Last night I spoke to my mom over the phone and she was telling me about this wonderful dish that she prepared for my dad and herself yesterday for lunch. My dad took few photos and it sounded so delicious I promised that I would love to add this recipe to my blog….I could tell they were proud:)
It is very hard to live so far from each other, Europe and States are ocean away….and it is not always possible to travel so often. Phones, Skype and blog are great help to stay in touch almost every day:)
This is vegetarian style recipe. Very tasty and healthy dish, fully recommended from my mom’s trusty kitchen:)
You will need:
2 medium eggplant
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil leaves, chopped
3 fresh tomatoes
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash and cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked.
Using the large skillet over medium fire, heat the olive oil and sauté the scooped-out center part until nice and brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add two peeled, diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, season with salt and pepper. Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly. On the top of every half add fresh tomato circle and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Place stuffed eggplants in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and extra Parmesan cheese if you like.
Serve warm and enjoy.
We found ourselves few days ago at the Jons market which is very nicely stocked up with lots of imported foods and delicatessen.
You can find wonderful dry meats, feta cheeses from France, Hungary, Greece….fantastic variety of olives, etc. This time I chose to buy good looking jar of grape leaves.
I was thinking to stuff them with turkey & barley. They were really tasty….whole casserole left empty. …I was hoping for some leftover but I will have to make this again….wonderful warm lunch, light, still very nutritious and most importantly super delich.
1 jar grape leaves
1 pound white turkey, ground
1/3 cup barley
red onion, chopped
garlic cloves, chopped
Italian parsley, chopped
I stick celery, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup chicken stock
1 can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
juice from orange and zest
sea salt, pepper
To make stuffing, using medium sauce pan on the medium heat, roast onions, garlic and celery with touch of extra virgin olive oil till well browned. Add turkey. Roast till almost done. Don’t over dry the meat.
Season with salt, pepper, paprika, Italian parsley add barley, chicken stock and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
Now the fun stuff. Rolling the leaves is very quick and easy process. If some leaves are broken you can use more to patch up the wholes.
Take a leaf in your left hand and grab a pinch of stuffing in the right hand, about a tablespoon and roll the stuffing a little in your fingers to shape it, then place it in the middle of the leaf by the stem.
Take one of the bottom edges and turn it in to the center, then the other bottom edge, then the same for the other two leaf parts, now place it on a hard surface to roll it up into the middle leaf.
Now, place them one by one in the casserole as you roll them, seam side down. You will have 2 levels if you’re making more then 16-20.
After you have finished rolling and setting, sprinkle lightly with sea salt over the top, orange juice, zest and tomato sauce.
Add enough chicken stock to cover the bottom layer. For the finishing touch I love to add graded parmesan cheese on top.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes till cheese got slight brownish color and then cover the casserole. Low temperature to 350F and bake for additional 20-30 minutes.
Serve warm with non fat yogurt or sour cream on the side, optional:)
Wonderful if served with glass of red vine.
Intake of barley is very likely to help you maintain your overall health in the long term. These whole grains are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for our health. More importantly, barley is one of the richest sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Why Kale? Many people are not so familiar with kale but if you try this recipe in future I am positive that kale will be more often on any healthy shopper list.
Usually I love to steam kale but this time I wanted to make something different and crunchy, so there it is.
To pair salad with I chose nice piece of beef and simply did little rub with fresh rosemary, sea salt, pepper, whole garlic cloves and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Preheat oven for a while on 400F and bake covered with heavy duty aluminum foil for approximately 2 hours. Check the meat with thermometer and desired temp should be 170F. There is a little secret( not anymore:)….in the halfway of roasting I like to sprinkle meat with beer, 1/4 of the bottle. This will also tenderized the meat and combine all the wonderful flavors.
Raw Kale Salad with Asian Pears, Blood oranges and Pecans
big bunch of fresh kale
1/2 of the Asian juicy and sweet pear, cut
2 blood orange or any other orange, one for salad other for juice
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
fresh ground pepper
spritz of balsamic vinegar
Wash kale truly, trim and cut the vegetable. Sprinkle with salt and orange juice, cover and leave in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Then just add slices of Asian pear, orange and pecans. Season, sprinkle with balsamic and serve. Very refreshing salad. Great addition to grilled fish or chicken too.
Kale is a real superfood. It’s a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, which include cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Kale is loaded with nutrients and compounds that aid in warding off other diseases and ailments as well. For example, kale is packed with beta-carotene, an important nutrient for good vision. Several studies link an increase in vitamin A. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is good for cold prevention, as well as a reduced risk of colon cancer. Finally, kale is rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium.