Eggplant Bake

The original plan for tonight’s dinner was eggplant parm, but I forgot the parm!  I did however pick up some delicious fresh mozzarella cheese so I went with it.  I started by doing the normal egg, breadcrumb and bake portion of eggplant parm.

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Eggplant Bake

  • 1 large eggplant sliced into rounds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs of choice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian spices
  • 1 cup favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 cups frozen greens
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 ball mozzarella, sliced

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  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Slice eggplant into rounds and dip in egg then mix of breadcrumbs, spices, and garlic powder before placing it on a baking sheet and baking for 30min
  3. 15min into cooking sauté the onion and garlic clove in EVOO until clear then add frozen greens and pasta sauce
  4. Pull the slices out of the oven and begin to layer – sauce – eggplant – sauce – mozzarella – eggplant – sauce

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5.  Put her back in the oven for 20min more, slice and serve!

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Super cheesy and delicious!  A fortunate accident of forgetting a key ingredient.

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Nick approved, and Sissy begged for a taste.IMG_1491

Not really, she was staring at the light fixture, but we have been missing Sissy pictures on the blog lately.


Dogfish Head

We do other things than eat dinner around here.  Now that Nick is back in MD, I am hoping we are able to get out and around the mid-Atlantic.

This weekend we made the adventure Rehoboth Beach, DE home of Nick’s favorite brewery, Dogfish Head.

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We started around 4pm and worked our way down the list of on tap beers that we had never tried or were favorites for the next 7 hours (Don’t worry we walked home).IMG_1479

Dogfish always has a certain number of beers exclusively at their brew pub so we knew we wanted to try those.  Today they were the Bricolage, Positive Contact, Black Lodge, Flux Capacitor, and Dirty Fermentini.IMG_1478

Our set of samples – least favorite was the bricolage, N’s favorite was the dirty fermentini and I was tied between the 120 and 75.  The 120 is really expensive but you really only need one with the abv% and the sweetness – it is so smooth though!IMG_1480

We chatted with other beer people (is there a word for this?) and had some dinner.  We thought about moving to DE and working for the brewery, a simpler life.  Nick would work with numbers and I would work on their food sourcing. Dogfish not only makes really good beer but they are also very sustainable/local food focused.  It is like this place was made for N and I.

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This is N’s ‘”Rottweiler” beer aka Paulo Santo Marron.  It is all on the color, but this beer gets sweeter as it gets warmer and why I only like it chilled.  I realized I am more of a dark and smoky beer person with the occasional 90 min IPA.  I loved the dark coffee flavors and smoke in the Black Lodge and Chicory Stout.

If you are ever in Rehoboth Beach, I suggest stopping by.  Don’t be in any hurry though because there is always a line and get there when they open in the summer.IMG_1485


Quinoa Pizza Casserole

In line with my meal planning I have been scanning Pinterest for some good recipes.  I came across this one for quinoa pizza bites and added it to the to make list!

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I adjusted the original recipe to go with what I had and not use too many of my precious farm fresh eggs.  This is what I came up with and it was pretty darn delicious!

Quinoa Pizza Casserole – serves 4-6

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp italian herbs or your own blend of oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary and marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried basil – fresh would be better but we had none on hand
  • 1/3 cup hummus  – I used a “pizza” hummus that a tried to make earlier in the week, basically just tastes like oregano so I think any hummus would work – I used it as a binder more than a flavoring
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated cheddar/mozzarella/whatever mild cheese ya got
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes – I used more tomatoes from NC
  • couple grinds of S&P
  1. Cook quinoa in 2 cups of water until all of the water is dissolved
  2. Coat 9×9 baking dish with olive oil and pre-heat oven to 350
  3. mix all ingredients while the quinoa is cooking
  4. mix in the quinoa and spot check to make sure everything is evenly mixed
  5. spread evenly in your dish and bake for 40-45min
  6. let cool for 5min and then scoop it out to enjoy!

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This was super simple because quinoa is such a fast cooking grain! AND it tasted like…wait for it…pizza!  Obviously not exactly but the flavors were there.

Along with the casserole I made some garlic knots with leftover empanada/pizza dough and cooked down some mixed dark greens with smoked paprika.

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Love garlic knots!

What have you found on Pinterest lately that has inspired you?  Do you pin?


Red Beans and Rice

No our dinner had nothing to do with the Mardis Gras festivities, but it did involve red bean and rice!

When my mom and I were in Costa Rica last year, we had the most amazing black beans all of the time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  They were cooked in a slow cooker and I loved combining them with a tortilla and eggs in the morning.  I could not get over their creaminess and I attempted to recreate that tonight for dinner.IMG_1467

I cooked the beans based off a bunch of recipes in the slow cooker for 8 hours (6 hours low, 2 hours high) along with 1/2 an onion, jalapeño, salt, and 2 cloves of garlic.IMG_1469

I added some fresh cilantro, salsa, and a lime slice to the beans after spooning them on top of rice cooker brown rice that I doctored up with more cilantro and lime.  We love cilantro around these parts, and I used to hate it!

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Along with our beans and rice I made up some fresh Maryland greens with MD beet chips.  I had no idea you could cook beets so fast!  475 18min thin slices aka “chips”, olive oil, s&p.  They were crispy and delicious.  I will no longer wait an hour for my beets to roast and then burn my fingers trying to peel them!  I got the idea from my Fast, Fresh, and Green cookbook, that we got for our wedding.

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I hope everyone enjoyed their President’s Day and hopefully you had the day off as well!!!


Bison Empanadas!

Ole!  The shape of tonight’s dinner is basically the only thing that resembles your regular deep fried empanada.

I saw a chicken, fig, spinach, and goat cheese hand pie on the interwebs and I wanted to make my own!

These are what I came up with!

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Bison, Spinach and Goat Cheese Empanadas – makes 5-6

  • 1/2 batch of Jenna’s whole wheat pizza dough (seriously the easies and most delicious pizza dough – can make ahead of time and freeze)
  • 1/2 onion chopped fine
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 4 cups raw spinach chopped fine
  • 2 hot italian bison sausages, casing removed
  • 10 tsp goat cheese
  • tomato sauce of choice for topping (optional)

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  1. roll out pizza dough as thin as you can get it – I like thin crusts, but you could always keep thing thick and fluffy with a lower yield (you can also use store bought dough)
  2. use a cereal bowl to cut out 5-6 circles for filling – you may need to ball up and re-roll your dough
  3. pre-heat oven to 425
  4. sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent
  5. add sausage and cook through – could also use chicken, turkey, steak, beans, whatever!
  6. add  the spinach until all wilted and mixed inIMG_1463
  7. spoon about 2 tsp +/- goat cheese onto dough then spinach and sausage mix
  8. fold dough over and make sure not to tear, pinching the edges
  9. place on cooking sheet or parchment paper – cook 7min, flip, cook 8min more or until golden brown
  10. Take out, top with tomato sauce, and enjoy! Make sure you don’t burn your tongue!

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It might seem like a lot of steps but it is basically, roll out dough, cook innards, stuff dough, close up, bake, eat!

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The best part about this meal, everything besides the dough was grown in MD, NC, or PA!  Sausage from Gunpowder Bison in Monkton, MD, spinach from Spiral Path Farm in PA, goat cheese from Firefly in MD, canned tomatoes from N’s aunt’s garden in NC. I am loving the winter Farmer’s Market Silver Spring!


Meatless Monday

Now that Nick and I have finally settled into our life in Silver Spring, I can recommit myself to the blog.  Truth is for the past 1.5 years of feeding just me and Sissy Cat, my creativity has basically gone to one pot wonders, eggs, and bread as my “whole grain" of choice.  With someone else to feed I actually need to meal plan again and get creative!

Last night I made an awesome enchiladas pie with winter veggies instead of the usual corn and tomatoes (think acorn squash and kale), layered with fresh pinto beans and drenched in a real ingredient sauce from Whole Foods.  Wish I had taken some pictures…

Tonight I found my camera, and the meal was delicious, but just not as amazing as the enchiladas.  Still post worthy.IMG_1458

Spicy Lime Pasta with Kale and Cauliflower

  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat pasta
  • 3 cups shredded kale
  • 1 head baked cauliflower (30min at 350)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 TBSP “Arizona Dreaming” penzey spices – a blend of chili’s and peppers from the southwest
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 TSP whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 1 TSP salt

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  1. Cook pasta and cauliflower
  2. Keep the oven pre-heated once the cauliflower is done
  3. Sauté onion in olive oil and add garlic once onions are translucent
  4. Add remaining ingredients (minus pasta, cauliflower, and kale) to pan and mix
  5. Now that you have your sauce add the kale, cauliflower, and pasta and stir it all up (you may need to add a little more broth, flour, or paste depending on how well your goods are coated)
  6. Throw it all in a baking dish and coat with a thin layer of grated cheddar
  7. Bake at 350 for 20min so the pasta gets crispy on top
  8. Serve and squirt with lime!

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Not your average tomato sauce!