Eggplant Meatballs

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I really need to find my camera charger for my Canon. The battery is totally dead. I know the charger is somewhere and actually . . . there’s TWO chargers somewhere but until I figure out where that is, my iPhone camera is going to have to suffice. It’s better than nothing and it’s better than some digital cameras, so that’s okay.

In all honesty, I didn’t cook this. My boyfriend did. He cooked it with me in the kitchen guiding him. We’ve decided he needs to learn to cook. So for the past two weeks we’ve been having cooking lessons. He’s been a great student. I’m no expert, but I’m better than nothing. He’s starting to get better than nothing, but we will see what happens if he has to cook for himself. We probably need more lessons.

I had chosen this recipe to make for January’s Pasta Please, hosted by Ren Behan: healthy pasta. I love meatballs of all types, whether meaty or vegetarian. These meatballs were in my most recent Food Network Magazine and were perfect for the challenge.

The original recipe called for white beans. I can’t eat most beans so was going to replace them with chickpeas (which I can eat.) Unfortunately, the leftover chickpeas I had were moldy. So we used shredded potato instead. These were great.

pasta please

Eggplant Meatballs
(source)

Ingredients
1 small eggplant
1 large egg, beaten
2 small fingerling potatoes, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 tbsp onion, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara sauce
8 oz pasta

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an eggplant on the sheet. Poke a few times with a fork. Roast the eggplant for 40 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool, but leave the oven on.

2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop the meat of the eggplant out from the skin and place in a bowl.

3. Add the egg, potatoes, garlic, basil, onion, parmesan, and salt and pepper to the eggplant. Mix together with your hands. Then add the breadcrumbs and mix together with your hands.

4. Form balls in the size of golfballs out of the eggplant mixture. Place on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

5. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Also, in a small pan heat up the marinara sauce.

6. When the meatballs are done, mix together the meatballs, pasta, and sauce. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese on top.

* serves 4
* besides Pasta Please, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

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Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

IMG_9295This month at Food ‘n Flix we watched A Good Year, a movie about a man who goes to France and something or other. This movie was hosted by Squirrel Head Manor.

Frankly, I wasn’t enamored with the movie. Really, I found it boring. I didn’t find any of the characters likable. I wasn’t inspired. I do still love participating though, even when my inspiration is lacking, so I decided to find some way to participate.

The gist of the movie is Max goes to France when he learns his deceased uncle has left his chateau to him. A plus about the movie is that the scenery and sets are beautiful – I did quite want to go to France (and live on a Vineyard no less.)

Anyway – this inspiration came from a part in the movie where Max was helping as a waiter at a French restaurant. An American tourist orders a salad “nee-swa-zay” with low-cal ranch dressing and some bacon bits sprinkled on top. Max then gets indignant and makes some remarks about fast food.

I decided to make the Salad Nee-Swa-Zay for that American tourist – though she probably still will hate it because I just couldn’t do ranch dressing on this salad.

A Good Year

I don’t think I can call this a Nicoise salad, because I sort of don’t have any Nicoise olives on it. That’s cheating, right? But if I’m making it for the American tourist, she probably wouldn’t want those olives – because I don’t like olives. And I even gave it some fresh bacon bits. I mean, I’m sure the tourist would have preferred the type out of a jar, but I can only sink to a certain level here.

So I have no idea what a Nicoise salad actually tastes like, but this not-really-Nicoise-salad was quite delicious with my heavy American hand.

Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

Ingredients
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp onion, diced
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon
10 small yellow potatoes, cubed
1 head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 can tuna
4 oz green beans, trimmed

Directions

1. In a small bowl stir together the lime juice, olive oil, onion, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a small skillet, fry the bacon. Once fried, drain on paper towels. Set aside and let cool.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain and set aside.

4. While the potatoes and bacon are cooking, toss the lettuce with 2 tbsp of the dressing made in step 1. Divide onto two plates. Divide the tuna between the two plates and place in a scoop on top of the lettuce.

5. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

6. Toss the eggs with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

7. Toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

8. In a pot, bring water to boil. Boil the green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and blanch, by running cold water over them for 30 seconds. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

9. Chop the bacon. Sprinkle on top of the salad. If any dressing remains, drizzle it over the salad.

* Besides this month’s Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this salad with Wednesday Whatsits and Cast Party Wednesday

Kuku Paka

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As part of my Eating Around The World journey, I spun the globe and got Kenya. After googling around the web I found references to this dish, which demonstrates the melding of cultures. Quite literally, kuku paka translates to “chicken cat?” Paka must have another meaning that I can’t find, because this coconut chicken curry hardly has reference to felines. From what I’ve read, the etymology of paka in this context is unclear.

I have a love of curries. I don’t have a huge knowledge of African curries, but if this is what African curries are generally like – it was nice and I like it! Not only was it delicious, it was easy to make.

Now.. The next stop for the Around The World challenge looks like it will be Costa Rica!

Kuku Paka
(source)

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
salt, to taste
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
6 small red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 tomato, diced
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
cilantro, chopped for garnish

Directions

1. Place the chicken and the ginger, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and lemon juice in a ziplock bag. Set aside.

2. In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Fry the onions until golden. Add the chicken mixture and mix, cooking for 10 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and mix in. Then add the potatoes and mix in, cooking for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric and cook for several more minutes.

4. Add the water and cook for 15 minutes.

5. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Garnish with cilantro.

* serves 2
* This recipe is being shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Shepherd’s Pie

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I love mashed potatoes and I love meat. Shepherd’s Pie is the best mix of both of them. And it even makes a way to get the veggies in. After I made this dish I read about someone using cauliflower mash in place of the potatoes. I’d love to make it like that in the future. Or with sweet potato mash. Or what other kind of mashes could I use in place of the potatoes?

Make your best suggestions!

Shepherd’s Pie
(source)

Ingredients
8 oz ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 lb white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
splash of milk
4 tbsp Brummel&Brown
1/4 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. Once they’re done, drain and mash together with some salt, milk, and 2 tbsp Brummel&Brown.

2. In a skillet melt the remaining Brummel&Brown. Saute the onions and frozen vegetables for 10 minutes.

3. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add the beef broth  and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Place the beef in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.

5. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

* serves 2
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Freedom Fridays, & Foodie Friday

Beet and Potato Salad

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This potato salad couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, this is probably the most festive I’ll be. It’s funny that this was accidentally planned too. I’m not really into Valentine’s Day. I’m not bitter either – I have nothing to be bitter about. I just find it a little silly to celebrate love one day a year in such a commercial way. I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated Valentine’s Day actually. In fact, Matt and I have decided to hit up Walgreen’s this weekend to stock up on chocolate – that’s how we roll.

But anyway, if unlike me, you do celebrate Valentine’s Day, this is a perfect potato salad for the occasion.

I love beets. I’m always shocked at how my hands get so pink. It’s so crazy to me that just cutting it makes so much pink! What a strange veggie!

I made this potato salad for No Croutons Required, this month sponsored by Tinned Tomatoes. The theme is obviously potato salads. 🙂

Beet and Potato Salad
(source)

Ingredients
1 large red potato
1 large beet
1 egg
1/4 red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 425. Cut the greens off of the beet and cut most of the root off of the beet. Place the beet in a baking dish and fill the dish with 1/4 inch of water. Cover your baking dish with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Once the beet is roasted, peel the skin off.

2. While the beet is roasting, cut the potato into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to boil and boil for 15 minutes, until tender.

3. While the beet is roasting, also hard boil your egg. To hard boil an egg, place egg in a pot. Fill the pot with water so it just covers the egg. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Peel the egg and then dice.

4. Once your beets, potatoes, and eggs are cooked, combine in a large bowl. Add the onion and celery as well and toss together.

5. In a small dish combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and yogurt. Whisk together well.

6. Add the dressing to the vegetables. Toss together.

7. Refrigerate until well chilled.

* serves 2
* 268 calories per serving
* Besides No Croutons Required, this is being shared with Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, & Food Of The Month Club – Salad Theme

Fish Pie

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This month over at BakeBakeBake the challenge is British. Frankly, my experience with British food is very small. All I can think of is fish and chips. But a baked British dish? Google was required to find something to meet the challenge! Fish pie is a pie made with white fish. It is a traditional British dish. Upon googling I found Jamie Oliver’s Fish Pie recipe, using a combination of fish, shrimp, carrots, celery, lemon, tomato, spinach, and mashed potatoes.

I was skeptical, but clearly I had no reason to be. This dish was time consuming (until it went into the oven) but came out perfectly with a beautiful crispy potato topping.

Fish Pie

Ingredients
2 lbs white potatoes, cut into pieces
1 carrot, shredded
2 sticks celery, shredded
5 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lemon
2 1/4 lbs tilapia, cut into pieces
4 oz shrimp, cleaned and peeled
olive oil
1 handful baby spinach
2 tomatoes, quartered

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 12 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender, mash together with several glugs of olive oil.

2. Place the grated carrot, celery, and cheese together in a baking dish. Zest the lemon into the baking dish. Cut the tilapia into bite size pieces. Mix the tilapia, shrimp, spinach, and tomatoes in with the grated vegetables.

3. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the dish. Bake for 40 minutes.

* serves 6
* shared with Tasteful Tuesday Party, Tasty Tuesdays,  Tempt My Tummy, & Recipe Box 

Corn, Potato, Tomato Curry

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I love curries, but I’ve never made a curry with corn in it before. I was kind of skeptical at what this dish was going to turn out like. But I guess I am someone of little faith sometimes, because this dish turned out perfect. For about 525 calories (which includes 1 cup of rice) I got a delicious and healthy meal. And the colors of the dish, the red, yellow, and green, are so pretty. I accidentally put more coconut milk in the curry than what the original recipe called for, but I ended up really liking the more soupy texture of the dish. With the rice, it was great.

It was easy and was a great lunch!

In other news, school started this week. Life has suddenly got a little more hectic.

Corn, Potato, Tomato Curry
(source)

Ingredients
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 anaheim pepper, diced
2 cups canned corn kernels
1/2 can coconut milk
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp curry powder

Directions

1. Boil water in a large pot. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds and cook for several minutes. Add the garlic and potatoes. Cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add the tomato, cilantro, and anaheim pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes, then stir in the corn. Add the coconut milk, salt, lemon juice, and curry powder. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy!

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Honey-Mustard Chicken and Mustard Mashed Potatoes

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This is the last meal of my 25th year being on the earth. Tomorrow is my 26th birthday. How do I celebrate my birthday? Do I get a cake? Do I spend the day doing lots of fun things? No, no. I get to write a 5,000 word essay. As of this moment, at 10:46 p.m. I have 546 words written. I have to turn in this 5,000 word essay Monday night. I will be doing a lot of writing tomorrow.

But don’t get me wrong. I haven’t entirely been procrastinating. I wrote a 10 page paper today. I started it last night (after trying to type it all day but only getting a few words typed, I went to bed.) I just managed to stack the worst finals schedule ever this semester. I’ll be done by mid-next week. Then I have hearings at work. I’m really looking forward to my break and baking cookies.

The honey I used in this recipe was from my September Foodie Penpal box. We finally finished off the other honey we had in the house, so it was time to make use of the honey from Sara! The combination of the sweet honey and the savory mustard, bacon, chicken, and mushrooms was perfect.

Also, who would have thought of putting mustard in mashed potatoes? It’s delicious. I’m giving you both recipes.

Honey-Mustard Chicken
(source)

Ingredients
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 350. Rub the chicken breasts with salt and garlic powder. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Brown for 4 minutes on each side.

2. Combine the mustard, honey, corn syrup, mayonnaise, and dried onion flakes. Remove half of the sauce and set aside.

3. Place the browned chicken in a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Top with honey-mustard sauce. Place bacon slice on top of each piece of chicken. Toss mushrooms over the chicken and cover the whole dish with cheese.

4. Bake for 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the bacon is crunchy. Serve with reserved honey-mustard sauce.

* serves 2

Mustard Mashed Potatoes
(source)

Ingredients
3 medium red potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp margarine
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes, until tender.

2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in with the potatoes and mash until smooth.

* serves 2

* shared with Sweet Treats & Swanky Stuff Saturday and Weekend Cooking

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew

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This will probably be the last slow cooked recipe you see for a month. I’m done with school! This meal was made for last night because I had an evening final. I have one more evening final on the 4th, but I decided to make an easy salad that night (maybe I’ll start sharing my meal plans again, because why not?) Yeah, I think I will.. They will be listed at the top of the blog with the other links once I get it up.

Anyway, because I’ll be home in the evenings for the next month I’ll have time to cook! Wahoo! But next semester is going to be even crazier than this one; I have late classes three days a week. But then.. Then I’ll be done. If I pass.

This was a really easy recipe. It didn’t take any culinary skill besides the skill of dumping. But it tasted good and it lasted more than one meal. Tonight I made biscuits with fresh oregano from my AeroGarden to go with it and it was perfect and full of carbs.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew
(source)

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
5 red potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
4 (10-oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 tbsp chicken bouillon
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 (16-oz) bag frozen mixed vegetables

Directions

1. Combine the chicken, potatoes, carrot, soup, bouillon, garlic, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 7 hours.

2. Add the frozen mixed vegetables. Reduce slow cooker to low and cook for 1 more hour.

* makes about 8 servings
* Shared with Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, & Weekend Potluck

Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potato

 

The reason there haven’t really been any recipe updates is because I wasn’t cooking for awhile. I sprained my ankle very badly about two and a half weeks ago and have been incapable of standing long enough to put dinner on the table. Because of this, I spent many nights laying on the couch directing Matt what to do from my immobile position.

The first meal I made after being able to stand long enough was pork chops and mashed potatoes. I was so happy with these mashed potatoes and it was more than just the fact that I could stand. Seriously, these are the best mashers I’ve ever tasted. I will make them again (and again and again and again.)

Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potato
(source)

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp grated Parmesan

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Place the garlic in a small ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Cool and peel.

2. While the garlic is roasting cook the potatoes and sweet potatoes in a large pot of water until tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the milk, butter, rosemary, and garlic. Mash until smooth. Mix in the cheese.

4. Transfer to a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes.

* serves 3
* shared with Wednesday’s Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday