Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baba Ghanoush Stew

As it happens when you have millions of cookbooks, when you crave something you can never remember where it came from. And truthfully, most things don't actually come from cookbook recipes anyway - they are compilations of 5 recipes for the same thing. So I was thinking of an eggplant stew with big chunks of eggplant in a tahini sauce. This is what I came up with, and it was quite delicious! Now I have a recipe!

On the side is Quinoa and Cauliflower with Cranberries and Pine Nuts from Vegan Express. I added peas for color, and used cilantro instead of the parsley called for. Very tasty, and I am no fan of quinoa. In fact, if you have no cauliflower, just make it with the peas instead for a super easy side dish. Kid-meter: the 10 year old ate part of it, but then went to the pantry for Cheerios. The little ones would not even touch anything. But I loved it!

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

1 large eggplant

olive oil

½ a large onion, cut lengthwise into strips

5 cloves garlic, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges

1 T tomato paste

1 c cooked chick peas

½ c water

½ t Aleppo pepper*

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 T tahini

1 t sugar

1/8 t allspice

salt and lots of freshly ground pepper

juice of half a lemon

Cut eggplant into 1 ½ “ chunks. Salt cubes and cover with cold water. Soak for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Sautee in batches in hot olive oil, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Saute onions in olive oil until wilted. Add sliced garlic and cook until onions and garlic are starting to brown. Add some salt as they are cooking. Add eggplant, tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, water, and Aleppo pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook another 10 minutes. You may need to add some more water. Serves 3-4.

* Aleppo pepper is kind of like tiny dried chili pieces. It is mildly spicy. If you don’t have it, add half as much crushed red pepper.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Nostalgic Meal

On cold rainy days, nothing was better than tomato soup and tuna on toast. In summer, the tuna became macaroni and tuna salad, on a plate with lettuce, sliced tomato, slice hard boiled egg, all with french dressing. On this cold rainy day, we had the tomato soup with chickpea and macaroni salad. Perfect after playing softball in 50 degrees and rain!

Chickpea and Macaroni Salad

1/4 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked
1 can chickpeas, chopped in food processor
1/2 c mayo
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 T soy sauce
1 t celery salt
1/2 t garlic powder

Mix it all up! This made a rather wet salad - use less mayo for a drier salad. The next day it was perfect, as the mayo soaked in a bit.

The tomato soup was very simple - saute sliced garlic in a good amount of olive oil, add a can of crushed tomatoes, some veggie broth, some dried mint, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer a while. My 10 year old loved this!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Road Trip!

This yummy slaw is made of fennel! If you have not had fennel (or anise, as it is called in most markets), it is a licorice-tasting veggie with a celery-like crunch. Perfect in a slaw with cilantro, red onion, and a lemony vinaigrette. The recipe came from Cooking Light.

The folks at Gardein have some new products. They have individual serving "trios" - rice, stuffed Gardein, and sauce. This is the Thai style , and it was quite delicious. This was my first experience with Gardein. It is chicken-like in texture, but not taste. It has its own unique taste which is very pleasant.

We took a quick and unplanned road trip to Kentucky for spring break. We've never been there before, and were pleasantly surprised. We spent a few days in Louisville doing touristy stuff. The girls were happy just to swim in the hotel pool! We would like to go back and see many other things in this beautiful state. It was good to get away for a few days, especially to somewhere so warm. We were able to eat outside for most of our meals. Unheard of in Chicago in March! We found a beautiful old church for Easter. My girls look so grown up!