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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Stuffed Graffiti Eggplant with Spinach and Eggplant salad. 

This is a wonderful “Meatless” Monday dish or for any other day you decide to go meatless. Light and flavorful and just totally super healthy. 

3 graffiti eggplants cut in half lengthwise.

1/2 lb fresh baby spinach

3 cloves garlic grated

1 medium shallot diced 

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

3/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

Salt and pepper

Freshly grated parmigiano

Olive oil

Lemon juice freshly squeezed 

Preheat oven at 400

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Hollow out middle of eggplant. Dice eggplant small. In a large skillet on med high heat, heat 2 drizzles olive oil and grated garlic and shallot. Add diced eggplant, salt and pepper and sautée till softened about 6 to 8 mins. Next add in baby spinach and smoked paprika. Sautée spinach another 2 mins till slightly whilted. Add in roasted sunflower seeds and check for seasoning. Stir and fill each hollowed out eggplant with about 1/4 cups of mixture in each. Sprinkle on some grated parmigiano and about 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed  lemon juice on each. Bake at 400 for about 35 to 40 mins till outer part is soft and top is browned. Remove and serve and add a little bit of freshly grated parm to tops. 

Cooking time: 50 mins to and hr

Serves 5 peeps. 



PB and Jelly Fried Dough with Chopped Cashews and Powdered sugar. 

I love breakfast. I love breakfast so much that I tend to go off the beaten track and do things that I think might be some really great twists on some classics. My nan always made great fried dough. When I was younger, she always used to do it up some some eggs and Bacon on the side. I think that’s why when I think of “fried” dough, I always think of breakfast.. 

1 bag pizza dough

1 cup Chunky Peanut butter

1 cup jam or jelly

1 cup chopped or crushed cashews

Vegetable oil

Powder sugar for dusting

In a deep fryer, preheat oil to 350. ( if you don’t have a home deep fryer, use preheat a large pot and add vegetable oil half way up the pan. Use a thermometer to make sure oil is exactly at 350) Roll about 12 golf  ball size pieces of dough. Stretch each piece with your hands till flat like your stretching a pizza. Drop 3 at a time and cook for 3 mins. Remove and drain on paper towel. In the microwave, melt peanut butter in a bowl on high for 1 min and stir. Do the same thing for the Jelly. Drizzle both on each piece of dough. Sprinkle on chopped cashews and powdered sugar and serve. 

Cooking time: 12 mins for entire batch

Serves 2 peeps ( 2 each) 


Roasted Endive with Crushed Red peppers and Bacon.

So after getting home from work and spending over an hour and a half in traffic, I really, well, wanted something super quick and easy to make. Plus suffering from a recurrent cold this past week I needed something with a little bit of heat to kind of clear my clogged sinuses. This I tell ya REALLY did the job of clearing the old nasty sinuses and satisfying my hunger. 

6 bulbs Endive cut in half lengthwise

6 teaspoons jarred crushed red peppers.

3 slices of cooked bacon chopped into bits

1/4 cup grated asiago

2 teaspoons dry oregano

Olive oil for drizzling

Salt and pepper 

Preheat oven at 375

Cut each bulb of endive in half. Drizzle each half with olive oil, salt and pepper, grated asiago and a tiny bit of the dry oregano. Roast just till tops of Endive are a tad brown ( about 8 to 10 mins). Remove and layer on a teaspoon of crushed red peppers and cooked bacon on each half and enjoy. 

Cooking time: 8-10 mins

Serves 6 peeps


Eggplant Caponata with Sausage and Pappardelle. 

What can I say!! This is just one of those super hearty Italian dishes that will not only leave your tummy completley full but, oh SO satisfied. If you enjoy a pasta dish that not only looks beautiful but, tastes absolutely AMAZING than this is the DISH for YOU!!

1 lb Pappardelle
1 lb ground pork
1 medium onion chopped
3 garlic cloves grated
1/2 cup Spicy Eggplant Caponata ( see recipe below)
3 tablespoons Anchovy paste
1 tablespoon Fennel seed
1 tablespoon Thyme
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Sharp Provolone
salt pepper

Boil pasta as directed making sure to salt water before dropping pasta.

Note: before draining pasta, save about 1 cup of your pasta water to combine you sauce and pasta together

While pasta is boiling, in a large skillet on med high heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add chopped onion. Cook onion till softened. Add pork, fennel seed,smoked paprika,thyme, salt and pepper and cook till pork is nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
In another large skillet, heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil on med high heat. add garlic and anchovy paste. Once paste and garlic are combined and bubbling stir in Caponata and combine. Next add your drained pasta and cooked pork and about 1/2 to 1 cups of your pasta water to your skillet and combine, taste for seasoning. Remove from heat and add to a serving platter. Sprinkle on some Freshly grated Sharp provolone and chopped parsley and serve.

Cooking time: approx 20 mins

Serves 6 peeps


Spicy Eggplant Caponata 

Easy recipe with just a little kick of some heat. Takes a traditional Sicilian Caponata and kicks it up a notch. 

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 whole eggplant peeled and cubed

1 med onion diced

3 cloves garlic sliced of grated 

1 1/2 cup green olives 

3 celery stalks chopped small

4 fresh tomatoes chopped small

2 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 

3 tablespoons fresh basil chopped

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1 to 2 teas red pepper flakes 

Salt and pepper

Toast pine nuts in a 350 degree oven for about 6 mins or just till you can actually smell them. Remove set aside

Add olive oil to a large pan on med high heat. Add diced eggplant and cook till eggplant is soft and a little brown. Remove eggplant from pan and set off to the side. Next in the same pan, drizzle about 1 tablespoon more olive oil and add garlic, onion and tomatoes and cerlery. Cook for about 7 mins or till veggies have soften. Add chopped green olives, capers . Stir and cook about another 3 mins. Add eggplant back to pan and combine. Add a dash of salt and pepper, vinegar and red pepper flakes and combine and taste for seasoning. Last step, add your fresh basil and pine nuts and remove from heat. Let cool completely and store in a food storage bag or container in the fridge for up to a week or frozen up to 1 month. 

Note: mix into salads, pastas, pizza or even good just on a nice charred crusty loaf of bread. 

Cooking time: approx 30 mins 

Banana strawberry breakfast muffins with a sweet lemon glaze




So as I have stated quite often “I CANNOT BAKE”!! So what do I do?? I buy the box stuff and try and get as creative as I possibly can. This was a simple recipe using a standard box strawberry cake mix, adding in some ripened bananas and fresh chopped strawberries. Super simple. Not to mention the 2 ingredient lemon glaze which is just 1 cup confectionary sugar and the juice of 1 lemon plus zest. Really great and takes no time to make.

1 box strawberry cake mix
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 ripened bananas
1 cup confection sugar
1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Halved strawberries for garnish

Make cake mix as directed. Add in bananas and mix into batter smashing the bananas with a fork into batter. Add in chopped strawberries and mix. Try not to over mix batter. Line a 12 capacity cupcake pan with liners. Pour batter into each liner half way up ( using an ice cream scooper usually works better with less mess). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 mins.
While cupcakes are baking, in a bowl add confection sugar and squeeze one whole lemon and lemon zest into sugar and stir till thick. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Once muffins are done, remove from oven. Let muffins cool for about 5 mins and drizzle with glaze. Top with some strawberry halves and enjoy.

Cooking time: 10 mins

Serves 12 peeps


Mini “Polenta” Parmigiana topped with spicy marinara and mozzarella



This recipes is just so super easy and takes just little time to prepare. Gluten free, lowfat, vegetarian and the kiddos will just devour it!!

1 pre-packages polenta
1 cup marinara
2 cloves garlic grated
1 teas red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
3 drizzles Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cut packaged polenta into 10 slices about an 1/2 inch thickness, sautée in a preheated skillet on med heat with olive oil and grated garlic for 3 mins on each side till tops and bottoms are slightly brown. Add polenta slices to a baking dish. Top with a spoonful of marinara on each slice and sprinkle on a tiny bit of pepper flakes . Add shredded mozzarella in top and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 mins till cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove and serve. Top with with fresh chopped scallion,parsley or basil.

Cooking time: approx 15 mins

Serves 5 peeps