Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini | Pinky's Pantry
This vegetarian dish looks like you spent all day making it but is actually very easy. Not only is it delicious, but it’s healthy too. If you have a mandoline, use it. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it sure makes nice even eggplant slices. You can also make your own marinara sauce or just buy a jar, like I did. They have lots of healthy ones out there nowadays. This recipe makes a big 9×13-inch casserole. If you’re feeding less people, cut the recipe in half.

EGGPLANT ROLLATINI

  • 2 large eggplants
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 container (15 ozs.) ricotta cheese
  • 1 pkg. (10 ozs.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 jar (24 ozs.) marinara sauce
  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and generously grease each with olive oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Trim off and discard stem ends and bottom ends of the eggplants.
  4. Slice off 2 opposite sides of each eggplant so you have a flat top and a flat bottom.
  5. Using a mandoline, slice each eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. You’ll have about 20 slices total.
  6. Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and lightly drizzle a little more olive oil over them.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Place in oven and bake about 12-15 minutes or until tender and pliable.
  9. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  10. Pour half the jar of marinara sauce into a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  11. Tilt the dish left and right to spread the sauce evenly across the bottom. Set aside.
  12. Make the rollatini filling by beating the eggs in a medium bowl with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
  13. Add the ricotta, spinach, Italian seasoning, and 1 cup of the mozzarella.
  14. Stir well to combine.
  15. Divide the filling evenly between all the eggplant slices, placing a scoop of filling onto the wide end of each slice.
  16. Roll each slice up and place seam side down on sauce in baking dish.
  17. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over each eggplant roll.
  18. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese, then parmesan cheese.
  19. Bake about 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Peruvian Quinoa Vegetable Stew

Pinky's Pantry | Quinoa Vegetable Stew
This vegetarian dish is popularly eaten in Peru. Besides being healthy and good for you, it’s also very easy to make. I think you could add other veggies to it if you wanted to, like carrots, mushrooms, kale, or peas, which makes it quite the versatile little dish. Just make sure you keep in the potato and corn which are what make it classically Peruvian. Oh and I forgot to sprinkle the cilantro over it before I took the photo above. Don’t do what I did. The cilantro adds a delicious pop of flavor so you don’t want to leave it out. This recipe serves 2 people, but could very easily be doubled or tripled to feed more.

PERUVIAN QUINOA VEGETABLE STEW
[Serves 2]

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ¾ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 red potato (6 ozs.), unpeeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ⅓ cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • ⅓ cup fresh, canned or frozen corn kernels
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, paprika, coriander and cumin.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in water, scraping up any browned bits.
  5. Stir in broth and potato, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in quinoa and simmer for 8 minutes.
  7. Stir in corn and zucchini and continue to simmer until quinoa and vegetables are just tender, 6-8 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Divide stew into 2 bowls.
  10. Top each with a sprinkling of cilantro, a little avocado, some crumbled queso fresco, and 2 or 3 lime wedges for your guests to squeeze into the stew before eating.

[Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated]

Healthy Chorizo con Papas (Mexican Chorizo with Potatoes)

Chorizo con Papas | Pinky's PantryThe 2012 issue of Saveur 100 magazine has a recipe for chorizo con papas featuring fresh homemade chorizo. I wanted to fix a big breakfast for the family this morning and thought Chorizo con Papas would fit the bill perfectly, but I needed it to be a little healthier and a whole lot quicker to prepare. This is my healthy, quick-and-easy version. I use vegetarian soy chorizo in place of regular pork chorizo. Also, I par-boil the potatoes which removes some of the starch from them. I do fry them in a little oil, but we all need a bit of fat in our diets and if you choose a heart-healthy fat like olive or canola oil, it’ll be just fine.

My friend, Pooh, introduced me to soy chorizo. It’s a great substitute for pork chorizo when you’re trying to cut down on your fat intake. Reynaldo’s brand has a good spicy flavor without being overly hot which leaves it open for you to adjust the heat of the dish to your liking. Trader Joe’s makes a good soy chorizo, too. With zero cholesterol, soy chorizo is a heart-healthy and delicious substitute for the real thing. As an added bonus, it’s readily available at most local grocery stores and is quite reasonably priced.

If you want, you could add tabasco sauce or some other hot sauce to this dish to make it spicier. When I serve this for breakfast, I top each serving with a fried egg and add a couple of slices of Buttered Seasoned Toast. A little sour cream on the side and you’re ready to dig in!

HEALTHY CHORIZO CON PAPAS (MEXICAN CHORIZO WITH POTATOES)

  • 1 pkg. (12 ozs.) vegetarian soy chorizo
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 pasilla pepper, cut into large dice
  • canola or olive oil for frying
  1. Boil cubed potatoes till partially cooked, about 7 minutes.
  2. Drain very well.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large skillet and fry potatoes until golden brown and crispy on all sides.
  4. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  5. In same skillet, heat a little more oil and sauté onion and pasilla pepper until onion begins to turn translucent. Transfer to plate with potatoes.
  6. Remove soy chorizo from casing and add to skillet.
  7. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes, breaking up any large chunks with the back of a spoon.
  8. Add potatoes, onions, and peppers back into skillet with chorizo and stir until well combined.
  9. Top each serving with a fried egg and place buttered seasoned toast on the side.

NOTE:   For those of you who might want to try making your own fresh chorizo for this dish, I’m posting Saveur’s fresh chorizo recipe here.

Saveur’s Fresh Chorizo Recipe:

12 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
8 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1½ tbsp. dried orégano, preferably Mexican
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lb. ground pork
8 oz. pork fatback, chilled and minced

Heat both chiles in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; cook, turning, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer chiles to a bowl and cover with 4 cups boiling water; let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving ¾ cup soaking liquid, and transfer to a blender along with reserved soaking liquid, cilantro, vinegar, paprika, salt, oregano, pepper, cumin, coriander, and garlic; purée until smooth. Transfer purée to a bowl and add pork and fatback; mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week.