Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stuffed Eggplant and Some (Good) Housekeeping

You guys! Things!

1) Both Leigh and I are on vacation next week. Leigh will still be checking comments, and we’ve recruited a few hilarious friends to write guest posts for us. There’ll be at least two entries, and they don’t necessarily adhere to the cheap/healthy/good theme, but they’re super-fun. We’re excited to have them, and are sure you’ll dig them muchly.

2) A few weeks ago, I solicited reader suggestions for leafy green recipes. And then? On Wednesday? I posted a 246-link compilation that ignored those ideas completely. I’m an idiot. The Escarole and White Beans comment thread has some, but beyond that, here are two fantastic reader submissions, with gigantic apologies.

From Anna:

1) Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino from The New York Times. If you can get some Tuscan kale (aka dinosaur or lacinato kale), this is amazing.

2) Pasta with Greens and Ricotta from The Wednesday Chef. Add a splash of white wine.

3) My Mom's Kale and Potatoes
1 bunch kale, with tough stems removed, chopped
3 med. potatoes, boiled until almost cooked, then sliced into rounds
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs? soy sauce or tamari (I don't really measure this)
1 Tbs olive oil
Optional: 1/2 Tbs sesame oil
Heat a skillet with olive oil. Add garlic and saute, then add kale. Add a splash of water and cover to steam kale until bright green and slightly wilted. Then uncover and add sliced potatoes. Add soy sauce. Stir and turn off heat. Drizzle sesame oil on top if
you want.
From Neideep:
Escarole and Bean Soup
1) Heat several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil & saute at least half a head of garlic (I use a whole head), plus a large chopped onion, and several red skin potatoes cut up - you can add chopped carrots, too.

2) Add homemade (or boxed) vegetable stock (or poultry stock)

3) Clean & rinse the escarole well. Tear into pieces and add to pot (I use a large head or two "small" heads)

4) Add a few bay leaves, salt, pepper and Cayenne to taste - a little pinch of fresh oregano or basil is good, but don't go overboard.

5) Use a can or two of red or white beans - drained and rinsed - or cook your own beans, with garlic, onion, salt and pepper for more flavor.

6) Cook till the flavors blend - about an hour - and serve with a hard Italian grated cheese.
3) Today’s recipe – Stuffed Eggplant! It’s delicious, meatless main dish that pairs well with pasta. To make the original recipe a little lighter, I halved the olive oil and the pine nuts. It cut about 40% of the fat from the original, and the changes are reflected below. If you decide to make it yourself, you can use one small eggplant instead of two smaller ones.

Enjoy your weekend and next week's guest posts, and we’ll see you again on August 3rd!

Grilled Stuffed Eggplant
Serves 4
Adapted from Andrea’s Recipes and Stonewall Kitchen Favorites.

1 large eggplant (or 2 eggplants, about 6 ounces each)
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 anchovy fillet (optional)
1/8 cup pine nuts
1 large ripe red or yellow tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (or mint)
1/4 cup packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or crumbled feta)

1) Preheat grill or oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.

2) Chop the stems off both ends of your eggplants. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Remove flesh, making sure there's about 1/2-inch shell left over. Plop eggplant halves on baking sheet so the bucket parts are facing upward. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on them. "Finely chop the eggplant flesh and set aside."

3) Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add onion. Saute 10 minutes. Add anchovies. Saute 2 minutes. Add chopped eggplant and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute 5 minutes. Add pine nuts. Saute 2 minutes. Kill heat, remove from burner, and let cool a few minutes.

4) Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes, bread crumbs, basil, and cheese to mixture. Stir. Salt and pepper to taste.

5) Even distribute mixture among eggplant shells. Make a dome with each one when you're finished. Drizzle remaining olive oil all over them. If there are any tomatoes left, pour them into the pan and salt and pepper to taste.

6) Grill or bake 40 minutes, until "eggplant shells are soft and the stuffing is hot." Serve.

228 calories, 13.9 g fat, $1.42

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
1 large eggplant (or 2 eggplants, about 6 ounces each): 132 calories, 1.1 g fat, $1.15
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil: 298 calories, 33.7 g fat, $0.32
Salt and fresh ground black pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1 small onion, finely chopped: 29 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.26
1 to 2 anchovy fillets (optional): 8 calories, 0.4 g fat, $0.45
1/8 cup pine nuts: 109 calories, 11.1 g fat, $1.24
1 large ripe red or yellow tomato, finely chopped: 33 calories, 0.4 g fat, $1.00
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs: 213 calories, 2.9 g fat, $0.24
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (or mint): 5 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.33
1/4 cup packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or crumbled feta): 86 calories, 5.7 g fat, $0.68
TOTAL: 913 calories, 55.5 g fat, $5.69
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 228 calories, 13.9 g fat, $1.42

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