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June 2017

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Posted in Recipes
on June 26, 2017

In my latest batch of produce from the CSA I got a TON of cherry tomatoes and some gorgeous eggplants.  I was going to do my usual go-to eggplant recipe (and probably a lot of other people’s too)- eggplant parmesan.  Can’t go wrong with good ole eggplant parm, right?  As I started gathering the ingredients I realized I didn’t have any breadcrumbs (I later found out the BF had been using them to put in our burgers- his secret is out!).  So I had two choices: go to the store or come up with another way to use the ingredients. Feeling lazy, I chose the latter.  I used ingredients I had on hand, including some fresh herbs from the garden.  These little guys were a big hit!

 

I’ve found the key to good eggplant recipes is in how you prep the eggplant.  I’m a big texture person and if eggplant is even the slightest bit mushy I just can’t bring myself to eat it.  Salting the eggplant before cooking helps draw out the extra water, so the baked eggplant will turn out less watery and mushy as well as less bitter.  Bonus: the eggplant will also absorb less oil when the extra water is removed.  I’ve included this key step in my instructions.  I promise ya’ll it’s worth the little bit of extra effort and time.

 

{Ingredients}:

2  eggplants, sliced ~1 inch thick

24 oz jar pizza sauce (can use regular marina sauce as well)

1 cup shredded mozzarella

3-4 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon salt

1 handful fresh basil

1 handful fresh oregano

 

{Directions}:

For the eggplant prep:

-slice off the stem end of eggplants

-cut eggplant into 1 inch slices

-place the eggplant in a colander-sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt

-set colander over a plate and allow to drain for 20-30 minutes

-rinse eggplant under cool water

-dry eggplant completely

For the pizzas:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spray 2 baking sheets lightly with olive oil spray.  Arrange the sliced eggplants on each (about 6 slices per pan). Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove eggplant from oven and turn broiler on.
  4. Spread one tablespoon of pizza sauce over each eggplant round.
  5. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over each eggplant round.
  6. Top with basil, oregano and sliced cherry tomatoes.
  7. Broil each pan for 3-5 minutes.  Keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly!
  8. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve with additional basil and oregano leaves as garnish.

Enjoy!

Quick and easy little eggplant pizzas from From A to Zucchini.

Delicious little eggplant pizzas

Delicious little eggplant pizzas

Sesame Soy Swiss Chard

Posted in Recipes
on June 16, 2017

My last bunch of produce from the CSA was full of leafy greens including some beautiful bunches of chard.  I honestly had more than I knew what to do with!  Good for me though because chard (commonly referred to as Swiss chard) is chock full of health-promoting nutrients. Low in calories and high in nutrition, chard is an excellent source of bone-boosting vitamin K and the antioxidants vitamins A and C.

Native to the Mediterranean (not the Alps as the name would suggest), Swiss chard is closely related to beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile.  Swiss chard is pungent, slightly salty and a bit bitter.   It’s typically only good to eat raw when it’s young, otherwise it’s better cooked.  The key to making sure the cooked greens aren’t too bitter is to blanch them.  Also, it’s important not to soak chard as this will result in the loss of water-soluble nutrients.  A quick rinse under cold water is all they need.  Easy right?  This simple recipe practically takes no time at all makes a beautiful side dish.  The addition of lime not only adds a pleasant tang, it’s vitamin C also helps to make the iron in Swiss chard more bioavailable for body to absorb.

 

{Ingredients}:

1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

sesame seeds, for sprinkling

{Directions}:

Blanch the chard in a pot of salted boiling water until bright green and just tender (about 15 seconds) and drain. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess liquid and chop the leaves.  Whisk together lime juice, garlic, soy sauce and olive oil in a large bowl and season with salt to taste. Add the Swiss chard and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with lime wedges.  Enjoy!