Category Archives: Vegetables

Roasted Eggplant Pizza

Hi Everyone,

This has been a very frigid week here in the Northeast and when it’s cold outside I get the urge to stay in and what else, cook. Cooking and creating in the kitchen brings me great joy.

This past week I have been making a variety of entrees for dinner and some were a little outside of my normal rotation. I posted the dishes to my personal Facebook page and received quite a few requests for recipes so I decided to post them on the blog to share with all of you. I hope the recipes bring you some inspiration to try something new.

The first recipe is for “Roasted Eggplant Pizza”. I purchased a few eggplants last week and made stuffed eggplant (previous post) and had one medium sized eggplant left in the refrigerator that I had no purpose for. I already made eggplant stacks and stuffed eggplant and then the idea popped into my head for the eggplant pizza.

I really didn’t have a recipe but I did have a pizza crust in the freezer, the eggplant, and an idea of what I wanted it to taste like so that is all I needed. It turned out very well and we enjoyed it immensely. I wrote down what I did and here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did…..

The next recipe for Ham, Cheese, Potato, and Kale Quiche will follow soon. Stay well.

Roasted Eggplant Pizza

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant (washed and sliced thin – approx. 1/8-inch slice (deli slicer works great for this)

1 premade pizza crust  

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, diced fine OR 1 tsp of jarred minced garlic

1 tsp. dried oregano (optional)

1 tsp dried basil (optional)

½ tsp salt

14 oz of pizza sauce (jarred or homemade)

6 oz of mozzarella cheese (grated or sliced)

6 tbsp of ricotta cheese

½ cup of grated cheese (I use Locatelli cheese)

½ tsp. hot chili flakes (optional)

Directions:

Cooks Note: I used a premade pizza crust or you could use store bought dough or make homemade dough- recipe below)

Line a large baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.

Cut the eggplant in 1/8 inch round slices and arrange in 1 layer on the baking sheet

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, dried oregano & basil

Lightly brush this mixture on both sides of the eggplant rounds and season lightly with salt.

Roast the eggplant in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes until tender and the eggplants start to turn brown. If you want the eggplant a little crispier follow this step with 2 minutes under the broiler.

Assemble the Pizza

Cover the pizza crust with pizza sauce, sprinkle lightly with grated cheese. Arrange the eggplant slices on the pizza and then add the mozzarella cheese and a few dollops of ricotta cheese. Follow with another sprinkle of grated cheese and chili flakes

Bake in the oven as per directions for the crust or dough you are using

For example- 500-degree oven 8 minutes for a premade crust *****425-degree oven for 12- 16 minutes for homemade dough.

Below is the recipe for homemade dough if you are not using a prebaked crust…

Pizza Dough for a 12-inch pie

Ingredients:

1 ¾ to 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour

1 packet of Fleischmann Pizza Crust Yeast

1 ½ tsp sugar

¾ tsp salt

2/3 cup warm water (120- 130 degrees)

3 tbsp of oil (I use olive oil)

Preheat oven to 425

Directions:

Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil. Mix until well blended about 1 minute.

Add gradually enough remaining flour until a soft dough ball is formed (Dough will be slightly sticky).

Knead on a floured surface adding additional flour if needed, until smooth and elastic; about 4 minutes. With floured hands. Pat dough out to fill the greased pizza pan, OR roll dough to a 12-inch circle and transfer to greased pizza pan

Top as desired and bake on the bottom oven rack for 12-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.

**************************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Stuffed Eggplants

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well and if you are in the Northeast like me, I hope you are staying safe and warm. It is COLD here.

I am not a big fan of cold weather and that is when I stay in, hibernate and cook.

Today, I was going through the refrigerator and noticed I had all the ingredients for stuffed eggplant, so I decided to make that for lunch.

In the past, I have listed a recipe for “stuffed eggplant boats” but this is just an updated version with a twist on some of the ingredients.

I have added ground sausage meat to the ground beef and added some sundried tomato packed in oil to the mix. These additions really enhance the flavor of this dish.

Give it a try and I hope you enjoy it.

Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients:

2 small long eggplants

14 oz. mushrooms (I use a combination of white button, cremini, and oyster) (OPTIONAL)

2 (1 lb.) pkgs. of ground beef or ground turkey OR 1 lb of ground meat and 1 lb of sausage meat.

3-4 fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped OR 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes sliced in half

3 or 4 slices of sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped

4 tbsp. grated cheese (I use Locatelli cheese)

6 basil leaves, shredded

Sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp of dried oregano (remember to rub the spice through your fingers when adding to the pan to release the oils).

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Olive oil

Mozzarella cheese, shredded for topping eggplants

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Wash the eggplant, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh. Salt the cavities, put the eggplant in a baking pan, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes (they should be soft but not mushy)

If usingTrim the roots from the mushrooms, wipe the dirt off with a damp cloth, and dice them lengthwise.

Add the mushrooms and the flesh from the eggplant to a food processor and pulse just a few times to make small pieces to fill the eggplant.

Heat ¼ cup olive oil with the garlic. Season the ground meats with salt and pepper. Add the ground meats (beef and sausage) to the oil and sauté until it begins to turn brown.

Add the diced eggplant and diced mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium flame, then increase the heat and add the fresh tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, dried oregano, and basil leaves.

After 5 minutes, turn off the burner, stir in the parsley and grated cheese. Check the seasoning.

Stuff the hollowed-out eggplant with the filling, top with shredded mozzarella and heat them in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

Serve them hot or warm

**************************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Eggplant Stacks with Eggplant “Meatballs” …

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have all recovered from the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and you and your families are well, staying safe and getting ready for 2022.

I know that I have posted the recipes for eggplant parmigiana and eggplant “meatballs” before, but I have to share this story with you today that involves eggplants.

Since the pandemic started, Bob and I have been ordering our groceries from either Instacart or Whole Foods and having them delivered. I am happy to say that the majority of the time the orders arrive in good shape and I am satisfied.

However, there are some orders you just shake your head and wonder how this order was filled and today was one of those days.

The first time I had to shake my head and wonder about the order was when I ordered 2 containers of Campari tomatoes (a little bigger than a grape tomato) from Costco and received ten extremely large tomatoes on the vine (bigger than the palm of my hand large) and had to make a vat of tomato soup to use them because they were too huge for my original purpose.

Well, today another incident happened that I had to shake my head at and wonder how this happened. (Keep in mind I request no substitutions). I ordered one small bag of Brussels sprouts and instead, I received 2 large eggplants.

Now other than being a vegetable, I don’t see the logic behind this substitution. It’s not that I ordered Brussels sprouts and they sent cabbage; that would seem close to the original order.

I had some frozen sauce, but I didn’t want stuffed eggplant and didn’t have the time to make a full eggplant parmigiana so I decided to use one eggplant for eggplant stacks (breaded and baked eggplant with grated cheese, mozzarella, and sauce) and the 2nd eggplant for eggplant “meatballs” which happens to be one of Bob’s favorites.

SERVED WITH A DOLLOP OF RICOTTA OVER CASSARECE PASTA

So dinner worked out in the end after a little extra planning because of this detour. I will repost the “eggplant meatball” recipe below if anyone is interested.

This just proves you just have to go with the flow some days, be grateful for what you have and keep going forward and step over the little bumps in the road.

Enjoy the remainder of the week and I will post my New Year’s Eve tablescape and dinner this weekend……

Eggplant Meatballs

(recipe courtesy of by Lynette Marie by way of Allrecipes – 2016)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cubed eggplant, with peel (I peeled the eggplant)
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • ½ cup grated cheese (recipe called for Parmesan, I used Locatelli)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (recipe called for 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup dried bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet (I used a silicone mat, parchment paper can also be used). 

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and sauté garlic just until lightly browned.

Mix in the eggplant and water. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Allow eggplant to steam until soft, about 20 minutes.

COVER AND STEAM

Place steamed eggplant in a large bowl to cool.

AFTER 20 MINUTES, NICE AND SOFT

Mix the cheese, parsley, eggs, and bread crumbs into the eggplant. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture can be rolled into balls. Add more bread crumbs as needed to make the mixture workable.

ADD INGREDIENTS TOGETHER

Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes, then roll into balls or form into patties.

Place eggplant balls on a prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

I add the cooked eggplant balls to the remaining sauce and then serve immediately.

**************************************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Pasta Primavera

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and if you live in the Northeast like me, I hope you still have power after the storms and high winds we have been having the past few days.

I have been testing some new dessert recipes for Halloween and really haven’t given much thought to dinner, so I whipped something up as a last-minute meal that I wanted to share with all of you for a quick weekday meal when you don’t have much time.

I made a quick easy version of Pasta Primavera which is a simple dish of pasta and fresh vegetables in oil and garlic with your favorite herbs and spices added. It is a great way to use up leftover veggies left in the bin toward the end of the week before they spoil.

I have been taking a little shortcut the past few weeks with vegetables, by steaming some vegetables at the beginning of the week and storing them in an airtight container for easy meal prep during the week to add to salads and pasta or as a side dish to have ready in minutes.

This week I had some carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower so I incorporated these veggies and some shallots and tomatoes and made a simple garlic, olive oil, and anchovy sauce for a delicious quick meal served over tri-color spaghetti.

I read once that most people think Pasta Primavera is an Italian dish but it is an American dish created by chef Sirio Maccioni and two sous chefs and was first served in a New York City restaurant. It wasn’t until a recipe for this dish was published a few years later in the New York Times that this dish became popular.

The ingredients vary for this dish depending on what veggies you have, what pasta choice you make, and what sauce you want so I am providing a basic recipe as a guideline but please feel free to change ingredients according to what you have (steaming the vegetables ahead of time is a blessing and a timesaver). So here is the recipe. Have fun and enjoy every bite……

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of pasta (suggestions: penne, spaghetti, farfalle, gemelli, cassarecce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion or shallot, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2- 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of calabrian pepper paste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
  2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a 12-inch (and deep) skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add olive oil, onion or shallots and saute 2 minutes to get a slight golden color.
  4. Add garlic and anchovies (if using) and saute for 2 minutes to melt the anchovies.
  5. Add the vegetables of your choice and saute until the veggies are softened but still a little crisp.
  6. Add the Calabrian pepper paste (if using) and mix well.
  7. Add Italian seasoning and dried oregano, saute 2 minutes longer and mix well.
  8. Add drained pasta to the veggies and add the pasta water with 1/2 cup grated cheese and mix well to form a sauce. Check for seasoning and add a little more salt & pepper as needed (additional pasta water and cheese can be added to make the sauce a consistency you prefer).
  9. Toss in parsley and serve with additional grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Cooks Note – if you want to make this a complete meal on a single plate you can also add the protein of your choice – (suggestions: shrimp, scallops, grilled chicken slices, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, or nuts).

*****************************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Hi Everyone,

I just had to share this recipe that I found the other day while looking for some new side dishes. I am always changing my recipe ingredients and experimenting with new flavors and I came across this recipe that intrigued me.

“Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites”.

I have used cauliflower to make tater tots and General Tso’s “chicken” in the past and posted it to the blog, but this was another way with cauliflower that I never tried before.

(Here is the link for my previous cauliflower recipes)

Since this recipe caught my attention, I felt it was the perfect side dish to go along with some chicken, rice and black bean enchiladas that I made for dinner last night. I absolutely loved the result.

(Sorry only one photo but I didn’t plan on making this a blog post since it is not my original recipe).

I loved the Cauliflower Buffalo Bites so much that I had to share with all of you immediately so you could try it too. And kudos to the author, Dani Spies, she is brilliant.

The recipe is easy and tasty and comes together in very little time.

The cauliflower bites were a little too spicy for Bob between the spices in the batter and the Buffalo hot wing sauce, so remember that if someone in your family is not a lover of spicy to tone it down a little.

Next time, I will have to cut the spice level down for Bob to really enjoy them, but I loved every bite with the original ingredients.

I am a lover of spicy foods and this recipe was fantastic for me.

This is a great party food for the vegetarians on your guest list that can’t have Buffalo Hot Wings and it makes a nice presentation.

Plus, it’s baked and not fried which helps with the calories and the clean up. I added some celery and carrot sticks and a little ranch dressing as another layer to our meal to complete the traditional Buffalo style.

The recipe is from “Dani Spies” and she has various you-tube videos showing her creations. I find her to be fun and entertaining and this recipe is a keeper for sure. So, thank you Dani for this fabulous recipe….

*********************************

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites-

courtesy of Dani Spies

Course: DIET, DINNER, snacks + starters

Cuisine: American, Super Bowl, vegan, vegetarian

Author: Dani Spies

Prep Time-10 mins Cook Time 30 mins -Total Time 40 mins 

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 cup of white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce I used Franks
  • 1 tbsp. butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, water, salt, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika and stir until smooth. Add in cauliflower and stir gently until florets are evenly coated with batter.
  • Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet that has been coated with some cooking spray. Be sure the pan is not over crowded (use two pans if needed). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  • In a separate bowl combine hot sauce and melted butter. Pour evenly over the cauliflower and gently toss until evenly coated.
  • Pop bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the cauliflower begins to crisp up. Serve with carrots, celery and blue cheese dressing.

*****************************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana with Eggplant “Meatballs”

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well…… Here in the Northeast the weather is getting a little cooler and we are trying to hold on to the Summer as much as we can while Fall creeps in so we are trying to continue with our “Summer activities” and still go to the farm stands and outdoor markets as much as we can.

Bob and I went to a farm stand last weekend for some fresh vegetables pretending in our head that is was still July and not October and I found the most wonderful eggplants. (sorry I cut the eggplant before I took a picture).

I also found great zucchini, & tomatoes but as soon as I saw the nice shiny eggplants, I knew I wanted to make eggplant meatballs. I think I posted this recipe many years ago but it was time to re-post.

Along with the meatballs will be the tried and true eggplant parmigiana but this time instead of the traditional fry, I am baking the eggplant slices for an updated version.

Sometimes standing and frying a lot of eggplant slices at once is back breaking so I decided to try the baked version to make life a little easier.

(Here is the link to the traditional recipe for fryinghttps://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/08/22/eggplant-parmigiana/

So let’s get started on the updated recipe…..

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 large eggplants -sliced to ½ inch rounds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups of Italian seasoned or plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano (Locatelli) cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil or ¼ cup fresh
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 49 oz of fresh marinara sauce or store-bought jarred sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking spray (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees…. Brush 2 baking sheets with extra virgin olive oil: set aside.

Set up a breading station …. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tbsp. of water to thin it out.

In a second bowl – combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup grated cheese, salt and pepper, basil and oregano.

Dip the eggplant rounds in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture (pressing crumbs down with fingers if needed to cover evenly).

Place on the baking sheets…. Bake until golden on the bottom, 10-20 minutes. Then carefully flip each slice and continue baking until golden on the other side, an additional 10-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a 9 X 13 baking dish, spread just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the dish, cover with sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese, then layer shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, grated cheese and top with mozzarella.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the mozzarella is melted, 15- 30 minutes. (Optional — broil for 2 minutes to get the cheese a little golden, but watch carefully because it can burn easily).

Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

I chose to make my eggplant parmigiana in an individual serving dish for this meal ….

I hope you try the baked version of eggplant parmigiana and enjoy every bite.

Now on to the next recipe …. Eggplant meatballs (updated version)

Eggplant Meatballs

I served this with farfalle pasta (another favorite of mine).

(recipe courtesy of by Lynette Marie by way of Allrecipes – 2016)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cubed eggplant, with peel (I peeled the eggplant)
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • ½ cup grated cheese (recipe called for Parmesan, I used Locatelli)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (recipe called for 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup dried bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet (I used a silicon mat, parchment paper can also be used). 

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and sauté garlic just until lightly browned.

Mix in the eggplant and water. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Allow eggplant to steam until soft, about 20 minutes.

COVER AND STEAM

Place steamed eggplant in a large bowl to cool.

AFTER 20 MINUTES, NICE AND SOFT

Mix the cheese, parsley, eggs and bread crumbs into the eggplant. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture can be rolled into balls. Add more bread crumbs as needed to make the mixture workable.

ADD INGREDIENTS TOGETHER

Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes, then roll into balls or form into patties.

Place eggplant balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

I add the cooked eggplant balls to remaining sauce and then serve immediately.

****************************

I hope you give both of these recipes a try and please let me know what you think of them.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow DishingwithDiane.com either on facebook or sign up for emails directly from the web page.

And share this post with your family and friends.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

**************************************************

Note–  You can add DishingwithDiane photos to your pinterest page; just hit the save button in the top left hand corner of the pictures.

Fusilli with Cauliflower & Roasted Chickpeas

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to OCTOBER!

This year is just flying by. I can’t believe it is October already. I guess I better start digging in the archives for some pumpkin recipes….

Well, once October sets in and the chill is in the air, I either bake or make stews and casseroles.

I will definitely bake this weekend but last night Bob and I had another tried and true recipe- Mom’s cauliflower with macaroni and roasted chickpeas.

A simple dish that was once considered a peasant meal and now gaining popularity in many restaurants. I have made this in the past with tri-colored cauliflower in a garlic and anchovy sauce (see pic below), which is also very tasty.

But tonight, I decided on the traditional recipe. Simple ingredients of the best quality is a winning combination. Plus, this meal doesn’t take that long to come together so it’s a great weeknight meal when you don’t have that much time to prepare.

I hope you try this “Italian peasant dish” and enjoy!

Fusilli with Cauliflower and Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

1 (28 oz) can of peeled tomatoes- diced

1/3 cup of olive oil

3 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 head of cauliflower- broken into florets

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/2 cup (or more) grated cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

torn basil leaves

Salt & pepper

red pepper chili flakes (optional)

1 lb fusilli or pasta of your choice

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, basil leaves and the cauliflower- mix to combine….

Add the broth, reduce the heat and cover to steam the cauliflower. Cooked covered for 20 minutes, and then uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce….. That is it, simple and delicious.

Cook penne in salted boiling water- drain and add to the skillet along with the parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Cook for 1 minute and then add grated cheese.

I roasted a can of drained chick peas in a little olive oil on a low flame with salt, pepper and red chili flakes for some heat ( this addition is optional) and added the chick peas to the pasta right before serving.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Have fun cooking !

Until my next post, make every day a celebration !

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow DishingwithDiane.com either on facebook or sign up for emails directly from the web page.

And share this post with your family and friends.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Spinach Croquettes

HI Everyone,

It seems that Fall brings out the need in me to eat comfort foods as if I am preparing to hibernate for the winter and I start pulling out some of my Mother’s tried and true recipes that I remember from childhood.

My Mom was so clever with her meal plans and could take the same simple ingredients and make so many different meals that you never got tired or bored with any dinner she prepared.

Take a simple ingredient like ground beef for instance. Mom made fabulous meatballs, meatloaf with a perfect blend of spices and a sweet glaze, excellent hamburgers and my all time favorite was spinach croquettes.

A simple mix of onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and ground beef with chopped spinach and stuffed with fresh mozzarella. It was delicious.

As the weather gets cooler, I crave some of my Mom’s Fall dishes, so tonight I decided to make Moms “spinach croquettes”.

I paired the croquettes with a salad of mixed greens and sliced pears, some chopped walnuts, grape tomatoes, fennel slices (LOVE that licorice flavor of fennel and it’s good for digestion too) and dressed the salad with a nice fruity olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple and delicious.

This was a very comforting and delicious meal for us. My recipes for the spinach croquettes and basic salad dressing are below.

I hope you try this dish sometime this Fall and please let me know what you think.

***************************

Spinach Croquettes

Ingredients:

(1 ½ – 2 lbs.) Ground turkey or beef, or combination beef/pork

1 small onion, diced (shallots can be substituted)

Seasoned breadcrumbs

Grated cheese

Salt & Pepper

No salt organic seasoning (Kirkland brand from Costco is the best) – optional

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp fresh parsley

Fresh mozzarella, diced in small cubes

1 egg, lightly beaten for the meat mixture

10 oz pkg chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained*

(* To drain spinach completely—after the package is thawed, place spinach in a dish towel and ring the towel out and release all the liquid)

Cooks Note: you can use fresh spinach (approx. 2 fresh bunches) if you prefer. DIRECTIONS BELOW.

___________________________________________________________

For the Breading:

3 eggs lightly beaten

Cornflake or panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup milk

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil for the baking sheet

________________________________________________________

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix seasoned breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, onion, no-salt seasoning, salt, and pepper ……

Cooks Note: if you are using fresh spinach, you must follow this step before continuing. * wash and drain the spinach…. *heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add a few cloves of garlic and cook for 1 minutes, then ADD spinach *Season with salt and pepper and saute until the spinach wilts. * Transfer to a colander and with the back of a large serving spoon, push down on the spinach and release the excess moisture. * transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes to cool…..Once this step is completed, continue with directions.

ADD ground meat to the dry ingredients in step 1 and ADD, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 slightly beaten egg. Add the drained spinach and gently mix the meat and seasonings –do not overwork the meat.

Make ¼ cup size meatballs and put a small cube of mozzarella inside, close and form into an oval croquette shape…complete forming all croquettes before the next step….  OR if you don’t want to stuff each croquette, toss meat mixture with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella before forming croquettes.

In a breading tray mix 3 slightly beaten eggs with ¼ cup milk (add additional salt and pepper if desired),

2nd breading tray, mix cornflake or panko crumbs (add additional grated cheese & parsley if desired)

Dip the croquettes in breadcrumbs, egg mixture and then back to breadcrumbs and place on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil. Let croquettes sit for 5 minutes.

Broil for 10 minutes, flip and broil for 5-7 minutes longer until golden brown

(Optional: light fry in a sauté pan before the broiler to get a crispier breadcrumb……I usually do this step).

Serve as is or with your favorite barbecue sauce of brown gravy. Enjoy!

*****************************

Basic Salad Dressing

To make the salad dressing, combine

  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • Fine sea salt

In a screw top jar. Close the jar tightly and shake well to combine all ingredients.

Cooks Note: Whenever I add delicate fruit that can oxidize (such as pears or apples or even fennel) to a salad, I place juice from half a lemon in the salad bowl and toss to coat in the lemon juice. This prevents oxidation or browning and makes your salad look so much better.

*******************************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

 All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

Zucchini Flowers – Two Ways…

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well.

Sorry for the delay in posting these recipes, very busy week……

Bob and I have been enjoying the zucchini flowers this week, both fried and prepared as a quiche and it really feels like Summer to us now.

Below are the two recipes I used so you can enjoy the zucchini flowers as well.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

*************************

Zucchini Blossom Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 4- 6 eggs depending on the size
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 1/3 cup minced onions or shallots
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces shredded, mozzarella
  • 2 medium zucchini- washed and diced
  • 10 fried zucchini flowers
  • COOKS NOTE: fresh zucchini flowers can be used if you prefer – wash, stamen removed and check for any insects.

I make my quiche crustless but a crust can be used- personal preference …

  • 1- 9-inch unbaked frozen “deep Dish” pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Directions:

Hand whip eggs, half-and-half, and flour in a medium-mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Pour into a veggie sprayed pie pan or quiche dish OR , if using, an unbaked 9-inch, deep-dish piecrust.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until top is golden brown.

6-8 servings

******************************

Fried Zucchini Blossoms

  • Ingredients:
  • approx. 1/2 lb. (12-14) – fresh Zucchini Flowers
  • dark ale preferred or any beer you have on hand
  • All-purpose Flour or OO tipo flour
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil For Frying (I prefer olive oil)

Directions:

  1. Rinse the zucchini flowers well under cool water and remove the inner stamen…. Be careful there might be insects especially bees inside the petals. Once rinsed well and cleaned, drain on paper towels. Any water will cause splatters once in the hot oil.
  2. In a small bowl add 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt & pepper.
  3. Add enough beer to the flour, whisking until smooth to make a consistency of heavy cream.
  4. Heat the frying oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Test if the oil is hot by adding a few drops of batter and see if it sizzles.
  5. Dip the zucchini flowers into the batter until lightly coated, letting the excess batter drip off.
  6. Carefully lower the zucchini flowers into the hot oil away from you to avoid splatters. Do this in batches and don’t overcrowd the skillet (that will reduce the temperature of your oil).
  7. Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oil using tongs and set aside to drain on a plate topped with a few layers of kitchen paper or a cooling rack.
  9. I sprinkle with a little finely grated cheese (personal choice, this is optional) or a sprinkle of salt.
  10. Repeat the process with the remaining zucchini flowers until they are all fried.
  11. Serve immediately & enjoy

*************************************************

I hope these recipes are helpful. The snake squash (Cucuzza) recipes will be posted next week.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Thank you for visiting my blog and like and share this post to your friends and ask them to join DishingwithDiane.com.

Once you join you’ll never miss a post and please continue to sent me your comments. I Love hearing from you.

Stay well,

Diane

Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers …

Hi Everyone,

This recipe is dedicated to one of my health care providers – Michael C. who always brightens my day whenever we have the opportunity to speak.

Hope you are all well…

Today I wanted to share with you a new recipe for stuffed peppers. I know that I have posted recipes for traditional stuffed peppers with ground meat and a lighter version with beans, rice and cheese (the links for those recipes will be at the end of the post); but today I have another new version – “Stuffed Peppers with Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry”, veggies and black beans.

Cauliflower rice has become so popular in the last couple of years and I have made Cauliflower Tots and General Tso’s Cauliflower in the past (find recipes in search box) but I am always experimenting to create new recipes, and this recipe can be listed under “vegetarian and heart healthy”.

I recently placed an Instacart order from Costco and noticed that they were selling a Cauliflower stir fry (Tattooed chef brand) with veggies (peppers, peas & corn) included so I thought I would give it a try. My original idea was to just add some scrambled eggs and some lite soy sauce to make fried rice.

Then I bought the most beautiful organic bell peppers and the idea quickly changed to cauliflower stir fry stuffed peppers. I added some black beans for protein and a new recipe was born. I made a large batch of filling and used the extra for a side dish for another night during the week.

Follow the recipe below with step-by-step instructions and happy cooking…

(Don’t forget previous stuffed pepper recipes are listed below).

Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry with Black Beans Stuffed Peppers

Let’s Get Started ……….

INGREDIENTS:

2 bags of frozen cauliflower stir fry (from freezer to skillet)- no need to thaw & this package has veggies included.

You can add any combination of extra vegetables that you like, just cut them small to fit in the pepper cavity.

COOKS NOTE: you can also rice fresh cauliflower florets in the food processor

6 bell peppers

1 medium yellow onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 can (14 oz.) of low sodium black beans – rinsed & drained

1 can (14 oz.) of no salt added tomato sauce

1 can of cherry tomatoes with juice (optional)

COOKS NOTE: the canned tomatoes can be purchased at an Italian pork store or online at Eataly

1 tbsp. tomato paste

Oregano- 4 fresh sprigs or ¾ Tbsp. ground (remember to rub ground spices through your fingertips when adding to a dish to release the oils and flavor).

½ cup grated cheese (I use Locatelli Romano)

Garlic powder – ½ tsp

Fresh basil chiffonade

Mozzarella cheese

Olive oil – 3 Tbsp.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare the peppers by cleaning them well and then cutting the tops off and scooping out the ribs and seeds.

Dice the pepper tops into small dice and set aside.

I par boil the peppers for 7-10 minutes in boiling water- (do not make them too soft, they will still be cooked in the oven). Drain the peppers and set aside.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil on medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden.

,

Add the onions and sauté for a 3-4 minutes more…. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder & sauté for another minute.

Add the diced peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until the peppers soften.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and the can of cherry tomatoes (if using).

Mix well, and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally for approx… 10 minutes.

Add the black beans, oregano and basil and mix well.

Add the frozen cauliflower stir fry and heat through for approx. 5-8 minutes. (use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the cauliflower).

Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and taste for seasoning- more salt, pepper or spices might be needed to your taste.

Meanwhile spray a 9 X 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread a thin layer of the cooked filling on the bottom of the pan (this will give the peppers a base so they don’t flop over).

COOKS NOTE: IF peppers fall over — before filling slice a small amount of pepper off the bumpy bottoms to make them stand up.

Place a small amount of mozzarella cheese in the bottom of each pepper.

Now with a large spoon fill the hollow peppers and pack as much filling as you can and top with some grated cheese. (Any extra stuffing can be added to the baking dish).

Now top the peppers with additional mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes until the peppers are cooked through and the cheese is melted.

COOKS NOTE -If you want a crispy cheese topping, pop in the broiler for 1-2 minutes but watch the pan so the cheese doesn’t burn.

To serve, garnish with a little extra grated cheese and the extra filling can be served on the side or saved for another side dish for another meal… Enjoy

***************************************

Previous stuffed pepper recipes…..

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/09/20/stuffed-peppers/

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2017/09/08/stuffed-peppers-with-rice-and-beans/

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.