Ciao from Italia! At the moment, our life is all about pizza, pasta and tomatoes. It’s amazing but every time I travel, the things I miss most are tacos and mexican-ish food. We made these quesadillas a few weeks ago but I could totally go for one right now!
I often get questions about how to cook eggplant. My favorite and most foolproof method for non-spongy eggplant is to grill it. (If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can use a grill pan on your stove). I grill mine simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon or drizzle of balsamic; I then serve it with some arugula or sliced tomatoes.
But I’m in love with this recipe for grilled eggplant quesadillas that comes from my friend Erin (of Naturally Ella)’s new book The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen. The spices are so flavorful and the eggplant bulks up the quesadillas in a meaty-but-not-meaty sort of way.
I know that so many of you are fans of Erin’s as well, so I’m sure lots of you already have her book, but if you don’t, put it on your list. It’s a super handy vegetarian guide to cooking with what you might have available seasonally or on hand. There are 50 base recipes and 3 unique versions of each. So pretty much any vegetarian meal you might want to make, she has a recipe for. Everything is made with whole grains and with fresh seasonal produce in mind.
I modified her quesadilla recipe just a tad. I mixed her spice rub with olive oil and used it as more of a chile sauce to brush onto the eggplant after I grilled it. (This kept my grill pan a little cleaner). I served the remaining sauce on the side of the finished quesadillas… Jack gave this meal two speechless thumbs up. Because that’s how he says “this one is really good” as he stuffs the next quesadilla wedge in his mouth.
It’s national doughnut day, so obviously, I have waffles. The thing about doughnuts is that I like them best when other people make them. Waffles – I like at home, piping hot right off of the waffle maker. (or the next day out of the toaster).
I love being able to decide what goes in my waffles – this time I folded cacao nibs into the batter and topped them strawberries with a little bit of mint. Cacao nibs are like little crunchy pieces of dark chocolate. I like them in here because first, they don’t gunk up my waffle maker and second, I guess they’re a good source of fiber and other sort of superfoodie things. Feel free to sub in chocolate chips if you like.
These are vegan, because I actually like how they get crispier around the edges without any eggs in the batter. I use spelt flour, because that’s what I keep on hand. I like it because it’s not quite as dense as whole wheat flour.
I know many of you don’t have a waffle maker – so I have to tell you about this new one that I just got that I’m pretty excited about. It flips so the top and bottom of your waffle cook evenly, it’s pretty affordable, and best of all, you can store it standing upright! I was always mad at my last waffle maker because it took up an entire shelf, but this one can slide in right next to your cereal box. Ok, sales pitch over. Happy friday and go make waffles!
As I’m putting the finishing touches on our book, (T minus 3 days!) I thought now would be a good time to start making recipes from other peoples’ books…
Last week, I briefly talked about Anna’s book, A Modern Way To Eat. While it’s been out for awhile now, it’s only recently been released in the US and I finally got my hands on a copy. What I love about it is that it’s more than just a book full of recipes (although there are over 200 of them!)… she offers tons of delicious ideas for how to mix flavors and textures together in creative but not-fussy ways.
Last night, I was looking for something quick to make for dinner – the only requirement was that I had to have the ingredients already on hand. This spaghetti with avocado and lemon zest had my name written all over it – I’m a sucker for anything with avocado, yet I’d never thought to put it on pasta before. The only thing I didn’t have was parsley so I used a bit of watercress instead.
My favorite part about the recipe has to be her final instruction: “Scoop the pasta into bowls and eat on your lap.” Done and done.
In case you haven’t noticed, I sort of have a thing for matcha. I know it’s SO trendy… but I personally think it’s exciting to see really great healthy foods become insanely popular. Everyone’s drinking matcha lattes and matcha mochas these days – but now that it’s almost summer, here’s a really simple ice cream treat.
This one’s really more of an idea than a “recipe.” I didn’t even bother breaking out the blender to make these milkshakes because in the spirit of our “grab and go” monthly series with Almond Breeze, I wanted to make these simple enough to shake and run.
Mix a little almond milk and matcha until it’s well combined (you can use a regular whisk if you don’t have a cute match whisk). Add it to a jar with a scoop or two of ice cream. Shake it and stir it until it gets a little melty and enjoy!
Jack here, writing for the blog today while Jeanine writes for the book…
I have something to admit that I’m having a hard time with. I’m starting to prefer vegan “mac and cheese” to actual mac and cheese. Now, this is a hard one for me. You see, I love cheese. Almost every time we go to whole foods, I raid the “under $3 cheese” bin to find crazy new cheeses that I can barely pronounce. And a great grilled cheese is work of art.
But these vegan “mac and cheese” recipes Jeanine comes up with pretty much hit everything I need out of mac and cheese. This one is as creamy as mac and cheese could ever get, the paprika and turmeric give it an incredible depth of flavor, and the spinach gives it the right amount of texture. I honestly can’t get enough…