Roasted Eggplant & Chickpeas with Fresh Herbs & Crispy Quinoa

Roasted chickpeas, eggplant, etc

salad of roasted eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, fresh herbs and crunchy quinoa

I found some beautiful eggplants at the market this week and thought of this salad, a staple we ate all last summer long.  Summers already nearly over, which is hard to believe, how fast the time goes and goes, but this salad feels like summer on a plate that we can enjoy all the way through the fall.  Roasted eggplant and chickpeas, lots of fresh herbs – parsley, mint & oregano – tomatoes, currants, a squeeze of lemon and some toasted quinoa or millet added in for a little crunch.  Think of it as a wildly embellished taboulli – yum. 

Last summer I would stir in some soft goat cheese, which adds a nice creaminess, but this time around I left it out since I’m eating dairy free at the moment. Every bit as delicious without the cheese, but you could also stir in some dairy free chevre style nut cheese if you like (I’ve been enjoying Heidi Ho ne chevre lately), for a little something extra if you’re vegan or dairy free.  Your choice, stir in some goat cheese, a little feta, dairy free nut cheese or leave it out, we’re happy to eat it either way. 

For us this makes a meal in itself served atop a bed of quinoa and some arugula or other salad greens lightly dressed, Romaine works great too.  I also like wrapping it up in a large chard leaf, again Romaine or collard greens would also be very suitable with a little bit of hummus or a spread of roasted eggplant & tahini helps keep it all stuck together in the green wrap.  Or make this part of a middle eastern style assorted salad plate with some stuffed grape leaves, hummus, muhammara (find my gluten free version here), a few olives and a side of lavash or gluten free crackers.

Roasted eggplant, chickpea salad

Roasted eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, fresh herbs topped with feta

 Last night after dinner, Skyler announced this tasty salad to be in my top ten of savory recipes, and even though she’s definitely my biggest food fan and dining ally, I think that’s a pretty nice endorsement. This roasted eggplant, chickpea and fresh herb salad is delicious and keeps well for several days, easy to make ahead and bring to a party or keep leftovers parked in the fridge to snack on or add to lunches throughout the week.  Enjoy!  

Roasted chickpeas, eggplant, etc

salad of roasted eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, fresh herbs and crunchy quinoa

Roasted Eggplant & Chickpeas with Fresh Herbs & Crispy Quinoa

Author: Jen Jones of SweetGreenKitchen.com

vegan optional, gluten free

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant or 2-3 small or a few Japanese eggplants – cut into bite sized cubes

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed

1 bunch or 2 big handfuls of parsley – chopped

1 small handful of mint – chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh oregano or thyme – chopped * optional

1 lemon – zest and juice

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt & black pepper

¼ cup dried currants

3-4 scallion greens – thinly sliced (note I use just the green tops for low fodmap)

1 cup cooked quinoa * optional

¼ cup dry quinoa or millet * optional, but adds a nice crunch

1 pint red or orange cherry tomatoes – halved or quartered if large – or 1-2 large tomatoes – chopped

3-4 ounces fresh goat cheese * optional

Plus Avocado oil or other high heat oil for roasting

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Big Batch Granola with Almonds, Pecans & Pepitas

a big batch of granola, jarred up and ready for gifting!

a big batch of granola, jarred up and ready for gifting!

Oh granola, how I love thee, let me count the ways…I have loved granola for as long as I can remember.  For years, my go to breakfast was a bowl of plain yogurt with fresh berries and a spoonful or two of my favorite granola. Nowadays, I don’t eat much yogurt, but I haven’t given up on granola and have found so many other delicious ways to enjoy it.  I’ve replaced the yogurt in my granola bowl to fresh berries or sliced banana topped with granola and my homemade coconut milk or almond milk, delicious!  Granola can be mixed into pancake batter for some extra flavor and texture, top off a chia cup or even a bowl of ice cream, or just eat it straight out of the jar as a healthy snack. 

 

delicious baked granola straight out of the pan

delicious baked granola straight out of the pan

About 10-12 years ago, I found a recipe for granola and started making my own.  My family loved it.  As I continued making batch after batch of granola over the years, of course I started tweaking the recipe and have created a few different versions that I really like (for a nice twist try my pumpkin pecan granola).  This one is close to my original, but with a few really great updates.  For one, I’ve figured out some great tips on how to get granola into nice size clusters, all the better for snacking on straight out of the jar. 

Tips for making granola clusters:

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Coconut Almond Blueberry Scones – vegan & gluten free

gluten free and vegan! scones bursting with juicy blueberries and dusted with coconut and almonds, yum!

gluten free and vegan! scones bursting with juicy blueberries and dusted with coconut and almonds, yum!

Hallallujah!  The birds in my head are singing and I’m doing a happy dance around my kitchen for I have finally discovered the magic of baking a GOOD gluten free scone. Coconut Almond Blueberry Scones to be exact and not only are they gluten free, but vegan too!!! 

Just baked and oozing blueberries...

Just baked and oozing blueberries…

This simple dough is made from coconut flour (or leftover coconut pulp!) and oats, studded with blueberries and almonds and rolled in a few extra oats, flaked coconut, raw sugar and almonds just for fun and a little extra yum. 

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One Skillet Baked Pasta and Veggies – Zucchini, Eggplant, Peppers, oh my

baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, cheese & chick peas, yum!

baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, cheese & chick peas, yum!

This is the perfect time of year for me, when I can still find delicious late summer veggies, like eggplant,, zucchini and peppers, at my local farmer’s market, but the weather is beginning to turn chilly enough that I crave warm comfort foods.  This recipe marries the two and even better than that, this is a one pan wonder.  One pan, that’s right you read correctly, even the pasta cooks in the same skillet, no boiling water, draining or extra pots and pans to wash, I present to you my One Skillet Baked Pasta and Veggies.

sauteed eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes

sauteed eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes

All in one skillet - eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and pasta

All in one skillet – eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and pasta

Not only does this recipe all come together in just one pan, but it is also super versatile to suit your own tastes, moods, diet or what’s available in your market or kitchen today. I love making this with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes, but it’s just as delicious with any one or combo of veggies. I also like adding in chickpeas and topping the whole thing with chopped mozzarella and grated Romano cheese, but if you’re not into beans and/or cheese you can easily leave those out.

Cheesy topped baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes, yum!

Cheesy topped baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes, yum!

I’ve partnered with the Westchester County Mom’s Blog as a contributor, to view the rest of this post and get my amazing one pan recipe, go to my One Skillet Baked Pasta.  Enjoy!

 

Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu

Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu, yum

Whenever I find myself at Whole Foods I can’t leave without picking up a container or two of their golden sesame tofu.  I love this stuff.  The tofu has a perfectly dense and chewy texture and the saucy coating is just sweet enough with a little bit of spice. The whole thing is finished with fresh scallions for the right amount of crunchy freshness, yum!  

Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu

Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu

For years, I’ve been buying Whole Food’s Golden Sesame Tofu and trying to recreate it myself at home.  I’ve looked for recipes online and have tried just going off the ingredients list on the package, but I’ve never been quite happy enough with my results, that is to say, until now….  

I’ll admit, and if you’ve had the Whole Foods version before, you’ll know this recipe is not exactly the same, but for me I think it’s even better and the family agrees, even my meat eating husband loves my Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu!   Whether, it’s the golden sesame tofu you’ve had from Whole Foods or not, my Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu is delicious, give it a try and see for yourself.  yummy golden sesame ginger tofu

I start by pan frying the tofu with a light cornstarch coating, dotted with toasted sesame seeds, just until the tofu is golden and crisp but still tender and a little chewy on the inside.  

Tofu cubes with a light and crispy toasted sesame seed coating

Tofu cubes with a light and crispy toasted sesame seed coating

My sauce is a little sweet, a little tangy, a little spicy.  Golden Sesame Ginger Sauce

sweet and spicy sesame ginger sauce

sweet and spicy sesame ginger sauce

The recipe comes together fairly quickly and makes a perfect meal topping Forbidden Rice, soba noodles, crispy and fresh cabbage slaw, or anything else you can imagine.  

Sweet & Spicy Sesame & Ginger Tofu

Sweet & Spicy Sesame & Ginger Tofu

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