Eggs are a lovely protein, don’t you think? We often turn to eggs when we want something quick and delicious for breakfast or dinner. I made this frittata the other day using eggs, farm market veggies and a vegetarian burger(okay, it’s a Luna Burger – anything tastes good with a Luna Burger in it) crumbled up, plus some cheese. My husband took a bite and told me it wasn’t right, because his eggs don’t taste this good, and aren’t this filling when he makes them. The end of summer is bittersweet because the fresh locally grown veggie supply starts to wane, but at the same time they have their best flavor. Get’em while their fresh.
- 5 eggs
- 1 small onion
- 1 small green pepper
- 2 baby eggplant
- ¼ cup crookneck squash
- vegetarian or grain sausage patty
- 4 small cherry tomatoes
- shredded cheddar
- 4 oz goat cheese
- Scramble eggs with 1 tbs water, and set aside.
- Dice and saute in warm pan with olive oil – onions and green pepper.
- I used baby eggplant but didn’t peel, just sliced little circles.
- The squash was peeled and sliced to about the same size.
- When the onion is almost translucent and soft, add the squash and eggplant to the onion and pepper.
- When the eggplant starts to soften, place the veggies in a bowl and set aside temporarily.
- Add a little oil to the pan and warm the vegetarian burger. Remove, break into a little smaller than bite size pieces and set aside.
- Swish lightly with oil, pour the eggs into the pan, let start to cook.
- Add in the sauteed veggies, and the tomatoes.
- Dollop the goat cheese into the eggs and place the pieces of vegetarian sausage in under the egg.
- Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Place pan in oven under a low broil until egg is firm and cheese is melted.
- Serve slices on plate and grate a little more cheese over top.
Are you a seasonal cook – trying to use the fresh ingredients in the season in which they are their best? Summer is such a great fresh vegetable season and the farm markets are full of great local vegetables that ripened on the vine or stalk and were picked at the right stage for freshness. I try to stay local and seasonal when there are fresh ingredients being grown nearby to take advantage of, and it’s so easy to come up with great dishes. I made this roasted lasagna in a smaller portion for my husband an son, and then made a bigger version to bring to my mother in law’s for a family gathering. It’s deceitful, you think there’s meat and pasta, but there isn’t. The eggplant replaces the pasta, holding up really well and the crumbled goat cheese mixed with herbs almost give you the texture of crumbled meat and the creaminess of ricotta (which you could use instead) at the same time. Filling in with roasted tomatoes, onions and red peppers in between the layers bumps up the flavor.
Everything in this dish came from either the farm market, or the Market Bag that we get once a week. Even the sauce is local, because it’s my homemade sauce from last years farm market vegetables. I have a couple of jars left over from last year that we didn’t use up ( I hate emptying jars that I just put up, it feels as though my efforts to stock up were in vain when they disappear to early). I will warn you that the dish isn’t pretty when you cut into it because eggplant turns a brown color when heated. Eggplant can take the place of meat almost like a mushroom is able to or tofu can. It is very mild in taste and can take on the flavor of whatever you cook it in (or with).
When I was cooking in the square glass pan, I slice the eggplant across the width, but when I used a long ceramic pan, I sliced the eggplant down the length. Both times I scraped the skin off, because eggplant skin can be tough compared to the meat of the vegetable and I used a mandolin in order to get slices of uniform length and width. I brushed the eggplant slices with olive oil and placed on a cookie sheet to roast. I also sliced cherry tomatoes and other small tomatoes in half , de-seeded red peppers and threw slices of onion on other cookie sheets, brushed with oil and roasted them. Fresh herbs and garlic scapes were mixed together with fresh chevre and sprinkled on top, the cheese layer also had fresh mozzarella. You can use any sauce you like, but use lightly because veggies add a lot of liquid. If after you get the layers assembled you notice too much liquid around the edges, hold the layers in the pan and tip to let some out. That happened to me when I didn’t roast the veggies long enough, but didn’t harm the lasagna at all. Roasting the vegetables and then draining them before putting them in the lasagna pan will help.
So, no meat, no pasta, no frying – but pretty darn tasty. I received compliments and an empty pan as thanks for a good grub.
- 1 large eggplant or two smaller – peeled
- 2 large red peppers
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 16 oz chevre
- 1 tbs minced parsley
- 1 tbs minced basil
- 1 tbs minced garlic scapes
- 8 – 12 oz fresh mozzarella
- Spaghetti sauce
- Grated Parmesan
- Using a mandolin – slice wide strips down the length of the eggplant. Layer on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, flip over and brush the other side.
- Core the red peppers and slice open so that it lays flat. Brush both sides with olive oil and lay flat on another baking sheet.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and lay on baking sheet. Slice the onion and throw it on to the same pan with the tomatoes to roast.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and roast in a 250 oven until they seem tender and golden.
- Combine the herbs and cheese together evenly.
- Peel the skin off the pepper and slice the pepper into strips. Drain the tomatoes.
- Eggplant slices
- Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions in an even layer together
- Sprinkle the Herbed Chevre and a layer of Mozzarella.
- Grated Parmesan
- Repeat. (if you have enough ingredients repeat twice)
- The last layer should be:
- Roasted Veggies
- Herbed Chevre and Mozzarella
- Grate Parmesan over the top.
- Bake @375 for 20 -30 min pulling it out of the oven when it’s hot and bubbling with a nice melted cheese crust on top.
Staying with my mom while she recovers from her surgery, I made Chicken & Fall Vegetable soup for dinner. Soup makes you feel good when you are sluggish and don’t want something heavy, especially if your throat is a little sore too. My mom is a fan of almost all vegetables, and since the fall vegetables are in season, this is the perfect time to make this soup. It is easy to prepare but will take longer than 30 minutes because it takes a while for the carrots and butternut squash to soften. The soup was served in a bowl over warmed wild rice. The rice would absorb the stock from the soup so we precooked the rice separately and then put a couple of tablespoons in the bowl and ladle the soup over top. The leftovers were stored as single servings in the freezer for meals on busy evenings after I left to go back to my family and home.
Mom can’t eat onions or tomatoes; acidic vegetables and fruit upset her tummy. If you feel it could use a few more vegetables, feel free to go ahead and add them. Mushrooms might be nice added to this also.
- Olive Oil
- 3 stalks of celery diced
- 2 large chicken breasts
- Small Butternut Squash – scooped out and peeled
- 4 carrots peeled
- 1 quart of chicken stock or broth
- 1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch of kale leaves stripped off stems
- ground thyme
- ground sage
In a stock pot heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute diced celery and whole chicken breasts. Pull the chicken out of the stock pot, and add in the quart of chicken broth and heat. Dice carrots and butternut squash and add to stock. Tear chicken into bite size pieces. When the carrots have softened but are still firm, add the chicken back in along with the chickpeas. Tear kale leaves and stir it into the stock along with ground sage, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowl over warm wild rice.Diana
Tonight’s dinner – had a side of grilled veggies and bulgur. This side dish is a really fast and easy side that packs in a good deal of nutrients. This side can also be served as a vegetarian main and can be eaten cold or hot. So double up and bring it to lunch the next day or a repeat dinner. It’s a little scorched on the edges, but still very tasty. A quick grill with olive oil and then after you combine the veggies and bulgur, give it a quick toss with some chopped fresh basil and a little bit of olive oil.
I have a grill grate that I place over the grill top because I worry that the vegetables will fall through. I sprayed the grate with a little oil first to make sure the veggies wouldn’t stick and I used a sweet onion along with some summer squash, and red peppers.
- 1 red pepper
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 small to med zucchini
- 1 similar sized yellow squash
- 1 cup dried bulgur cooked according to directions
- 2 tbs olive oil
- olive oil spray
Core, de-stem and slice pepper lengthwise. Slice onions into similar size. Slice zucchini down lengthwise into fourths, and divide into thirds so that you end up with rectangles of squash. Do the same with the yellow squash. Spray grill grate with oil, and also the vegetables. Sprinkle with dried basil, salt and pepper. Place on the grill and if you can flip – a couple of minutes on each side.
Cook the bulgur according to directions. Chop fresh basil up and toss in a serving bowl along with some olive oil, salt, pepper, the bulgur and the grilled veggies. That’s it, on the table in twenty minutes at the most.
This is one of my favorite quick tasty dinners. Maybe I take too many shortcuts, but this one is good. I can do this meal in under a half an hour, which is more time than my son gives me before he asks about dinner. Seventeen year olds who run track are always looking for food; the quicker I get it into him, the less likely he is to fill it with junk or fillers. You can parboil the potatoes in a pot of water on the stove or a bowl of water in the microwave. I do this because it will absorb less oil since it’s partly cooked already. The kielbasa is turkey kielbasa, and it’s a little lower fat too. The peppers – are mine. We grew peppers last summer and froze them. I haven’t run out of peppers yet, so I like to find as many meals I can to use them in and the peppers though wilty are still delicious and full of flavor. I don’t put a dressing on it because my son isn’t a big fan, and we just use our preference of mustard or ketchup. If I had my way I would pour on a mustard vinaigrette or dressing.
- 2 peppers- seeded and sliced
- 1 onion – sliced
- 4 potatoes – cut into cubes
- Olive Oil
Parboil potatoes in water then drain. Sauté peppers and onions in olive oil. Slice kielbasa into 1 inch thick pieces, and throw in with peppers and onions and add in potatoes. Toss in herbs and spices.
That’s it, it’s all good.Diana
At the store today, they had bags of mini-peppers for sale. It was a specialty item in the fresh produce department. Funny thing, I’ve got mini-peppers that I picked right from my garden. I wanted the baby-peppers (I’m sure that specialty item will be out soon) to get a little bigger, so we picked most of what was left including the mini-size. I also had some mini-yellow squash in the garden, but I didn’t see any of those in the store. I could own that market. Stuffed Mini-peppers make a great side dish. The bulgur, along with squash, some fresh herbs from the garden, topped with pine nuts and feta, had a very earthy yet nutty flavor. This side is a keeper, but if you want it as a main dish, just upsize the ingredients with a full size pepper, squash, etc. My son even loved it.
- 4 or 5 mini peppers – more if you have enough bulgur
- 1 small mini-yellow squash diced small
- 1tbs onion diced small
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- herbs – parsley, thyme, sage – chopped
- 2 tsp pine nuts
- 2 tsp feta
- 2 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400. Slice the top off the pepper, clean out the pith and the seeds. Dice onions and squash into small pieces. Place one cup of water in a pot, add the bulgur. Heat until boiling, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and stir the diced veggies into the bulgur, cover. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until they start to smell nutty and brown a little. Chop up herbs and stir in2/3rds of the herbs with the bulgur mixture. Spoon the bulgur into the peppers and place into a glass pan or other pan, standing up. When all of the peppers are filled and sitting in the pan, take the pine nuts, the feta and the rest of the herbs and stir together in a bowl. Then spoon the herb/feta mixture on top of each of the peppers. Drizzle some of the chicken broth over the peppers and pour the rest into the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook until the peppers are almost at the consistency that you like – I like mine a little on the crunchy side. Take the cover off and cook until it’s done.