Tofu Soba Noodle Stir-Fry

I can't even begin to tell you how busy I've felt in the last few weeks.  I haven't blogged in almost two weeks and it makes me really sad.  I don't understand how bloggers can update their blogs multiple times a week, and the ones that blog every day… that just blows my mind.

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Asian-Style Eggplant

Like I have mentioned before, I love eggplant.  Anytime I see it on a menu, I automatically want whatever it is.  And when I see asian-style spicy eggplant?  That is just a done deal. I'm sold.

Want more reason to eat eggplant?  See why eggplant is good for you and a great Eggplant Caprese recipe:  Eggplant 🙂

I attempted to re-create this dish and it turned out very good.  I would add pepper flakes to to increase the spicyness, but overall, it was a success!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Usually for Christmas Eve, my mom makes a honey ham and we make some of our favorite sides to go with.  In the past, we have made sticky rice, creamed corn, roasted sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes and other of our favorite mom dishes.  This year, we decided on roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash and scalloped potatoes.  I have wanted to roast Brusselssprouts so we decided to try that out on the family as well.  

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Crockpot Veggie Chili

I finally got a crockpot!!!!!!  I have read so much about the magical wonders of crockpots but I have never owned one until now.  AND  I got a fantastic deal.  My goodness, I love Black Friday.  My mom and I went to Kohl's and look how much we saved!!  One of my greatest secret pleasures is looking at the receipt and seeing how much money you saved.  Actually, it's not even secret.  Most people know I'm a sucker for a good deal.  Groupon, Living Social, Yipit, Woot and all coupon apps (yes I have a few) are made for crazy people like me.  Oh, and can't forget happy hours… of course.

Who wouldn't love saving $472???

Anyways, I lugged all my new items and this sucker from California to Austin (I found out later TSA inspected my bag, haha).  I knew the first thing I wanted to make was veggie chili.  From the days back in my sorority, Armando would cook this turkey chili along with this amazing veggie chili.  Then I got hooked on the Vegetarian Chili at Trader Joe's, which I always kept stocked in my pantry.  Since Austin doesn't have a Trader Joe's (although one is coming soon!!!!!), I have been sad and veggie chili-less.

I chose a pretty standard and simple recipe.  It turned out pretty good for my first chili, but I think for the next one, I'm going to alter the recipe and add a few more things to it.

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Obsession: Roasted Veggie Sandwiches

If you asked me what my favorite food is, I would say a sandwich.  People think it’s strange, but I say that because I love the heck out of a good sandwich.  What kind?  Oh goodness, too many to pick from.  There are also a LOT of bad sandwiches out there, but boy, when you get that fresh, gourmet sandwich (drool), there is nothing better.

My recent obsession is a grilled vegetable sandwich and I decided to whip one up at home the other day.  Here is one of my favorite, easiest, and most delicious open faced sandwiches that I love to eat.  You can make this in no time at all.  It’s this simple:

  1. Chop up your veggies (I used peppers, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant… anything but the kitchen sink)
  2. Heat a little olive oil in the pan and toss in the veggies.  I like to use just a smidge of oil because it helps blacken the veggies, giving it the burnt taste. (I guess ‘charred’ would be a more restaurant appropriate word… but let’s be real, its burnt.)
  3. Toast the bread
  4. Spread on some pesto
  5. Pile on the veggies when they are done

Yes, I know, it’s easy.  Too easy that I almost didn’t write about it.  But it’s quite pretty, so I did!  🙂

the ‘charred’ veggies

pile it on!
Some goat cheese on top, please!

Vegetable Gratin

I came upon a zucchini-tomato gratin recipe and thought it looked delicious!  I have never made gratin and I don’t even think I had eaten it before, but it looked like something I would enjoy.  I had a bunch of other veggies, so I figured I would throw those in as well.  So, it ended up being a zucchini-tomato-brussel sprout-asparagus-broccolini gratin! 🙂
This dish is packed with vegetables, making it very healthy by providing nutrients, minerals and antioxidants.  But did you know that the way you cook your vegetables can alter the nutrient content?  When you cook vegetables in water (blanching or boiling), many of these vitamins and nutrients seep into the water, going to waste.  The most common nutrient lost is Vitamin C.  In order to retain the maximum nutrients, cook your vegetables with as little water as possible.  By stir-frying, steaming, or baking/roasting (as seen here), you will be getting the most out of your vegetables.

Veggie Gratin

3 zucchinis
1 bunch asparagus
1 onion, chopped
15 brussel sprouts, halved
Baby tomatoes, halved
1 bunch broccolini
12 oz mozzarella cheese
Bread crumbs

  1. First, pan-grill the zucchini (this ensures they will be fully cooked)
  2. Toss chopped vegetables (minus zucchini) in olive oil and salt
  3. Layer the chopped onions on the bottom of an iron skillet or baking pan.
  4. On top of the onions, place the first layer of mixed vegetables
  5. Add a layer of zucchini
  6. Add a layer of cheese and sprinkle bread crumbs.
  7. Repeat until the pan is full
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling
Layer of veggies
Add cheese and bread crumbs

Freshly roasted, right out of the oven

As you may know, I’m not a huge cheese person, so I went easy on cheese for half of the gratin, but on the other half, I loaded it on for my cheese-loving friends.  It was delicious right out of the oven, the bread crumbs were crispy and the veggies were well roasted!

There are plenty of vegetables in this dish, which means only one thing…. fiber!!  Although there is a lot of fiber, there isn’t much protein so I would recommend this as a side dish.  Nonetheless, it is still a filling dish and very tasty!  It can be made year-round with various seasonal veggies.  I can’t wait to make this with butternut squash in the fall.  Next time, I am going to add tofu or chicken to improve the protein content!