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.

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!


.
print_recipe
.
.

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

Ratatouille ~ With Pizzaz

I am so in love with the beautiful flavour of the fresh tomatoes that linger on in the season that I had to make some to enjoy them.  So I decided to make ratatouille.   In the beginning of the process the eggplant got charred to carbon in  literally minutes in my Vulcan convection air oven.  So not to give up I moved to a frying pan and made the ratatouille anyway substituting poblano peppers for the eggplant.  My Italian friend said it was the best ratatouille she had ever had!  Gone was the bitterness that was imparted by the eggplant and the heat of the poblano was not really noticeable.  It added just a background of mild heat and umami if you will.  We used this as an accompaniment for our meal and as a filling for our omelets the next morning.  Yummy!  Here is the recipe. Yet another healthy sugar free, gluten free one.
print_recipe
.
.
INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion
4 cloves garlic
2 zucchini
1 tablespoon lemon thyme
1 yellow bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
2 tomatoes (skin removed)
IMG_1270

INSTRUCTIONS

1)  Dice and saute onion in oil a few minutes until translucent
2)  Dice and add garlic and saute for a few minutes longer
3)  Dice zucchini and add to pan  along with the lemon thyme
4) Next add diced yellow and poblano peppers and saute a few minutes longer
5)  Dice the tomatoes and add to the pan.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook a few minutes longer.
IMG_1273

The resulting ratatouille will taste more like vegetables and is not dripping in tomato sauce.  It lacks the bitterness that eggplant imparts.  It is so fresh, tasty and versatile.  Serve it with your meal, in your lasagna,  and in your omelets.  Adding this with cheese to your morning omelet will also enhance the flavours and it is great for single servings and it has multipurpose uses.  This is for the “who’s- got-time?” – to cook – crowd  but we want to eat tasty and healthy food!

IMG_1298 IMG_1299
IMG_1304 IMG_1307

Oven-dried Tomatoes

These are so easy to make and freeze to enjoy throughout the year.  Great on salads, sandwiched, pasta. pizza.  The flavour is concentrated.
INGREDIENTS
6 to 8 tomatoes, slices about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh basil, whatever you have
1 tablespoon  olive oil
DIRECTIONS
1.  Preheat oven to 250 F or 120 C
2.  Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet  on a piece of parchment or silpat sheet.

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

3 Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt pepper and fresh herbs.
4.  Bake for one to two hours checking every half hour until pieces have shrunk slightly, edges are shriveled and juices no longer run.  They are not completely dried but are still juicy.

tomatoes that have been backed and out of the oven

Sun (oven) Dried Tomatoes

5.  Cool slightly and put into glass jars covered by olive oil.  Leave about 1/2 inch of head room and freeze if you will not use them up in the next week or two.  Yummy!

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

The EGG Factor -Mayonnaise

Who wrote the book, Great Eggspectations? Charles Chickens!

Summertime craves mayonnaise in cold potato salad, creamy coleslaw and more.  They all start from the simple egg.  The most healthy and versatile food. Homemade mayonnaise is easy to make and better than store bought ( no preservatives ). The flavour is just outstanding!  Mayonnaise is  a “mother”  or  base for Rémoulade, Tartar sauce, Green Goddess Salad Dressing,  Aioli and others.  Historically, it was a tradition in France that  the man of the house made mayonnaise by hand with a whisk, every Sunday.
When I first made this at my neighbour’s place for a dish that she was serving to her guests I showed her how to make it as I was doing it. She thanked me but commented that she really wasn’t interested.  She doesn’t use mayonnaise and she would never make it. That was a year ago.  She now makes it regularly and uses it as a sauce base for  salmon and other dishes. Still raves and shares her recipe with others….spreading the news!

The beauty of home made mayonnaise is not only about the incredible flavour, it is also because of the lack of preservatives and the health benefits.

Natural mayonnaise ingredients and the sauce itself.

print_recipe

..

MY MAYONNAISE Recipe
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 to 1 1/2cups of avocado oil (or light olive oil)
1 egg
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

avocado_oil

DIRECTIONS
1.  Start with all your ingredients at room temperature.  ( eggs need about 30 minutes to come to room temperature ).
2.  Combine the egg with mustard and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or  blender/
3. Slowly add the oil in a very thin stream –with the processor running.  Keep beating or whisking at a high rate.
TIP: Processor: Pour  oil into the pusher tube, streaming  through the small hole until completely combined.  If your pusher tube does not have a hole, just drill a very small hole in the tube.

Homemade mayonnaise is so easy and so, so good. Daniel Neman shows how to make it in Prep School.

 

This automatically produces a thin stream of oil to pour out.  You don’t have to stand there dripping the oil by hand.
4.  Add the rest of the ingredients near the end and blend together.
.

FIXING RUINED MAYO:  Your mayo may separate during or after it had been refrigerated. Refrigerated separation is a quick fix.  Add a tsp of water and whisk it back into a creamy texture.  If your mayo separates during the making process then add a tablespoon of warm water to a warmed bowl and pour the broken mayo slowing into the bowl as you whisk or use a blender.  James Peterson recommends adding another egg yolk.

Broken Mayo: Looks Like Pancake Batter

Julia Child suggests a teaspoon of prepared mustard. Why did the mayo separate? This may occur when you add in the oil too quickly or the initial ingredients were too cold. It is not because you added too much oil.  Heston Blumenthal  tested this theory.  However, it only works well with a cement mixer.  Heston’s mayo recipe is half way through this video—> Heston’s eggs and mayonnaise recipe.  If your mayo is too thick add a splash of water or  lemon juice  and whisk it into a fluffy texture.

Total time under 5 minutes, makes 1 1/2 cups.
Refrigerate for 4-7 days. It won’t last that long!

HAT2FOOD TIP: Blanch your egg in the shell in hot water for 10 seconds. Then, quickly place the egg in icy cold water bath.  Blanching destroys some surface bacteria (in theory).  If you add blanched basil leaves, (add with the egg), when making your mayo – they stay green in the mix. Otherwise the basil will quickly turn black.

Mayonnaise:  Green Basal, Garlic And hot mustard powder & white pepper

IMMERSION BLENDER: If you use an immersion blender, start by keeping the blade at the very bottom of the exact fitting container – Use a mason jar or a glass measuring cup. Start with slow pulses. For best results, make sure you start by dripping in the oil very slowly. The first 30 seconds is critical. If you use this method with a mason jar, all you need to do is add the lid and pop your mayo in the fridge.

WHISK METHOD: The challenger’s mayo – the best workout for your upper arms. Substitute 2 egg yolks for one egg if using the manual method.  Also use only one cup of oil.

Eggs are a Nutrient Powerhouse
Intolerances aside, eggs are a great food.
Yes, the fat is all in the yolk; and all the nutrients.
One egg provides:
• 245 IUs of vitamin A
• 37 IUs of vitamin D
• 19 mg potassium
• 25 mcg folate
• 22 mg calcium

The Perfect Egg

didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW:   The Choline in eggs helps make phosphatidylcholine to benefit your liver, nervous system, and brain.  According to Dr. Jonny Bowden in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

Solution: Buy The Best Eggs, Cook Them Right and Eat Infrequently