Aug 25, 2014

Portobello Eggplant Sandwich

With the vegetarian and/or me working virtually every night this month, my mission has been to find quick, easy and satisfying dinners that will neither require too much prep nor leaving us feeling so full afterwards that we can't go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Last night, that led me down the path of sandwiches. With so much wonderful produce from the greenmarket, I've definitely been on a vegetable kick and I started thinking about grills and, not for the first time, wishing we had one. And what are my three favorite vegetables to cook on a grill? Portobello mushrooms, onions and eggplant. Even though I don't often eat eggplant these days, when I find it fresh and local and organic at the greenmarket, I make an exception.

Alas, we have no grill. But, if you can stand heating up the apartment for fifteen minutes, mushrooms, onions and eggplant are just as (if not more) delicious roasted. And, bonus, you don't have to worry about the bits of onion falling through the cracks of the grill!

I wanted to elevate these from a "typical" sandwich so, while the veggies were roasting, I whipped up a quick tahini spread with fresh basil (better and more nutritious than a more traditional mayonnaise or, worse, ketchup). We also served these with some big arugula leaves on sprouted sesame bread and had a salad on the side. Bon appetit!

 Portobello Eggplant Sandwich


Preheat oven to 375. Arrange mushrooms, onion and eggplant on a foil-covered baking sheet (or two). Roast 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the spread by blending together all ingredients in a food processor until creamy.

When vegetables are cooked, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Toast bread. Generously spread spread onto half of bread slices and top with 1-2 leaves arugula, 1 mushroom, some red onion and 1 slice eggplant. Cover with second slice of bread. Enjoy!


Aug 23, 2014

Black Bean and Shallot Salsa

Lately, I've been on a real Mexican food kick. It may be due to the fact that I'm doing my best to avoid eating peppers and corn, which makes eating authentic Mexican food quite a trick. Really, it's impossible to avoid both of those ingredients at a restaurant so I've been adapting many of our favorite foods to my dietary restrictions and, believe it or not, coming up with some really fabulous results!

There's also something about Mexican food that lends itself beautifully to the hot weather we've been having lately! Not to mention an excellent way to use up all those delightful, fresh tomatoes that I cannot seem to get enough of, buying them at every conceivable opportunity. I've been using those especially to make salsa (we got sick of just slicing them and eating them with salt and olive oil) and we currently have three kinds in the fridge. Ooops! I guess you can never have too much salsa; it is one of the vegetarian's favorite snacks after all and he makes sure to keep us well-stocked with chips.

This particular salsa is hearty due to the black beans and also a little sweet from the shallots. I was inspired by a Black Bean and Corn Salsa recipe from Eat to Live, a great all-but-vegan cookbook by Joel Fuhrman that has lots of neat, healthy tricks and ingredients that I don't use nearly as often as I should. Since shallots bring a sweetness, I used them as the other main flavor in the salsa and I really like the results! While wonderful with chips, we also enjoyed it over some sprouted-grain quesadillas. Bon appetit!

Black Bean and Shallot Salsa
inspired by Eat to Live

Place all ingredients except for lime juice, cumin and garlic powder in a food processor and pulse until just combined and desired consistency (this well be a softer salsa due to the black beans and olive oil). Remove and place in a serving bowl. Stir in lime juice, cumin and garlic powder. Serve with raw vegetables or tortilla chips, if desired. Enjoy!

Got leftovers? This is delicious mixed with scrambled eggs.