Mediterranean Couscous Salad

DF, V, VG

Sometimes when I make dinner I look for an easy win.  Maybe it’s a one pan plan or in this case a salad that combines the starch, couscous, with veggies.  It leaves me with one less dish to make, yet you’re not wanting it because this side has it all in one.  Why make two when you can make one?

med couscous

Mediterranean Couscous Salad
1 c israeli couscous
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 c cucumber, chopped
1/2 c grape tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c red onion, chopped
1 tbs mint, finely chopped
1 tbs basil, finely chopped

Cook couscous according to package instructions.  While still warm stir in red wine vinegar and olive oil, let cook to room temperature.  Add cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, mint, and basil.  Stir to combine then serve at room temperature.

Corn Fritters

DF, V

Sometimes I just need a taste of summer, and corn is the quintessential summer veggie. Sure I could have made a corn side dish, but why not make it the star of the show?  This dish is perfect for a light dinner or as an easy appetizer perfect for company.  Make them in advance then just reheat before serving.

corn fritters

Corn Fritters
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c red onion, chopped
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 c corn
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c red pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp coriander
pinch of salt
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Add avocado, grape tomatoes, red onion, and apple cider vinegar to a bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine, set aside.

In another bowl add corn, eggs, red pepper, cumin, chili powder, coriander, salt.  Mix until well combined, then add flour and baking powder.

Add 2 tbs olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.  Spoon out batter in 1/4 c scoops onto the skillet.  Cook on each side until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes per side.

To serve top corn fritters with avocado relish.

Eggplant Parmesan

DF, V

It was a cold January week and I was craving something warm and hearty.  A dish with a great marinara sauce sounded delightful, but the thought of meat was drowning my hopes.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been craving vegetarian dishes more and more.  Vegetables with marinara provide a lot of options, but eggplant parmesan was calling my name.  I just couldn’t resist…

eggplant parm

Eggplant Parmesan
1 large eggplant
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs italian seasoning
1/2 c red wine
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 c flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c breadcrumbs
1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated if using
12 ounces grated mozzarella cheese if using

The morning of slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices.  Lay on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.  Layer eggplant with salt and paper towels until all are covered. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

In a large pot heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic and italian seasoning, cook until onions soften about 5 minutes.  Add red wine to deglaze the pan, cook until liquid reduces by half.  Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook over low heat covered for 30 minutes.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Make an assembly row with flour in a plate, eggs in one bowl, breadcrumbs in a plate (in that order).  Remove eggplant from frig and discard paper towels.  Working one at a time dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs, and then dredge in the breadcrumbs.  Meanwhile heat a large saute pan over medium high heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Add eggplant slices without crowding the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, you will need to work in batches.  Once cooked place on a paper towel lined plate until all are cooked.

Spread 1/4 c of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a 8×8 inch dish.  Place a third of the eggplant rounds in a single layer on top of the sauce.  If not dairy free layer 1/3 of the mozzarella and parmesan on top of the eggplant.  Repeat 3 times.  Bake for 30 minutes or until thoroughly warmed.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.