Friday, July 24, 2015

Lidwin's Eggplant Salad

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This salad recipe comes from my Jazzercise friend, Lidwin Serpanchy. It is truly refreshing and delicious.  You fry the eggplant cubes first, drain it on paper towels to remove the excess oil, then mix it with the other ingredients, lemon juice and salt and pepper. In the one pictured above, I used crisp Persian cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes which were in season.  Lidwin arranges her tomatoes which have been sliced, rather than chopped, around the perimeter of the bowl with the rest of the dressed ingredients in the middle, so that the tomatoes don't get soggy from the salt.

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant, cut in cubes
Canola oil
1 cucumber, cut in cubes
1-2 tomatoes, cut in cubes or slices
Red onion, cut in rings
Cilantro
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1/2-1 lemon, juiced

Saute the eggplant in canola oil for several minutes until the eggplant is cooked.  Since the eggplant absorbs a lot of the oil, drain the eggplant on paper towels to remove some of the oil.  Set eggplant aside to cool to room temperature.  In a large bowl, mix the eggplant, cucumber, tomatoes, red onions and cilantro.  Squeeze lemon juice over all. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lasagna Soup

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This recipe for lasagna soup came from a Penzeys Spices catalog, given to me by my friend, Jan Roberts, along with a cool assortment of Penzeys spices to try. The soup is a meal in itself, very filling and satisfying. You can adjust the seasonings as I did to fit your tastes and add whatever type of noodles you want.

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken broth (3 cups water with 2 tsp chicken soup base)
1, 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes
1, 15-oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp Italian herb mix (I used Herbs de Provence)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp basil
1 cup broken lasagna noodles (or any small noodle)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

In a large pot, brown the meat with the onion, green pepper and garlic for about 10 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to boil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add the noodles and cook for 15 minutes more. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Serve immediately.

Pictured here is Jan in the living room of her former residence, a beautiful 1916 Craftsman.