Grilled Eggplant with Almond Salsa

This is a riff of a recipe I found in the NYT. If you are vegan leave swap out vegan mozzarella and vegan yogurt. Melt the mozzarella on the eggplant in the broiler for a minute or two.

  • 3 small or 2 medium Italian eggplant
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • Black pepper
  • ⅔ cup roughly chopped almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 Fresno or Serrano pepper, minced
  • 8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced
  • Pita bread, for serving

Line a colander with paper towels or a clean dishcloth. Slice the eggplant into 3/4- to 1-inch rounds, place in the colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until water beads on top of the eggplant.

In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the lemon juice, 2 garlic clove, 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of the torn mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Place the nuts in medium bowl, then add the red-wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, minced garlic clove and Fresno pepper. Mix and season with salt to taste.

Heat a grill over high heat and spray with olive oil. Cook the eggplant and cheese about 3 -4 min pee side until nicely charred.

To serve, spread some on the yogurt mixture on a plate, top with eggplant and cheese and drill with almond salsa.

Serves 4.

Potato and Poblano Taquitos

Yum!! These are so good you won’t miss the meat!!! I choose to bake mine to make them a bit healthier – feel free to fry them if you wish.

  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes
  • 2 large poblano chile
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or vegetable oil
  • 16 ozs sliced white mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper
  • 20 corn tortillas
  • Salsa
  • Avocado

Place potatoes in a large pot, and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, 35 to 40 minutes.

While potatoes simmer, cook poblano directly over a medium flame of a gas stovetop, or under broiler, turning occasionally, until skin is charred and blistered, 11 to 12 minutes. Place chile in a small bowl, and cover with plastic wrap; let steam 20 minutes.

Melt butter or oil in a large, skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms; stir to coat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and liquid has evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes.

Drain potatoes, and let cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Peel potatoes with a sharp paring knife; transfer to food processor. Add peppers and mushrooms and pulse to chop until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 425 and spray a baking dish with oil.

Steam tortillas slightly. Then put 1/4 c or so of the mushroom mixture in the tortilla and roll, placing in the prepared baking dish. When finished spray with oil and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until crispy on the outside and heated through.

Top with salsa and avocado.

Serves 4.

  • Eggplant Gyro

    This recipe is inspired by Eating Well. You need to prepare and marinade the eggplant in advance so there is some fore thought required. The rest of the dish comes to gather super quick!

    • 1 ½ pounds eggplant
    • Salt
    • ½ c olive oil
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 tsp piment d’Espelette or Aleppo pepper
    • 1 head of romaine, rinsed and separates
    • 2 tomatoes, sliced thin
    • 1 container of Tzatziki or you can make your own
    • Hot sauce
    • Feta, unless your vegan
    • Pita bread
    • Sliced red onion

    To prepare eggplant:

    Trim ends off eggplant and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch-thick slices. Place in a colander and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

    Transfer the eggplant to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Whisk oil, dill, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano and piment d’Espelette (or Aleppo) in a small bowl. Rub the marinade on the eggplant. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

    To grill & serve: Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill the eggplant, turning once, until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve in pitas with tomato, lettuce, onion and some of the tzatziki and feta, of using.

    Serves 4.

    Vegan Taco Bowl

    This is what happens when I feel super lazy – pantry taco bowl dinner! Just open a few cans toast a tortilla and voila dinner!

    • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed
    • 1 can black beans, rinsed
    • 1 4oz can green chilies
    • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
    • Vegan cheese
    • 1 avocado, diced
    • Sliced black olives
    • Vegan ranch dressing
    • Salsa
    • 1 head romaine chopped
    • 4 flour tortillas
  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray an oven proof bowl and place tortilla inside creating a bowl, spray with a little olive oil and bake 5 – 8 min – keep an eye on it, they go from yum to burnt quick!
  • In a medium pan, dump beans, chilies and tomatoes with juice and cook over medium heat for 20 min until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  • Place romaine in the bottom, drizzle with ranch and salad, top with beans, avocado, cheese, more salsa and olives.
  • Serves 4.
  • Oyster Mushroom Rockefeller

    This vegetarian version of oysters Rockefeller is out of this world!! I was not sure if you could substitute nut milk in a béchamel sauce, so this dish is not vegetarian. I served it on toasted sourdough – so good! It comes together pretty quickly so it is doable on a weeknight.

    • 3 tbsp butter or vegan butter
    • 1 tbsp olive oil (more for drizzling)
    • 1 lb oyster mushrooms, broken into pieces if they are large12 large
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/4 c shallot, minced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • splash of Pernod
    • 1 tbsp vermouth
    • 1 tbsp flour
    • 1/2 c whole milk
    • 8 oz fresh spinach
    • 1/2 c parmesan, grated
    • 1/4 c bread crumbs
    • 1/4 c chopped parley
    • lemon slices
    • 4 pieces of toasted bread

    In a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter and olive oil. Once the oil has come up to temperature, sear the mushroom caps until lightly browned on both sides, season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan.

    Add 1/2 tbsp of butter to the pan, stir in shallot and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the Pernod and vermouth to the pan. Once the alcohol has evaporated, remove the shallot and garlic mixture, and set aside in a separate bowl.

    Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Add the flour and it starts to brown a little. Whisk in the milk making sure there are no lumps. Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the spinach and the garlic and shallot mixture, cook until spinach starts to wilt.

    Mix the parmesan, parley and breadcrumbs together

    Turn your oven on medium broil.

    Grab a 8×8 baking dish, spread the spinach mixture on the bottom, top with mushrooms and breadcrumbs.

    Broil for 3 – 4 minutes or until browned.

    Spread on toast and serve.

    Serve with lemon slices.

    Serves 4.

    Hot Turmeric Latte

    So good! And turmeric has a ton of healing qualities.

    • 1/2 c coconut milk
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/8 tsp five spice power
  • Heat milk over medium heat, whisk in spices, bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Pour into a cup and enjoy!
  • Grilled Eggplant Salad

    This is one of those dishes that evolves when you look in the fridge and can’t figure out what to cook tonight! It turned out so good and it literally took less than 20 min!

    • 2 small eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 1 package grilling cheese
    • 1 – 2 tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • Olive
    • Pesto
  • Preheat grill on high. Brush or spray eggplant with olive and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill eggplant and cheese for 5 min per side or until nicely charred and softened.
  • Layer eggplant, cheese, tomato and repeat. Top with sliced olives, pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Serves 2.