Eggplant -Roasted With Pomegranate

I was excited to snip some lemon thyme for my favorite grilled eggplant. File this under EASY RECIPE . Make it once and you will be hooked for life!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (adjust as needed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (fresh) lemon thyme plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • Maldon Sea Salt & pepper
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tsp. za’ater

Sauce

  • 9 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • a pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise
  • Place diagonal incisions (diamond shape) on the cut side of the eggplant ( do not pierce the skin)
  • Brush eggplants with oil until absorbed by the flesh – I added more oil.
  • sprinkle with fresh lemon thyme, salt and pepper
  • Roast for 35-40 minutes until nicely browned
  • While the eggplant is roasting, remove pomegranate seeds and prepare the buttermilk sauce
  • Refrigerate sauce until eggplant has completely roasted
  • Top eggplant with sauce, sprinkle pomegranate seeds and za-atar on top with a drizzle of oil
  • Garnish with lemon thyme

Spice Of Life

We need to roast more veggies! A high-heat cooking method that brings out the best flavors in vegetables. Also, bland vegetables like eggplant and zucchini are vessels for spices to make something delicious.

Maldon Sea Salt

Maldon Salt is an English sea-salt. It comes in large, thin, uneven, crunchy salt flakes that have a very clean, pure salt taste. I buy it at my local grocery store.
If they don’t have it, get your grocer to order it. Just ask!
The Za’atar shrub is common to the middle east and Turkey. ( It looks like oregano. ) You can grow your own plant if you can get the seeds or starter plant.

Home Made Za’atar … Jamie Oliver’s Food TV

Za’atar is one of the few spices you can eat with a spoon. Full of Nutrition.

You can buy Maldon salt flakes and za’atar online. Jamie Oliver provides the recipe for make your own za’atar blend . A healthy concoction that tastes amazing! The secret ingredient for this middle eastern recipe. It’s delicious! The day I made this recipe, I didn’t have buttermilk or milk. I did have Greek yogurt and another tangy plain yogurt I use in recipes. Today, it’s a substitute for buttermilk. You can make your own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of regular milk. The za’atar and lemon thyme makes such a difference. I can not say enough about how really fantastic it tastes. It’s one of those recipes you will make again and again.

Canal House Lentils #Plant Based Salad

It was hard to find the origin of Canal House lentils. I was told New Orleans. But, I found no evidence to support this claim. If you know, please share in the comments. More importantly, this recipe hails Le Puy lentils, a unique member of the lentil family.


Le Puy Lentils

FRENCH Le Puy LENTILS are about one-third the size of regular lentils and have a slight peppery taste. They are grown in mineral rich volcanic ash in a French town called Le Puy (PWEE)-en-Velay in the Haute Loire region of Auvergne, France. Aromatics are sautéed and then simmered with French Le Puy lentils for 20 to 25 minutes. It is an easy side dish, redolent of a Provencal feast. Authentic Le Puy lentils have an A.O.C. (appellation d’origine contrôlée) seal of approval. In fact in 1996, Le Puy green lentil was the first vegetable to obtain an A.O.C. designation.

French Green Lentil – Verte du Puy

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium leek white and pale green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup of green lentils ( preferably French Le Puy Lentils)
  • 2 tbsp. reduced salt soy sauce
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Take a saucepan and heat oil on a medium heat.
  2. Add the leek and cook for a minute/ then add chopped garlic and tomato paste, stir and watch as paste darkens in about 4 minutes.
  3. Add lentils and ½ cup water. Boil it on high and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes, with occasional stirring.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside covered for 10 minutes.
  5. Then, stir in soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Optional: Serve with diced scallions, red pepper and/or cilantro, parsley and finely chopped kale.

Serving Suggestions

Warm Salad Today ……Cold Salad Tomorrow. You Can Serve It Either Way

Quality & Assurance of Origin -AOC

Certification

Le Puy lentils: The first vegetable to acquire the AOC ( Appellation d’Origine Côntrolée ) certification in France. It assures the buyer that this item originated in the geographical region of Le Puy in France. AOC supports the authenticity of wines, cheese or in this case Le Puy lentils.

  • 💜 Tiny slate-gray/green lentils grown in France
  • 💜 They make a delicious side dish
  • 💜 The hold their shape after cooking
  • 💜 BUY French Le Puy Lentils. online
  • A.O.C. mark of quality and assurance of origin

LENTILS in general are loaded with protein, iron and zinc, not to mention fibre, folate, and potassium. They’re also rich in prebiotics that are brilliant at feeding your friendly flora. A must have every day of the week!


Butternut Squash: Roasted with Spicy Chick Peas

A HEALTHY DISH ! The complimentary spices and roasted veggies burst with flavour!

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 5 garlic cloves (1 finely grated, 4 chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder/paste or vadouvan
  • 2 radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves8
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (optional)
Roasted WHOLE Butternut Squash

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast squash directly on oven rack until a paring knife poked through skin easily slides through flesh, 50–65 minutes. Let squash cool until you can handle. Trim ends, halve lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Tear or cut squash into large pieces; discard skin (it will come off easily as you tear).
  2. Meanwhile, mix yogurt, grated garlic, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook chickpeas, shaking skillet often, until starting to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and chopped garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in vadouvan (curry powder) and cook, stirring, until chickpeas and onion are coated and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe out skillet.
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high. Cook squash pieces, cut side down, undisturbed, until browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Turn pieces over, remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon chickpea mixture over squash, then dollop reserved lemon-garlic yogurt around.
  5. Optional: Toss radishes, herbs, and pomegranate seeds, with remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle with a splash of oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter over squash and chickpeas. Finish with a grind or two of pepper.
Roasted Spiced Chick Peas
(Optional) Pomegranate and Pistachio Nuts …you will be glad you added the pomegranate!
LEMON GARLIC YOGURT TOPPING: Can Be Served On The Side ( No Pomegranate here).

VARIATIONS

Add greens, kale ships, collard greens, swiss chard, etc. Cranberries are a good ubstitute for pomegranate. Add leftover quinoa or feta cheese cubes. Serve as a veggie tacos. ‘Squash’ Burgers (see below). Lightly mash squash to biuld your burger. If you have more people at the table, add spinach to the mix to extend your dish

VEGGIE BURGER: Curry / Squash/ Chick Peas/ Pomegranate/ Cilantro/ Parsley

GOOD EATS:

FOODIES ARE # 1!!!

Rutabaga Mash

Rutabaga Mash: Holiday Trending

Buttered Rutabagas were a staple on our Thanksgiving / Christmas table when I was growing up and I’m revisiting them today ~ these delicious pale orange rutabaga are misunderstood and probably the most overlooked veggie.

User comments

TIRED OF MASHED POTATOES?

Some people have never had rutabaga in their entire life.  It is a standard holiday dish in Finland known as lanttulaatikko . Last year at a Scandinavian dinner, my friend had mashed rutabaga for the first time. She loved it! So healthy and easy to make.

Some people mix RUTABAGA with turnips. Turnips are generally smaller and not as sweet as rutabaga. You may also find ‘all white’ turnips at your supermarket. Rutabagas have a pale orange bottom half compared to the white bottom half of a turnip.

Root Vegetables

SIDE DISH: I start cooking my rutabaga first, before preparing my main meal. This veggie is cooked on top of the stove 25-35 minutes before it is popped into the oven. OVEN TIME: 1 hour.  If I have a big bird in the oven, I will center the bird in the oven and leave the rack below it for the rutabaga casserole which can be added in the last hour of cooking the bird.

INGREDIENTS
6 cups of rutabaga (in Finnish, lanttu), peeled, washed and diced in large chunks
1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
3 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS:
(Preheat the oven to 350F)
1. PEEL, CUBE AND BOIL RUTABAGA in salted boiling water- until tender-drain and mash.
2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the cream and add nutmeg and beaten eggs. combine with the mashed rutabagas. Add mixture to a buttered 2 1/2 quart baking dish ( or individual dishes ). Bake for about 60 minutes or until golden brown.

TOPPINGS: Top with bread crumbs and butter nobs ( optional ) before the casserole goes into the oven. Before serving: Decorate with chives or chopped parsley.

Secret Ingredient: I always add garlic ~ not in the original recipe.

The traditional recipe from Finland adds heavy cream and dark syrup before the baking process. Add nutmeg ‘to taste’. It’s the most important ingredient.

Food Tip for rutabaga mashed casserole.

FOOD TIP

To speed up the cooking time before mashing the rutabaga, use a microwave ( covered on high, add 1 cup of water 15-20 min. ) or pressure cooker ( 9 minutes) . Use several small baking dishes for freezer appeal. Add apple or carrots for sweetness. You can optionally add a crushed garlic and/or 2 cardamom pods in the boiling water. FOR ADDED ZIP, add spices: ginger, cinnamon or turmeric to taste.

Why are rutabagas (neeps, swedes) half purple? —They are a mix of wild cabbage and turnips. A portion of the plant grows above ground and changes colour from the sun.
(P.S. You can eat the green tops too – tastes a bit like spinach).

News Flash Rutabaga Low in Calories

RUTABAGA has less than half the calories of white potatoes & sweet potatoes!

(1/3 the carbs.)

Ketogenic-friendly!

Here’s the picture from Michael (see comment below) of his rutabaga mash using ramekins. I would enjoy seeing pictures you have from your rutabaga dish and will add them to the post. Please email them to me: info@simplysplendidfood.com

Mashed Rutabaga, Hot From The Oven

ROAST VEGETABLES ~ TRENDING!

‘The BEST’ OVEN-Roasted VEGETABLES!

CHANGE THE WAY YOU ROAST VEGETABLES: For goodness sake! After making over 1,000 meals with roast veggies, I started experimenting and made some modifications. I knew I had a winner when I got huge compliments for  my ‘new’ roasted vegetables. It is still my all time favorite veggie recipe!  One reason is that it’s so easy to make! At a dinner party, one of my friends proclaimed  “These veggies are so good. I cant believe how good they taste!”  The potatoes are crispy,  yet soft and  fluffy on the inside.  The red peppers were especially a big hit.  I have been asked to share this recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it!


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INGREDIENTS

1 medium potato* (any kind),  cut into 1  inch cubes
1 yam* peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 carrot and/or parsnip peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices
6 brussels  sprouts
1/2 head garlic, cloves separated and skins removed
2 large shallots, peeled and quartered ( sweet or red onions  )
2  red and/or yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1  inch strips
1/2 cup Calamata olives, pitted
2-4 tablespoons olive oil ( more oil, the better )
2 sprigs of FRESH Rosemary or Thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black
* If you decide to leave the  skin on large tubers before roasting,  wash and scrub well. Soak in cleaning vinegar for at least 15 minutes before chopping.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees(232 C ) and prepare vegetables.
  2. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, yams, carrots and brussels sprouts with  olive oil and salt.  Add to roasting pan and roast in the oven for 20 minutes

    Cubed Potatoes, Yams, Parsnips & Carrots

  3. Add garlic and shallots to  the pan  and toss with the other vegetables. Roast for 20 more minutes

    Garlic And Shallots

  4. Add chopped bell pepper and olives to the pan and sprinkle with black pepper.  Add 2 rosemary sprigs on top of the vegetables. Return to oven
  5. Cook for 20 minutes longer until vegetables are nicely browned but not charred. Because the peppers are only cooked in the last  20 minutes, they are still juicy, tender and tasty.  As all oven temperatures vary, please check the vegetables as they roast.

Fresh Rosemary

TIP:  Make sure you use FRESH ROSEMARY (or thyme – if you don’t have rosemary on hand ). Rosemary needs to be fresh, or not at all. When chopping vegetables err on the larger, chunky  side.  You can always  substitute/add your favourite veggies.  Keep in mind  THE 20 – 20- 20  MINUTE ‘Roasting’  Rule: The firmer vegetables go in first. Then, add the onions and garlic with the most tender vegetables in the final 20 minutes: mushrooms, green tomatoes,  peppers.

VARIATIONS
1.  I add baby turnips  if they look especially fresh and small at the market that day.  As you know, this recipe bakes in 3 BATCHES. The hard root vegetables are roasted first.

Turnips

2. The softer onions and garlic are next in the next 20 minute intervals.

3.  In the third and final stage,  the lighter,  succulent vegetables are added. Friends ask me how my roasted peppers stay so juicy and tasty?   They are only roasted for the last 20 minutes.  The peppers add such a great flavour  and sweetness to the mix.   Try the black olives. If you are not a fan, just  leave them as the flavour is very complementary to the mix. Please  try them before you pass judgement.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

The great aroma for these roasted vegetables comes from  the garlic and shallots along with the rosemary of course. HINT: Use up what you’ve got. Look in the fridge and pantry and roast it!


THE POWER OF ROOT VEGETABLES
The starchy root veggies will satisfy your sweet tooth. You not only feel fuller afterwards, weight loss benefits prevail.
From their high-fiber content to their many nutrients, root vegetables boast  a long history of medicinal and dietary uses.  These vegetables can be served cold as well.  They sell these cold  at those expensive gourmet shops.  Cooked and then cooled potatoes (as well as quinoa, barley and rice). All have resistant starch.  Resistant starch burns more slowly and helps you lose weight. They appear to help you burn fat up to  24 hours later. Why?  No one knows. But what is known is that once resistant starch gets to the colon, your body ferments it and produces an anticancer agent called butyrate – yet another health benefit.

Roast Winter Vegetables on the BBQ