Friday, October 1, 2010

Eggplant Galore

On Monday night I made burgers with sweet potato fries.  {No not the Trader Joe's Frozen Sweet Potato Fries (Mike)} BUT homemade ones!  I wanted to do something fun with the burger.  All I knew was Dave (the hub) wanted meat, bad.  So at first I was going to make Cara's Fig Burgers, but I couldn't find Figs at the grocery store.  Speaking of grocery stores, I went to the Shaw's in Back Bay on Monday night after work.  City grocery shopping is SO much different than the burbs! The aisles seemed to go on forever-- it was a very Loong store which makes sense since its right in the heart of the city.  Anyway, I'm sorry Melissa, but I ended up buying these 100 calorie buns.  Mainly because I had already passed the bakery aisle with the good rolls and there was nothing else!  But it was probably good to save some calories since we were eating MEAT!  (In case you don't know, Melissa writes a blog post every Thursday called Three Things Thursdays where she talks about things that are annoying her... a couple weeks ago she blogged about how annoying 100 calorie thins are which I totally agree with.. but made an exception tonight...) Anyway... I decided to make Nacho burgers.. with salsa, cheese, onions, spices, and tortilla chips.  I had hoped it would be really spicy but it wasn't- but it was delicious and totally hit the spot!
Nacho Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
(Makes 4 Burgers)
1 Pound of 93% Lean Ground Sirloin
4 pieces of Colby Jack Cheese, Cut into squares + 4 Slices
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon of grill seasoning
1 tablespoon of cumin
1/2 cup of salsa
1/2 cup of crunched tortilla chips
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 onion, sauteed with garlic
2 Sweet Potatoes, Skin removed and sliced into sticks
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
In a bowl, combine the ground sirloin, chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin, salsa, egg, crumbled chips, breadcrumbs and cooked onion. Mix well. Take a small handfull and take a cheese square and place in the middle of the burger then take another handful of meat and secure over it to form a cheese stuffed burger.  Repeat 3 more times.  Cook in a large hot skillet for 3-6 minutes on each side.  If you aren't sure if it is cooked through you can cook in the oven for a few minutes longer and add the extra slice of cheese until melted.  Add extra salsa on top.
Saute sweet potato sticks in a hot skillet with olive oil for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet, season with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Sauting it first speeds up the time it takes to cook these fries (in my opinion!)
Tuesday night I took all my delicious CSA veggies and made Gretchen's Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille.  I cooked the roasted eggplant when I already had the oven hot on Monday night.  Prep ahead- it always works for me : )  This dinner came together so quickly and it was sooo delicious.  In Gretchen's recipe, you are supposed to cook all the veggies separate, but I just added them all at the same time and it worked well for me.  I finished this dish up with a poached egg.  Poached eggs make the dish. I love the runny egg over the fresh vegetables!
Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille
adapted from Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life and Gretchen!
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1" rounds
1 large zucchini or summer squash, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced into 1/2" half moons
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp herbs de provence
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400º. Brush both sides of eggplant with EVOO, and lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, flipping half way through, until soft and golden.  Set aside (can be made up to 2 days ahead). Heat Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook, then add onions red pepper and garlic and cook about 6 more minutes and then add tomatoes, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and reduce heat to low. Add eggplant and simmer on low for about 15 - 20 minutes. Serve topped with a poached egg.
Wednesday night I continued on my eggplant theme and made Eggplant Pizza AND Eggplant Parmesan.  I cooked two meals, one for Wednesday and one for Thursday.  I knew I was going to work late on Thursday so I wanted Dave to have dinner.  Both were inspired by We are Not Martha.  Both were delicious.  Although, Dave may have asked "Is there chicken hidden in this..." However, I think, secretly, he is enjoying the meatless dinners, but I'm not sure he would admit it.  
 Eggplant Pizza
Store Bought Pizza Dough
1 large eggplant
Olive oil
1 Cup of Shredded Mozzerela Cheese
1/8 Cup grated parmesan
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t dried red pepper flakes
Cut eggplant into 1/3-inch rounds and arrange in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil the eggplant on each side for 4-6 minutes until lightly crisp. Roll out pizza dough on baking sheet.  Brush olive oil on dough and sprinkle half the cheeses over the dough.  Place the eggplant on the dough and sprinkle with remaining cheese, crushed garlic and red pepper flakes.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
And lastly, I made Eggplant Parm.  Can you tell I got a lot of Eggplant in my CSA?  I did something different and fried the eggplant- I tried to use very little oil but still frying is not the healthiest choice.  I also decided to use zuchinni in this dish as well and it turned out to be cheesey and hearty.
 Eggplant Parmesan 
2 lbs. eggplant (about 2 large eggplants)
1 small zuchinni
1/2 Bottle of your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C fine, dry breadcrumbs
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the zuchinni. Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan. Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
 I tasted this but didn't get to enjoy it and I tend to doubt that there is any left! So Dave, was it good?

Running Update: I woke up Monday with NO PAIN and I have had no pain in either achilles all WEEK!  That's not to say other pains haven't popped up- hip flexor and left hamstring, but nothing serious I don't think. I did a HARD eliptical workout Monday and Thursday went to Physical Therapy on Wednesday and today and ran a pretty easy 5 on the treadmill on Tuesday.  I wanted to run again on Thursday but my Physical Therapist wanted me to play it safe.  If all goes well on my long run tomorrow, he says I can run my normal schedule again next week (cross your fingers for me!)

My plan tomorrow is to 4 FIVE mile runs.  Yes, that means a 20 miler.  I am just trying to break it up into something else. Wish me luck!  Have a great weekend : )


  1. That is a beautiful poached egg!

    I haven't had sweet potato fries in a long time... I should definitely try making them at home.

  2. I'm lovin' all the eggplant! We had it twice this week too - once in my shakshouka (kind of like what you did with the egg!) and in a vegetarian moussaka... yum :)

  3. The pizza looks amazing. So does the burger! I want it...with a big bun ;)

  4. Eggplant is so versatile! I love eggplant in ratatouille. I also love the looks of that parmesan!

    Good luck with your run - so glad you're feeling good!

  5. Eggplant parm is my absolute favorite meal! I know it's not the healthiest thing in the world, but I could eat it once a week! I love eggplant on pizza too. That's something I need to make soon!

    Glad the pain is gone! And congrats on the ruN!