Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Tian

The produce box this week had a lot of Black Globe eggplant and Dunja zucchini, among other things. Apart from zucchini fritters and bread, eggplant Parmesan, I wasn’t sure how to optimize these ingredients. Cooking Light to the rescue with this recipe. I’ve never heard of a Tian, which is actually a French earthen ware dish of Provence used for cooking and serving. My version isn’t officially a Tian since I used a glass casserole as the vessel. If you’re lucky enough to have all three of the main ingredients fresh off the vine, oh how the flavors explode. This was terrific – I loved the flavor and crunch of the bread crumbs. Substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth for a vegetarian dish. (Cucumbers and white onions were also in our box, thus the cucumber salad – also delicious.)



1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
1 pound large beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 ounces French bread baguette
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Arrange eggplant and zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  3. Lightly coat vegetables with cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes.
  5. Arrange half of eggplant in a single layer in an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  6. Top with half of zucchini and half of tomato.
  7. Drizzle 2 1/4 teaspoons oil evenly over vegetables.
  8. Sprinkle vegetables evenly with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
  9. Place bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs measure 2 cups.
  10. Add cheese and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) to processor; process until combined.
  11. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups breadcrumb mixture evenly over tomato.
  12. Repeat layers with remaining eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, oil, salt, pepper, and breadcrumb mixture.
  13. Pour broth over top.
  14. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender and topping is browned.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 191
Fat 8.1 g
Satfat 3 g
Monofat 3.7 g
Polyfat 1 g
Protein 10 g
Carbohydrate 22.3 g
Fiber 4 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Iron 1.6 mg
Sodium 459 mg
Calcium 178 mg

Cooking Light, June 2010


Zucchini, Walnut, and Feta Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

I loved this dinner! I’ve made zucchini “cakes” in the past that didn’t hold together very well. This recipe, using ground quinoa instead of flour (pretty clever for extra protein) and ground walnuts, wasn’t runny and made perfect cakes. Key to this is getting as much liquid as you can out of the zucchini. The sauce was great too and can be used for other things. (I used Fage Greek yogurt.)

I let the zucchini sit for nearly 30 minutes instead of 10 and then used paper towels to get out the remaining water.

zucchini cakes

Yield: 4 –  2 cakes per serving + 1/4 cup yogurt sauce


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (6-ounce) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups mixed salad greens (about 2 ounces)


  1. Place quinoa in a mini food processor; process 1 minute or until finely ground. Add chopped walnuts to processor; process until smooth.
  2. Place zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss well. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasion­ally.
  3. Press zucchini between paper towels until barely moist.
  4. Combine zucchini, green onions, dill, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cheese, and eggs in a large bowl; stir to combine.
  5. Sprinkle quinoa mixture over zucchini mixture; stir well to combine.
  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.
  8. Add 4 (1/3-cup) zucchini batter mounds to pan; flatten into 3-inch cakes.
  9. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  10. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and batter to yield 8 cakes total.
  11. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, yogurt, cucumber, and garlic in a small bowl.
  12. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 cakes and about 1/4 cup cucumber mixture.
  13. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 336
Fat 19.2 g
Satfat 4.7 g
Monofat 6.9 g
Polyfat 5.5 g
Protein 18 g
Carbohydrate 27 g
Fiber 5 g
Cholesterol 101 mg
Iron 3 mg
Sodium 589 mg
Calcium 175 mg

Recipe from Cooking Light, May 2014

Grilled Corn and Snap Pea Salad

Nothing says summer like fresh corn. This was amazing – really fresh and full of flavor. Since I wasn’t going to a picnic and only feeding three, I halved the recipe, which is from July 2016 Cooking Light.

grilled corn and snap pea

 Yield: Serves 15 (serving size: 1/2 cup)


1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, trimmed and strings removed
6 ears summer corn with husks
1 cup very thinly sliced green onions
7 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 serrano chile, minced


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add snap peas; cook 3 minutes. Drain and rinse snap peas under cold water.
  2. Preheat grill to high.
  3. Soak corn in cold water 10 minutes; shake off excess water. Grill corn 20 minutes, turning frequently. Cool corn, in husks, 10 minutes. Shuck corn; discard husks and silk.
  4. Cut kernels from corn; place in a large bowl. Add snap peas and onions.
  5. Combine olive oil and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Add to corn mixture, tossing to coat.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 117
Fat 7 g
Satfat 1 g
Monofat 4.8 g
Polyfat 0.9 g
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrate 13 g
Fiber 2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 203 mg
Calcium 27 mg
Sugars 6 g
Est. Added Sugars 1 g

Leek, Gorgonzola and Rosemary Soup

I put this recipe in my “book” years ago and decided to dust it off (get rid of it or put it here) and try it. It caught my eye because it sounded interesting and I wondered if it could be pulled off and taste great too. I have one word…OMG…this is so good. The answer is yes!

I changed a few things – one, I didn’t have any vegetable stock so I used chicken stock. Two, I was cleaning some celery so I threw the tops of the celery in to simmer with the rosemary and third – I only used 4 ounces of Gorgonzola…a little goes a long way. You could even do three ounces and it would still be great. Prior to pureeing it, I took out the celery along with the rosemary.


Leek, Gorgonzola and Rosemary Soup

My version came out to 6 1-cup servings of 231 calories each. Delicious.

4 rosemary sprigs
2 T olive oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 medium leeks, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 c. stock (veggie or chicken)\
4-5 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 t Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Crush rosemary with a rolling pin to release the aroma and flavor.
  2. Heat oil in dutch oven and stir in potatoes and rosemary.
  3. Cover with lid – cook on low for 4-5 minutes. this will create steam in pan, preventing the potatoes from sticking.
  4. Stir in leeks and garlic. cook for a couple of minutes until they soften.
  5. Add sock and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and take out rosemary (and celery).
  7. Stir in Gorgonzola
  8. Place soup in blender or food processor (immersion…) and blitz until smooth.
  9. Season if needed with s&p. If consistency is too thick, add stock to thin. (I didn’t find this necessary).
  10. Serve with some fresh bread…walnut bread is really nice with this.
Be careful not to let soup boil or it will give it a grainy texture.

Original post February 27, 2014

Creamy Rice Pudding

My family has a rice pudding recipe I couldn’t get my hands on. You know the kind – “a pinch of this and about this much of that…”. I’ve been craving it so I searched for a recipe with a lot of good reviews and altered it to make it very vanilla.

I used skim milk with about 1/4 of it replaced with fat free half and half. I also used a real vanilla bean which you can see in the picture below. I emptied the pod, put the ends of it in the rice as it was cooking and simmered the remaining pod with it’s contents in the milk (removing the pod once the pudding was done).

It was really good, has that incredible vanilla flavor I love, and satisfied my craving. (However, it wasn’t as good as my grandmothers!)

rice pudding

Creamy Rice Pudding

Original post January 12, 2014

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce and Salmon

First let me say that I LOVE angel hair pasta and (good) salmon is my favorite “meat”. Given that, this recipe sounded like a perfect meal for me and in truth, it was. What’s not to love – butter, olive oil, garlic and lemon….and salmon and pasta?

The simplicity of this meal isn’t lost in it’s taste. I love that the most simple meals to prepare can be some of the most memorable and best tasting. The key for this dish is really fresh salmon. The lemon and garlic are so great in this – you could actually cut back on the butter a bit. I will in the future. This is a keeper  – I absolutely loved it.

angel hair and salmon

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce and Salmon

Original post January 12, 2014