Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Grillin'

Happy Lentil Burger
    It's summertime and the grilling is easy.  Well it is nice to cook on the grill, but these burgers I actually made in the oven.  I was surprised at how tasty the lentil burgers turned out.  With the pickles and other finishing touches the presentation looks "burger like".  I would recommend modifying this recipe to make a lentil "meatlessloaf".  I served them with a side of vegetables.  A nice summer addition would be potato salad or one of the side dishes from my "Never Ending Salad" post.  I used oat flour in lieu of the breadcrumbs. Remember to serve them on Mondays to bring you luck with money. I always keep lentils handy in the pantry.  They don't take up much room, don't need to be defrosted like meat and have much easier preparation process compared to dried beans which need to be soaked before cooking.

Greek Lentil Burgers
from: Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

Boil 1/2 cup dried brown lentils and 2 cups water.  Cook for 30-40 minutes over medium until tender. Drain lentils. Brown 1 chopped onion and 1/2 tsp salt for 7 minutes. Add 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup diced red pepper, 2 tsp cumin, 1 t coriander, 1/2 tsp pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp each: dill and oregano. In a food processor, pulse 1 15 oz can chickpeas and 2 eggs until smooth. In a bowl, combine chickpeas, cooked lentils, vegetables and 1 cup breadcrumbs. Form 4 balls and roll in additional breadcrumbs. Flatten and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and firm. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Eggplant "Parma"-yum!

My version of Eggplant
   My latest favorite recipe did not come from my mountainous pile at all, but from my experiments in the kitchen.  After a trip to the market one Sunday afternoon I was inspired to whip up eggplant parm.  Without any bread crumbs in the house I made up my own concoction using oat flour and spices.  I served it over leftover brown rice the first time and you can see it pictured here over sauteed spinach with garlic.  The third time I felt it was ready for company so I made a huge batch and served it over brown rice spagetti for a gluten-free meal.  I served it dairy-free, but add your favorite mozzerella if you have it. Frying the eggplant gives it a meaty texture so it's great for company.  I used the leftover egg mixture to make "protein nuggets" and served them in the sauce.  They were such a hit I made them again a week later and let the kids dip them in mustard like chicken nuggets.   If you have eggplant growing in your garden, this is a wonderful dish and don't forget the delicious ratatouille recipe featured in my prior posts.

Eggplant Parma-yum

1 large eggplant (I used 2 when we had company)
2 cups oat flour
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs seasoned salt
2 eggs

    Scramble the eggs in a bowl.  Add flour and spices to a second bowl.  Peel and slice eggplant in circles.  Dip eggplant in egg, then in flour.  Fry eggplant in hot skillet with olive oil for 3 minutes on each side.  I like to cook them until they are firm, but not mushy.  Cook in batches until all the eggplant is cooked, setting aside the fried eggplant covered to keep warm.  Serve with spagetti sauce over pasta, rice or my favorite fresh spinach sauteed in garlic. 
    To make protein nuggets, add the leftover flour to the beaten egg.  Mix well.  Pour in the skillet and let set.  When it gets firm, flip it like a pancake.  Let the other side brown and cut into strips or small squares.  These are great for dipping or adding to the spagetti sauce.