Tag Archives: simple

“Pasta Mondays”: Pasta Shells with Tomato and Eggplant

25 Jun

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It’s been a busy June this year. Before the month slips by, I will share a simple recipe for a pasta dinner. Shells with Tomato and Eggplant.

Pasta Mondays have been happening a lot this month. Pasta offers carb-filled comfort, and when tossed with seasonal produce, feels light and quick (I’ve been on a beans/eggs/tortillas kick, lately as well…). Just what I need to keep me pumped for the busy days ahead.

Below is a photo of whole wheat angel hair pasta with summer squash, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and Pecorino:

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I turned the leftover sautéed squash into another pasta meal, adding tomato sauce, kale, and “whipped” cottage cheese (my latest obsession, it has the consistency of ricotta but with more protein!):

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This week’s pasta dinner was inspired by an amazing eggplant-based vegan sandwich I ate over the weekend at the Smorgasburg in DUMBO. The sandwich was made by Bombay Sandwich, Co. It had roasted eggplant, onions, and tomato seasoned with cumin, carom seed, asafetida, and jaggery. The sandwich was topped with various chutneys, carrot & mustard seed pickle, fresh cut cilantro & Haldiram’s crunchy chickpea flakes, and was toasted on local seven grain bread from Orwashers Artisan Bakery.

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With eggplant on the brain, and leftover tomato sauce in my fridge, this week’s Pasta Monday was set. I recently acquired some basil plants that I potted and set on my windowsill, and nothing screams pasta and tomatoes like fresh basil! I decided to go cheese-less tonight, but I added a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a little flavor and substance.

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Shells with Tomato and Eggplant

serves 4, loosely adapted from Martha Rose Shulman 

8 oz dry shell shape pasta

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small to medium size or 1 large eggplant, cubed

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1-2 cups prepared tomato sauce (try to find a high quality brand with no added sugar, or purchase it at your farmer’s market if you can)

small handful of fresh basil, lightly chopped

salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

optional: nutritional yeast…or Parmesan or ricotta…

Get your water boiling in a pot. Once boiling, salt the water and add the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When it begins to ripple, add the eggplant and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the edges are nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Cover, turn the heat to medium, and continue to cook, shaking the pan often, until the eggplant is thoroughly softened, about 10 more minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, stir together, and heat through. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Drain the pasta, and toss with the tomato sauce and eggplant mixture. Top the pasta with fresh basil, salt, and fresh ground pepper. If using, sprinkle on top nutritional yeast or fresh cheese.

5 Days of Simple Breakfasts…

31 Aug

Just a little post to show you what I’ve been eating for breakfast lately. It’s easy to get in a breakfast rut, and I’m here to offer you five small simple breakfast ideas that will help get your day started.

I like to exercise in the late morning, and these are all great pre-(or post) workout options for breakfast or a snack. I try to think: carb + a little protein. And it never hurts to keep in mind color and appearance. Even if it’s just a mini-meal, your belly will feel more satisfied if your eyes are entertained as well.

Toast with avocado and low-fat cottage cheese. Lots of fresh ground pepper. I never liked cottage cheese as a kid because I didn’t like the texture. Once I discovered that I could spread it on a crunchy piece of toast or crackers, there was no turning back. I can’t get enough of the stuff now! AND you get 15 grams of protein per serving of cottage cheese.

Almond butter schmeared on toast. With a squeeze of honey (or banana). I recently tried sunflower seed butter, which is another great alternative to add to the peanut/almond butter rotation.

Oatmeal. I like making rolled oats on the stove top. This time around my toppers included: cinnamon, coconut chips, a combo of walnuts/macadamias, frozen berries, plain yogurt, and honey. (you can just barely see the steam coming from my coffee…!!!)

Baby berry smoothie: 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Whir it up in the blender. Add a frozen banana if you want to bulk this up a bit (I had some whole wheat crackers with nut butter shortly after this to complement the smallness of the smoothie). Pour into an old jam jar and enjoy.

A layered yogurt parfait. Plain yogurt, granola, more yogurt, melon (or whatever fruit you want), finished with more granola. You could even take something like this on the go in a small tupperware container (or a clean container from a previous yogurt).

Note that most of the ingredients for these breakfasts you can always have on hand. Frozen fruit, rolled oats, nut butters, bread (you can even put bread in the freezer and toast off as needed). Even yogurt stays fresh for a long time in the fridge. So much easier to whip up a quick healthy breakfast when your pantry and refrigerator/freezer are stocked with these simple breakfast staples.