OK, first off, I don't have a grill. But you can get near it by cooking the veggies in a skillet over medium-hot flame. Secondly, I repeated this recipe a few days later as marinated vegetables. We didn't like it as well. Thirdly, I encourage you to really review my cost analysis. I knew it was a good week at the stores, but $3.00 to feed 5 people dinner is incredible! It proves you don't have to break the bank to eat healthy. It also highlights how much you can save by bringing your own lunch to work.
Recipe for Mediterranean Vegetable Pitas
5 Pita pockets, cut in half
3/4 cup Eggplant, diced
1/4 cup Onion, sliced thinly
5 Sweet peppers, sliced thinly
2 small Zuchini, sliced
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Herb of choice (sage, rosemary, or Italian blend, for example)
1 Small tomato, cut into wedges
5 (heaping) Tablespoons Hummus
Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions, stirring until slightly softened. Add eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. When vegetables are starting to brown, season with herbs. Toast pita pockets if desired. Spread with hummus. Fill with vegetables. Garnish with tomatoes. (Although there's nothing that says you can't cook the tomatoes, too. As they cook down, they'll make a yummy sauce for the veggies.) Another idea, my father asked for his sandwich to be served with balsamic vinegar.
This was some Italian Ice we enjoyed a couple weeks back when friends were visiting. It was such a great little treat for a summer evening. . .a hot summer evening. All that being said, the big mistake I made last week was not focusing on summer-associated recipes for our dinners. This week will be different thanks to great deals at the grocery store and the realization that our summer is almost over. Let's all take advantage as long as it lasts!
Last week we dined on our first zucchini and hope to have another one this week. It isn't a large haul, but it's enough for the two of us to enjoy. (We did eat the first one in pasta mixed with other veggies to serve to my parents as well.)
I'm sorry to say, this week is a little crazy. I don't have any brilliant ideas for food, but Paul and his sister went to the Maitland Farmer's Market yesterday to acquire a beautiful eggplant and some giant tomatoes. We'll be having excellent sandwiches and perhaps baked eggplant parm in the next couple of days.
I'm so embarrassed. I can't for the life of me figure out how I missed posting this amazing recipe when I loved it so much and had it two or three times in a two-week period. Mollie Katzen's Eat, Drink and Weigh Less is all about making your meals as healthy as possible, which means skipping the fried Eggplant Parmesan. Although it messed up my jelly roll pan a bit (But do you really want your kitchenware to look unused?), this recipe went far in keeping the flavor and minimizing the fat.
Recipe for Simple Tomato Sauce
Blend one can diced tomatoes (mostly drained), two cloves garlic, and dehydrated basil in mini food processor until garlic is chopped. Add salt and/or fresh black pepper to taste. Heat in heavy sauce pan over medium low heat if necessary.
1 large can whole tomatoes, drained (I prefer Muir Glen for best flavor
2 cloves garlic
1 large handful dried basil, crushed
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. I have a small food processor and made two rounds. Chop to desired consistency. Some people prefer chunkier tomatoes. Dump sauce into a sauce pan and heat on low-medium. Stir to keep it from boiling over.
Note: Because the tomatoes were already salted, I left salt out of the recipe. You may want to add some salt if you have no-salt tomatoes. Or, you may want to try the sauce without any salt. You just might be surprised that you don't miss it.
Another Note: If you're of the non-wasteful type, do what I did and freeze the tomato juice. You'd be surprised what recipes call for it, and you'll already have it on hand! For example, when cooking beans from scratch, replace some of the water with some tomato juice. It increases the flavor. Or add it to broth in a soup.
The weather has been mostly lovely in Orlando. And that's been quite appreciated as we have needed to get out and get fresh air. Sometimes, we get out and exercise. Other times, we bundle up a tad and sit by the pool and nap. However, yesterday I was too excited about my latest foodie mag, and Paul and Nora slept while I read it cover-to-cover.
We dined at Infusion Tea tonight even though it wasn't as early as I had planned. Even at 5 and 6 o'clock, there was a nice stream of diners at the restaurant, which is always encouraging. Generally a full restaurant suggests a good restaurant.
My day pretty much started by listening to Nigella Lawson's interview by Steve Inskeep. I was most amused by the interview, especially just before 7 on a Tuesday morning. Incidentally, if you've got the 7 minutes, the radio recording is much more entertaining than the written article.
Metro is very special to us. It is the restaurant where we ate just after Paul proposed. One thing I love about Metro is that it is in a building with its back to Lake Eola. You can't see the lake while dining, only the street, which can be entertaining enough. But, I love to park half way around the lake and walk to Metro to take in the beautiful sights of the fountain, swans, and owners walking their dogs.
This has got to be one of our favorite restaurants in Orlando. The format is "family-style." Dishes are served from the middle of the table. It's a good thing we visit with other vegetarians. The restaurant is very good about special-request orders, including vegan and gluten-free.
This was the first time we took Paul's parents, sister and brother-in-law to Ethos. I decided to try the pesto pasta with vegetables and pumpkin seeds. Paul chose the Pecan Encrusted Eggplant served with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy and asparagus. The eggplant was drizzled with a berry sauce. Both meals were served hot and appealing to the eyes.
Wagamama's moto is "positive eating + positive living". "Positive" explains our opinion about the restaurant. Paul was able to eat at Wagamama with some coworkers while he finished out his week of meetings. He brought back the following report:
Sorry, we were too excited and hungry to take a picture of this one.
I chose the easiest recipe I could find for Tempura on foodnetwork.tv. I battered frozen green beans, fresh julienned carrots, fresh eggplant, and frozen broccoli. Obviously, I defrosted the frozen veggies slightly. I used the sauce from Moosewood Restaurant's Pad Thai recipe and served it with brown rice.