Posted in Bone Health, Delicious, Eat Healthy, Family Tradition, Gluten Free, Hacks, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta.

If you are an eggplant lover, this dish is for you! If you are on the fence about eggplant this will make you a lover for sure.

Eggplant and tomato sauce flavored with capers and green olives and mixed with quinoa spaghetti, fresh parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

This Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta is a 30-minute vegetarian and gluten-free dish that you can make on any night.

But this is what’s for dinner tonight.

The summer is officially over. Our AC is turned off, most days , windows are open,I am loving the fresh breeze.

I hate to see Summer end. But I love fall veggies

Personally, if I had my way I would spend all day outside.

I keep finding excuses to go outside even though I should be home cleaning etc…. I am sure you know the feeling.

Having a bone disease I know I will be stuck indoors more than I would like because my bones can’t deal with the cold.

So any day above 65 is a blessing for me.

Today’s recipe, Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta, is a summer dish but I will.

Soon I will be having Squash and quinoa pasta but not today.

If you have ever cooked eggplants before, you would know, sometimes, especially if it is an older eggplant, its brown seeds might cause it taste bitter. To get rid of the bitterness, my mother used to put sliced eggplants in a bowl of water with a generous amount of salt. Letting it sit in salty water for 10-15 minutes would improve the taste of the flesh and get rid of the bitterness. Alternatively, you can also sprinkle your eggplant with salt and let is sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes. In both methods, it is imperative to pat dry them with paper towels and make sure they are as dry as possible.

I love quinoa spaghetti as I think it is healthier than regular spaghetti.

Plus it is gluten-free, but you can always use regular semolina flour pasta.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound quinoa or brown rice pasta,

2 medium eggplant or 5 small (1 pound), cut into 1-inch small cubes no need to peel but I stipe peel mine.

1 tbspn salt is what is usually used

I use less say a large teaspoon total and then I season into cooking a bit more.

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon tomato paste

8 medium sized Roma tomatoes, cut into small cubes

1 cup colorful cherry tomatoes, sliced

3-4 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

½ cup green olives, pitted and sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper *

4 scallions, chopped both green and white parts

½ cup Italian Parsley, rinsed and chopped thinly

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

½ cup lightly roasted pine nuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve one cup of the pasta liquid. Set aside.

2. As the pasta is cooking, make the eggplant pomodoro sauce: Fill a bowl with 4 cups of cold tab water. Add a tablespoon of salt. Place the eggplant cubes into the salty water. Let it sit for 10 minutes in water. Rinse and place on a sheet of paper towels to dry.

3. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or any heavy bottom pan) and add in the eggplant. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

4. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

5. Add in the Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, capers, and green olives. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the sauce. Give everything a gentle stir and let it cook for 10-15 minutes in medium heat. Taste for seasoning and add if necessary.

6. Place the cooked pasta into the sauce (alternatively you can place everything in a large bowl). Sprinkle it with scallions, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts (if using). If the pasta feels dry, use some of the reserved pasta liquid. Give it a toss to distribute the sauce evenly.

7. Serve with more Parmesan cheese parsley on the side.

Posted in Bone Health, Eat Healthy, Flush not Blush, Gluten Free, Herbal, Inflammation, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Vegan Garlic Pasta And Roasted Veggies Two Ways.

This is a 20 minute virtually fool-proof dinner.
While you get your sauce going by sauteeing garlic and shallot in a little olive oil, roast your tomatoes.
When you roast tomatoes in a little olive oil and sea salt, it enhances their natural flavor and gives them an almost sweet yet smoky, fire-roasted taste, which pairs perfectly with the creamy garlic sauce.

I make this about once a month.

This was my second time using gluten free pasta
I bought quinoa pasta ( thin spaghetti style) and this time (penne style) quinoa
It wasn't bad but I'm so used to whole wheat pasta it's going to take a minute.

Ingredients
• 4 cups (450 g) grape tomatoes, halved I use red and yellow when available
• 10 ounces (283 g) whole wheat pasta (such as penne, linguini, or fettuccine | Use less if you want a higher sauce:pasta ratio | Use gluten-free pasta for GF eaters)
• Olive oil
• 2 medium shallots, diced (~1/4 cup or 40 g)
• 6 large cloves garlic, minced/grated (1/4 cup or 24 g)
• Pinch each sea salt and black pepper
• 3-4 Tbsp (25-33 g) unbleached all-purpose flour (or another thickener of choice)*
• 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) unsweetened plain Almond Breeze (sub up to 1 cup with veggie stock, if preferred)

Instructions
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and toss tomatoes in a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Place cut side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish. Then set aside.
2 Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain, cover and set aside.
3 In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and the garlic and shallot. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir frequently, cooking for 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant.
4 Stir in 3-4 Tbsp flour (or other thickener of choice – see notes) and mix with a whisk. Once combined, slowly whisk in the almond milk a little at a time so clumps don’t form. Add another healthy pinch of salt and black pepper, bring to a simmer and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes to thicken. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Optional: You can also add a few shakes of vegan parmesan for extra flavor at this time if you wish.)
5 If you want an ultra creamy sauce, transfer sauce to a blender (or use an immersion blender) to blend the sauce until creamy and smooth. Place back in pan and reduce heat to a low simmer until desired thickness is reached.
6 Once the sauce is to your desired thickness, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then add pasta and roasted tomatoes and stir.
7 Serve immediately and garnish with extra black pepper, fresh basil, and/or vegan parmesan cheese.

Notes
*To keep this recipe gluten-free, sub the flour for cornstarch or another thickener. Add 1-2 Tbsp during the blending process to make sure it’s completely blended. Then add back to the pan to thicken for 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, make a slurry with the cornstarch and a few Tbsp of the sauce in a small bowl and then whisk it directly into the pan during the simmering process. Repeat in 1/2 Tbsp amounts until desired consistency is reached.

I have also made it with regular pasta and tons of roasted eggplant, zucchini , garlic but I'm going to stick with the quinoa pasta.

To roast veggies
I peel and slice 2 small eggplants
3 medium zucchinis
2 semi hot peppers deseeded
Coat with olive oil
Salt and pepper
Place on parchment lined baking dish

Roast 400 degrees for 18-20 min.
Allow to slightly cool then chop and add to your favorite pasta
Top with basil and light cheese if you choose.