Tag Archives: Mint

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


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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Tofu Summer Rolls with Miso Dipping Sauce

IMG_5004 Tofu Summer Rolls with Misco Cashew Dipping Sauce

Tofu Summer Rolls

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

These summer rolls are so flavorful, light and fresh tasting, perfect for the warm days of Spring and Summer.  They make a great appetizer or party hors d’oeuvres and are perfect as a light lunch or dinner served alongside a nice salad or Asian slaw.


1 12-ounce package of Extra Firm Tofu – drained and pressed

1 Avocado – thinly sliced

1 Mango – thinly sliced

Fresh Mint leaves

Baby Arugula

Rice Paper a.k.a. Spring Roll Wrappers

Flaked Sea Salt (or other Salt)IMG_4955


Miso Marinade/Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

 1 Tablespoon White Miso

1 Tablespoon lite Soy Sauce or Wheat Free Tamari (to make it gluten free)

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider or Rice Vinegar (or 1 Tablespoon of each)

2 teaspoons Honey, Agave or Maple Syrup (Agave or Maple to make it Vegan)

1/4 teaspoon (more or less to taste) Sriracha Sauce

1 Tablespoon Olive or Sesame Oil

IMG_4949 Miso Cashew Dipping Sauce

 Alternate (Miso Cashew) Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Cashew Butter (Almond or Peanut Butter would also be good)

1 Tablespoon White Miso

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

2 teaspoons Honey or Agave Syrup

1 teaspoon lite Soy Sauce or Tamari

1 teaspoon Water

1/4 teaspoon (more or less to taste) Sriracha Sauce

A sprinkling of white or black Sesame Seeds – optional



Starting with drained and pressed Tofu, slice the Tofu block into approximately 8 even slices and the then halve each slice lengthwise, leaving you with about 16 strips.  Season lightly with salt.

Meanwhile heat a large non stick pan and drizzle a bit of oil (I use olive, canola or coconut oil).

Saute each piece of Tofu over a medium to high flame, adjusting temperature as needed, until golden brown on both sides.  Beware of splatters when cooking.

IMG_4715 Golden Tofu in Miso MarinadeWhilst cooking the tofu, prepare the Miso Marinade.  Add the cooked Tofu to the Marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to a few hours or even overnight.  Refrigerating the cooked tofu allows the texture to firm up and also gives it time to absorb the flavors of the marinade.

To make the Summer Rolls:

Fill a pie dish or other similarly sized bowl with warm water.  Working one at a time, soak 1 Rice Paper wrapper in the water until it softens.  Beware, if you’ve never worked with rice paper wrappers before, they are delicate and prone to tearing, but don’t worry about small tears they should still wrap up fine.

On a flat surface, like a cutting board lay out the softened Rice Paper (you can place a paper towel on top of your board if you like to help absorb a bit of extra moisture and prevent it from sticking to your board).

Begin to layer your filling – start with 2 -3 leaves of Mint placed vertically down the center of the rice paper.  Next, line up 2 slices of tofu on top of the Mint, then 2 slices of Mango and 2 slices of Avocado, finishing with a small handful of Arugula and a little sprinkle of flaked Sea Salt.IMG_4970 IMG_4993IMG_4988

IMG_4981Now to wrap, if you’ve ever rolled up a burrito this is very much the same.  Start by folding up the ends over the filling, then , fold up one side over all the filling tucking it to make it tight, then roll the whole thing over the last end until it is completely wrapped, tucking as you go to make a nice tight roll.  Using a sharp knife cut the roll in half (I like an angled cut).  Now repeat.

Place the completed rolls on a platter until done and then serve with either the leftover marinade or the miso cashew dipping sauce.  Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:  These rolls take a little pre planning as you need to first cook and marinate the tofu before moving on to make the rolls, if you want to save time, you can use already baked and marinated pre-packaged tofu. 

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IMG_5012 IMG_4996






Lemony Tabbouleh

Lemony Tabbouleh

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones



To so many, parsley is thought of as just a garnish, but not I.  To me, parsley is an ingredient to be celebrated as much as other favorite herbs like basil or salad greens such as arugula, field greens and others.  It shows up regularly, pretty much daily in my meals, sprinkled atop sliced eggs on toast or over pasta or mixed into any number of recipes, it adds a freshness like no other to just about any savory dish.  But here, parsley becomes the star, no longer a mere garnish, parsley is the main ingredient in this simple lovely salad.  This truly is traditionally a parsley salad with bulgur, mint and tomatoes playing the supporting roles.  I like my tabbouleh with extra lemon, so feel free to add less if that’s not to your liking.  Either way, this is a quick, simple, yet wonderfully delicious dish that itself could be the star of the meal. 


2/3 cup fine Bulgur wheat (medium or coarse grain can be substituted) *see notes – or Quinoa for a gluten free option

Zest of 1 Lemon

About 4 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice, from about 1- 2 lemons (less if you prefer)

About 4 -6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large bunch (about 3-4 cups) Flat Leaf Italian Parsley (so much more flavorful than curly parsley)

1 small bunch Mint (about ½ – 1 cup)

About ½ – 1 whole pint of small Tomatoes, such as grape or cherry

Optional: 2-3 chopped Scallions

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste




Rinse bulgur in a tight mesh strainer under cold water and then drain thoroughly.  Pour into a medium bowl.  *See notes below if you wish to use Quinoa. Zest your lemon (before juicing).  Add lemon juice and olive oil to the bulgur, add less to start with as you can always add more lemon juice after tasting, but you can’t take it out.  Allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb the dressing.  If using medium or coarse grain bulgur, you’ll need to add a little hot water to soften the grain, before adding the dressing.

Meanwhile, wash and dry parsley and mint leaves and chop.  Add to the bulgur along with the lemon zest, salt and pepper and scallions if using.  Stir to combine.

Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters, depending upon the size and what you like.  Add the tomatoes to the salad and gently stir.

Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt and pepper as you like.

Can be served chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy! IMG_4476IMG_4482

Recipe Notes:  

It’s best to let the salad sit for a bit of time before eating to allow the grain to soften and fully absorb all the flavors of the dressing, herbs and tomatoes.  If I have time and actually think ahead, I mix the bulgur with the olive oil and lemon juice and leave in the fridge overnight, before adding the remaining ingredients, but this is not necessary.

 Tabbouleh can be served in so many wonderful ways.  I like it simply in Romaine lettuce cups or added to a hummus wrap or falafel sandwich or atop a larger green salad or served alongside your favorite fish. It was also my contribution to the family Easter brunch, served along side my dad’s amazing quiche and goat cheese tart.  

Ingredient Notes: 

Parsley has numerous health benefits.  It is an excellent source of Vitamins K (one half cup serving provides over 500% of your daily value!) and C and also a very good source of Vitamin A, folic acid and iron. It is high in numerous healthy flavonoids.  All of which means parsley is good for your heart, joints, digestion and more.   

Bulgur wheat also goes by the name cracked wheat, it is high in protein and fiber and low in fat and calories, an excellent substitution for other grains such as brown rice or oats. 

*BUT, if you can’t find bulgur or wish to make this wheat/gluten free, I find Quinoa makes a perfect substitute for the bulgur.  If you do use Quinoa, you’ll have to pre cook it, I would probably use about 1/3 cup uncooked to 2/3 cup water, brought to a boil and then covered on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Quinoa increases in volume by a lot, so don’t be concerned by the small amount at the start.   

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