very flavorful with a dense muffin-like texture. Side note: it is very important to spray the pan with a cooking spray so they do not stick. lesson learned. Here is the Recipe. (Image via Kim’s Healthy Eats)

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 1 packed cup grated zucchini
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel until you have 1 packed cup.  Wring all of the excess water out of the zucchini, there will be a lot of water. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lavender Rice

I call this imitations of what you really want. Have you ever tried Whole-wheat pasta? Compared to regular pasta, it is disgusting. However pasta in large amounts is not all that good for you-especially every night. The same goes with white rice. Although brown rice is the healthier option, I can not get myself to eat it. I was making an Asian inspired dinner a couple of nights ago and decided to try a wild rice brown rice blend from Sundance. It turns a beautiful lavender shade when cooked. It is delicious and is a great replacement for white rice and much better than plain brown rice. Check your specialty food stores or bulk sections for this.

Asian Stir Fried Chinese Eggplant+ Zucchini

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Gorgeous round globes of pretty purple eggplant caught my eye at the farmers market last week. Eggplant would by far win the “prettiest veggie award”-It also helps they are my favorite color. However I have never really enjoyed eggplant. Sure, I like eggplant Parmesan but who doesn’t like something fried and battered smothered with cheese. I decided I needed to give  eggplant another shot, and try cooking with it again.  When  I was debating what kind to purchase, someone at the Saturday market came up to me and started chatting about how he saw on TV that the long-ombre ones(which I later discovered online that they are Chinese Eggplant)  were supposedly really healthy. Stranger-approved: Check. Buying something I  didn’t like: check.

Regardless, I really liked this technique of cooking. Basically it is  cooking a veggie on high heat. Then, adding oil and garlic for a couple of minutes with the veggies till fragrant. Finally adding soy sauce and a little bit of sugar to caramelize and give a nice sear. Verdict: Delicious but still not a fan of the eggplant texture. Here is the Recipe from Steamy Kitchen. I omitted the Chile pepper and green onions and instead used red pepper flakes. Also used rice wine vinegar instead of black vinegar.

Soy Vay, Teriyaki Sauce

This is a condiment staple for me. Here is their historic description: “at a potluck party in Humboldt County, California… two friends, a Jewish boy and Chinese girl, came together over their love of food, Asian flavors, and secret family recipes with the idea to bottle the best tasting sauces possible, using only the finest ingredients around.”(Website) If you look closely the script on the label is written in a hebrew-esque font. Although not the best for you,  it is too good to give up. My favorite way is just plain on rice, but it also makes a great marinade for chicken or meat. There are lots of different uses.

Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes + Polenta

Another Skinny Taste recipe and one I can see myself making again and again. After eating chicken and lean ground turkey all summer I needed a change. This winter inspired dish turned summer seemed to fit the bill. I choose to use  chicken apple sausage, which i purchased  from the butcher section at my local grocery store,  and incorporated it with pan seared potatoes and earthy rosemary. This veggie medley was outstanding. Served with my favorite “carb” of the moment-Polenta. Although polenta is more time-consuming than other grain sides such as couscous, pasta, or rice, it’s creamy texture is my favorite. I like to add a tablespoon of butter and handful of cheese at the end to make it extra creamy.   Here is the recipe for an easy weeknight dinner. (Image Via Skinny Taste)

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