grilled eggplant

I don’t understand eggplant.   The few times I tried eggplant recipes, when I began the vegan experiment,  ended up being complete fails, but I was determined to find a way to make an eggplant appealing.   Good news, grilling is the way!  Bad news, it’s a sodium nightmare.   Still thought I’d share.   I paired the grilled eggplant with chilli grilled sweet potatoes and arugula.

The eggplant recipe is insanely easy.   It’s actually easier than boiling water:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • About 1/3 cup olive oil

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl dissolve 2 Tbsp. salt in 1 cup warm water. Add 3 quarts cold water. Set aside.
  2. Trim eggplant and cut into ¾-inch thick diagonal slices. Put slices in salt water, weigh down with an upside-down plate, and let sit 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat (you can hold your hand about an inch above the grill for 3 to 4 seconds).
  4. Drain eggplant and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Lay on a large baking sheet or tray. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay oiled-side-down on the grill. Close lid if using a gas grill and cook until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes.
  5. Brush top sides with oil and sprinkle with salt. Turn slices over, close lid on a gas grill and cook until grill marks appear on the other side and eggplant is very tender, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

This was delicious!   I ended up using about half the salt and it was still great.   Try to make sure your eggplant slices aren’t too thick, it’ll make a huge difference.   Again, wish it wasn’t so salt-centric, but a great recipe to try before the end of summer!

simple spring pasta

I’m feeling under the weather, stomach problems, JOY!   I lost 4 pounds in a day, so…yea.    When I’m tummy sick I have to trick my body into accepting foods.   It usually involves carbs, so I decided to break out a very simple spring pasta and asparagus recipe.    I was hoping this fresh asparagus would act as a veggie superhero and make me feel amazing.

This recipe is the easiest thing in the world.   I don’t remember where I found it, it was one that I had written up in one of my recipe books and I modified it to be veg friendly.   I will say that if you aren’t veggie or vegan making this with the original ingredients (chicken broth and pecorino cheese) is delicious!  Maybe even throw some bacon on there too?

ASPARAGUS & PENNE PASTA

  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound of fresh asparagus (sliced in 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (I subbed with 1 cup organic vegetable broth)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese (I skipped the cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shaved fresh pecorino Romano cheese (I skipped this cheese too)

PREPARE

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to package directions, omitting additional fat. Drain.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat.
  3. Add asparagus to pan; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  4. Add broth, lemon rind, and garlic to pan; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 6 minutes). Return asparagus to pan.
  5. Add pasta, grated cheese, salt, and pepper; toss well. Place about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons shaved cheese.
While making this, the lemon rind really perked me up.    Nature’s created all sorts of little pick me ups
It’s a perfect tasty pasta, great to make in the spring or summer!

nom – snackle mouth

Twitter is pretty amazing sometimes.   A few weeks ago after a stop into Fresh Market I tweeted something and almost instantly got this response:

No, it wasn’t from Fresh Market, but another product that I had actually seen at the store during that trip.   I had noticed Snackle Mouth by the checkout but didn’t really take much time to investigate what it was.   Honestly, good packaging had grabbed my eye.  Perfect timing!  The convo continued

I’m all for “something special” when it comes to food (and vegan at that) so the next time I was at Fresh Market I picked up a box, snapped my pic, and enjoyed Snackle Mouth:

The Almond Maple Pecan was amazing.   Not too sweet, not too heavy, it’s a great snack.   If I wasn’t so greedy (aka had better portion control) I bet I could make a box last a few days.   This one lasted an afternoon.   Awesome.

Anyway I had forgotten that I had sent a pic to Snackle Mouth and was so excited to discover my little package from them for taking the pic, it showed up last Friday:

Mmmmmm.    This was some serious snacking.   I wanted to take a pic of the delicious clusters, but my offer to co-workers meant the Snackle Mouth was gone pretty quickly.   The top 2 faves were the Salty Chocolate and Almond Berry.    Great office snack.

I’m stoked to have found Snackle Mouth.   Sure they sent me some freebies but I’ve purchased several boxes (about $3.50 for a 5oz box) and can honestly say I’m a fan.  It’s just good.   When I’m trying hard at my vegan experiment, it’s great to know that there’s a yummy snack I can turn to.   And for my non-vegan bacon loving fans, check this out:

BACON SNACKLE MOUTH.   Wow.    Bacon Snackle Mouth pic via The Daily Bacon

Happy snacking!!

i’ve been distracted

So the lovely Krystal inspired me to update my little blog.  I love my corner of the web but I’ve just been distracted with work, family stuff, feeling chubby and scruffy.   So here’s what’s up.

I can explain the chubby part.  Snacks.  I really try hard to stay away from sweets but when I fail I fail hard.  I tried a bite of a Cadbury Cream Egg BAR that someone sent to the station.  Yes, a whole bar o’Cadbury Egg, that’s how they roll in the UK.   I’m pretty sure this bite sized piece had about 2,000 calories, and totally not vegan.   It was amazing.

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When the circus came through we checked it out from the nosebleed section at the TU.  Seriously if you ever want the best seat in the house, go upper level, it was awesome.

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I celebrated my birthday, so lucky!

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I discovered a crazy, yet functional moss purse.   The ultimate spring accessory. 20120518-232803.jpg

Of course I sparkled more stuff. Here’s some color blocked frames

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Made some delicious vegan meals.   Arugula, squash and mushrooms.   Awesome!

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Made a quick trip to the city.   Managed to find the beauty in cabs.

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Bought a rock bracelet, made me feel like Shera, Princess of Power.

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Discovered a delicious vegan snack.  Housed this

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Fit into an 8 year old t-shirt.  No really, that’s amazing that it still fits.  My metabolism was on warp speed 8 years ago.

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Enjoyed Mother’s Day with the cutest cake ever (I only had a taste.)

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Discovered some radio audio gems in my desk.  FLY92 from the early 90′s.  Listen here.

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Discovered my new favorite beer (and I hate beer) Shipyard Applehead (apple beer!!!_

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Frightened a Starbucks drive-thru peep with this crazy ass knot I got stuck in my hair while trying to rearrange my ponytail.   I know, I know, I shouldn’t be a lazy drive-thru user.

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Fell more in love with my orange mani.   Tangerine Tango may be my favorite color of the year yet!!

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Became more obsessed with this song.   Watch the video.  Love love love it.

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Rocked my 7th grade basketball jersey during dropoff.   I’m too sexy for real grown up clothes before 9:30am.

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Aand re-embarked on the summer spray tan.  The foot positions always remind me of a dance chart, now you’ll think of it to the next time you’re nekkid in a Mystic booth.

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