Saturday, August 31, 2013

Baba Ghanoush for the Road

Big eggplant half is in foil.
Road tripped to see my grandparents yesterday.  ~ 8 hours in the car thanks to thanks to traffic.  But I was prepared with my cooler of snacks/dinner.  I made baba ghanoush.  I had a bag of 1 week old tiny fairytale eggplants and now from this week's CSA, a half of a giant regular eggplant.  (Tina is back from TX, so the halving resumes.  Overwhelmed by eggplant, nonetheless.)

I decide to make baba ghanoush before my drive.  It is delish with the tini peppers from the CSA this week, and topped with chunked tomatoes from this week.  And add in some carrots, hummus, and pita chips and you have your self a hearty snack to hold you over until you are drawn in for a milkshake from Chick-Fil-A.


1 whole eggplant (Or a combo of half an eggplant and a dozen mini ones)
Cooked and pruney.
Canola oil to grease the pan/eggplants
1/4 C tahini paste
1/4 C lemon juice
A few cloves diced of fresh garlic (or if like me, you are blending at breakfast time and you don't feel like cutting garlic, a heavy hand of garlic powder.  Like 1 T at minimum, more to taste.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heavy drizzle of olive oil, ~ 1T

Preheat oven to 400.  Pierce eggplants.  Add a smidge of canola to grease the pan/eggplant.  Because I had only a half of the large one, I wrapped it in foil.  Worked like a charm.

Roast in 12 minute increments to simultaneously turn the little ones and check the doneness.  Some came out sooner than others.  You're looking for pruney flesh and soft insides when grabbed with tongs.  If done, take out and plunge in cold water/ice water.  All in all, not more than about 45 minutes.  When cooled peel flesh off or just toss in a ziplock in the fridge to deal with in the am.  (If you are doing this process at 10:30 pm while packing, this is a good point to stop and go to bed.)

(Wake up.  Make coffee.)  Then, blend all the things.  Because the eggplant is so full of water, a blender worked like a charm.  Add eggplant, lemon, tahini, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  I'm storing in a handy ball jar for lunches/snacks all week.  But packed a mini container for the road.

Voila.  Crisis averted.  Produce will not suffer because I go out of town.  And makes for an amazingly delicious way to use eggplant!

Don't worry, Mom.  I ate (and photoed) this at a rest stop.
Not actually driving. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beet Sauce aka Beet Smoothie but Spoon Required

The CSA has been providing a bounty of glorious beets.  I do love roasting them and eating them on salads.  And also pickling them.  But recently I felt like making a smoothie.  I'm not huge into the juicing craze.  I like fiber too much.  But I threw these things in the food processor... And voila.  Beet sauce to be eaten with a spoon.

Beets: Trimmed, peeled, chunked if they are huge.  However many you have left in the veggie drawer.
Carrots: CSA whole ones preferred.  Washed and trimmed.  A handful or so of baby carrots works, too.
Unsweetened applesauce: 1 Cup or so.  I would've used whole apples if I'd had them.    
Mint:  However much your heart desires.  I discovered keeping mint in the freezer totally works fine for things like this.
Lemon: Juice of 1 lemon.  Keeps the colors bright and the flavor fresh.
Water: This is a thick goopy mess.  Water helps.

Put all the things in the food processor.  Press on.  Taste.  Add more of whatever.  Eat.   

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stressball Bran Muffins with Blueberries and Smuggled White Currants

There is something therapeutic about playing in the kitchen for me.  When I feel overwhelmed by things out of my control, the kitchen is my sanctuary.  Feeling bogged down with deep thoughts for some reason tonight, I turned to the fridge and turned up the tunes.

Tonight - I roasted a chicken; made a whole wheat pasta with a CSA veggie ragu (eggplant, portobello, and tomatoes); made bran muffins; and pondered pickled beets and salsa... But you have to draw the line somewhere.  Most delicious were the bran muffins.   Just a tad sweet.  And tart from the currants.  These will be breakfast for several mornings... (Also, I wrapped several in foil to freeze... In small single serve packs of 2 muffins so I can pull out the night before to defrost for breakfasts much later.)

1 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda (I forgot this.)
Sprinkling of cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 T oil
2 eggs
1 heaping cup fruit of choice (I used CSA blueberries and White Currants smuggled back from my recent vacation in Washington State)

Directions:Preheat oven to 400.  Blend bran, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  In separate bowl mix milk, honey, applesauce, oil, and eggs.  Add wet ingredients to larger bowl with dry ingredients.  Add fruit.  (A sprinkle of cinnamon never hurts..)   Spoon into greased mini muffin tins.  Bake 10-15 minutes.  Makes 24 mini muffins.