Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Posts Tagged ‘roasted eggplant’

Bruschetta Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on August 5, 2014

You may have read my post regarding how much I loved Dinner of Herbs eggplant bruschetta recipe. I said I could put the eggplant mixture on anything. Well, I actually bought the ingredients to make the bruschetta, I even remembered the bread! But when I arrived at home I looked in my refrigerator and realized I had some zucchini I needed to use. Plus I had some mushrooms I needed to use. So I decided this would be a great time to put the eggplant and tomato mixture with a little extra over pasta. So I am just adding zucchini and mushrooms to the way I made the bruschetta.  Here is what I made:

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Five-Vegetable PastaDance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes

Ingredients:

–1 medium or large eggplant, cubed (very small)
–4 medium sized tomatoes, cubed
–1 lb of mushrooms, sliced or coarsely chopped
–2 zucchinis, grated
–3/4 of a large onion, chopped (tiny)
olive oil
two tablespoons of butter
garlic powder
onion powder
salt
pepper
sweet basil
balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese, as desired
1 package/box/container of pasta (I prefer linguine)

Heat the oven to 450°F.

Put the eggplant on a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil. Mix it up, then spread the eggplant evenly, in one layer (the eggplant I used was too large to be one layer), over the baking sheet. After baking for about 10 minutes, move the eggplant around on the pan.  After another 10 minutes, gently stir/toss the eggplant and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for about an additional 25 minutes. Stirring or tossing if necessary to ensure even roasting. In between roasting the eggplant, spread 3/4 of the tomato out over a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder. (Tomatoes are too delicate to be mixed as done with the eggplant.) Bake until the edge pieces are browning.  Stirring gently, if you want.  I ended up cooking the tomatoes for about 30 minutes.

Somewhere in between cooking the mushrooms and zucchini as instructed below, you might want to cook your pasta. I prefer my pasta hot. You can plan and cook accordingly.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesWhile the other vegetables are baking, heat some olive oil and 1/2 the chopped onion in a pan. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper as desired (I use garlic salt) and cook to your liking (I like them a little caramelized). Remove from pan and set the mushrooms aside. Add two tablespoons of butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted add the grated zucchini. Cook the zucchini about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Once all the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction put half of the cooked and drained pasta in a large bowl, then add half of all of the cooked vegetables.  Add the basil, vinegar, any additional salt and/or pepper you desire.  Then add the rest of the pasta and cooked vegetables along with half of the raw tomato and onion.  Toss it all.  Taste it to see if you want more basil, vinegar, salt and/or pepper.  Put the rest of the raw tomato and onion on top. Serve the pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

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This is the first recipe I wrote FIRST, then followed.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe as I was cooking, and noted them before posting.  I think layering the pasta, then veggies makes for easier mixing.  Of course, you can mix it anyway you’d like.  I loved this.  I loved the flavor as I did when I made the eggplant bruschetta.  What I would do next time is use 3 tomatoes instead of four.  The flavor of the tomatoes overpowered everything.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers, as I believe left over pasta is often better than the freshly made dish.  The flavors have time to meld.

This is an easy dish, there is nothing complicated about any part of the process, but with all of the chopping it is a bit labor intensive.  The separate roasting of the eggplant and tomatoes makes it a long process.  I didn’t want to roast them at the same time.  But if you chop while things are cooking . . . . .

I will probably make it again.

What about you?  Does it sound good?  Which of the vegetables is your favorite? 

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Really Easy Pizza

Posted by terrepruitt on November 2, 2013

https://i2.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7303/10639802725_52e4c7e10f_b.jpgI have always wanted to make “pizza” using eggplant.  But I usually don’t have tomato sauce.  The eggplant “pizza” I have always wanted to make is using a slice of eggplant as the “crust”.  Not putting eggplant ON the pizza, nor making the crust with flour and eggplant.  Just a slice of eggplant as the “crust”.  You might be familiar with me not really liking tomatoes.  That lends to me not really liking tomato sauce.  When we have pasta we don’t normally have tomato sauce.  Although lately I have been buying some.  Yes, the jarred kinds.  I know it is silly to buy the jar kind when it is so easy to make, but since I don’t really like it, it is one of those things that I don’t bother making.  If I can buy an organic jar of tomato sauce for a quick dinner every once in a while I do.  Well, the last time I used it I made the My First Tomato Sauce Lasagna.  I didn’t use the whole jar.  Recently I bought an eggplant and it was HUGE.  Normally I slice them in half and roast them, but this one was huge, but I was really looking forward to the roasted kind, so I didn’t want to make pizza out of it all.  So I sliced it in thirds lengthwise.  Planning to use the middle slice for the pizza crust.  I finally had eggplant pizza!

I roasted it first.  Then I piled on my toppings.  I realized I needed to roast it longer.  The eggplant got VERY soggy after all of the toppings were on it.  If you REALLY like eggplant it is no big deal.  I am not sure if the eggplant pizza would ever be a pick-up-and-eat-it-like-regular-pizza type of pizza, but it was really good.

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Eggplant Pizza

One large eggplant, sliced in either rounds or length-wise (about 1/2 inch thick)
olive oil
salt
your favorite pizza/tomato sauce
your favorite pizza toppings

Sprinkle oil on the eggplant and roast at 400° F for about 20 minutes . . . depends on the size of your eggplant and how thick you cut it.  After 20 minutes flip it over sprinkle with oil and salt.  Cook for another 15 or 20 minutes.  Check it and decide how cooked you want it.

Then top with your favorite pizza/tomato sauce and your favorite pizza toppings.  Bake it until your cheese is melted.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaMine had tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sautéed mushrooms.  It was sooooo good.  Mushrooms are my favorite pizza topping.  When I make pizza, it is usually just with mushrooms.  I prefer to cook the mushrooms first — no matter what crust I am using — to get out most of the moisture and ensure that they are cooked when I eat my pizza.

Anyway . . . this was very good.  So good I made it again but this time I sliced the eggplant in rounds.  I used the same toppings.  This second time the eggplant was a little less soggy, but it was still not something you could pick up like a regular piece of pizza.

I roasted the slices for about 20 minutes on each side. The eggplant adds a nice flavor to the pizza toppings I used (tomato sauce, cheese, and mushrooms).  And as long as your sauce and your toppings are gluten free this is a great pizza to have for those who are avoiding it!

What about you?  Have you ever wanted to try eggplant as your pizza crust?  Have you ever tried eggplant as your pizza crust?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Easiest Way To Cook Eggplant

Posted by terrepruitt on August 4, 2011

Often I hear people say they would like to cook eggplant but they don’t know how.  I also hear a lot of people say you have to get the water out of eggplant before you cook it.  Well, I would like to try cooking it another way because the only way I know how is to roast it, of course.  Recently I bought some eggplant specifically to cube it and sautee it to see how that would be.  But when I started thinking about how yummy it is roasted, I opted for roasting it.   I have used Japanese eggplant, which it nice because it has less seeds.  It is also nice because it is more evenly shaped so all the slices come out basically the same size so they cook at a more even rate.  I typically use the large pear-ish shaped eggplant.   The last time I bought it, the store clerk said she had always wanted to try it but didn’t know how to cook it (see, I told you people tell me that).  So I decided to share my way of cooking it.  You know I love to roast veggies.  Roasting veggies is so easy because you can put them on and work on cooking the rest of dinner.   I was so busy cooking the rest of dinner I forgot to take pictures of the roasted eggplant.  I remembered to take pictures of it as I sliced it, but I forgot to do it after it was cooked.

I slice at about 3/8 of an inch.  I put olive oil on the pan (I use a cookie sheet), then place the slices on the pan in rows, then I drizzle a little olive oil on the slices.  I sprinkle garlic powder on each slice.  Then I sprinkle salt on each slice.  The salt will help release the water.  Pretty much the same way as sweating the vegetables, but the water will evaporate in the oven.  I usually cook them for about 15 or twenty minutes at 400 degrees.  Then I flip them over.  I usually add more seasoning.  It depend on how much salt I put on before.  I might add more or not.  I put them back in the oven.  How long depends on how they look.  Often times they don’t cook evenly so some will be done where others will not.  So I take the done ones off the pan, then I set the timer for the time I guess that the next ones will be done.  When that time is up I take the done ones off the cookie sheet and put the pan back in the oven.  Depending on how they are cooking, I might flip them.  It is a process.  You have to watch them a bit.  That is why it is good to have other stuff to be cooking in the kitchen.  You also have to decide HOW cooked you like them.  You can cook them just a little until they are still really soft and doughy or you can cook them until they are crispy–almost like potato chips.  I like mine crispy.

A friend on FB said she puts cheese on the slices.  That would be excellent.  I haven’t tried that.  I am sure it is really good.

I don’t squeeze out the water before cooking and I don’t take out the seeds.  I also do not cook it for a set amount of time.  I start with 15 minutes and go from there.  It is best to decide as you go along.

I did not realize that eggplant is a fruit, a berry in fact.  I don’t think in terms of botany.  I just think in terms of eating and cooking.  The information I saw said eggplant is a fruit that is used in cooking like a vegetable.  So yeah, I think of it as a vegetable.

So that is how I cook eggplant 🙂 pretty much how I cook all my vegetables.  What about you?  Do you cook eggplant?  How?  I really would like to try it other ways, but I don’t know how to cook it aside from roasting it.  Did you know it is a fruit?  Did you know it is a berry?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »