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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Quinoa Veggie Balls

2016-03-25 14.07.32

There are different varieties of eggplant. I have the standard eggplant that everyone’s familiar with, and also 2 smaller tiger eggplants. For this recipe today, I going to use just the one larger eggplant.

 

Yields: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes (time may vary slightly)

Ingredients:
2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash peeled
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of water
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Yields: 22-24 quinoa balls
Equipment: food processor, mesh strainer, saucepan with lid, 2 baking sheets
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time:  roughly, 1 hour
Roasted Eggplant 30 minutes Quinoa 20 minutes ( cook at the same time)
Quinoa veggies balls 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
3 cups of cooked quinoa
1/2 diced red, yellow and orange bell peppers, 1/2 a large onion, and 3 cloves of garlic that have been minced in a food processor, then drained.
1-1/4 cups of roasted and processed egg plant
1-1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
1 jar of sweet organic potato and apricot puree
1 tablespoon of ketchup
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of ground chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 large beaten eggs
1-1/4 cups of Italian style bread crumbs, plus 1/2 cup for reserved for coating the quinoa balls.
Olive oil for drizzling over the quinoa balls

Directions:
First, let’s talk about preparing the zucchini and yellow squash. Cut lengthwise slices from the zucchini and squash using a julienne peeler.I like leaving the skins on but that’s optional. Stop when seeds are reached. Turn the the zucchini over and repeat on the other side. Do the same with the yellow squash. Note:  Because it the veggie pasta doesn’t take very long to cook, wait until the quinoa veggies balls come out of the oven before starting the pasta.

To cook the zucchini pasta, heat the olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat, saute and stir the vegetable pasta strands in the oil for 1 minute. Add water and cook until the vegetable pasta is softened, (time may vary slightly) 3-5 minutes. Season with Kosher salt and pepper.

To roast the eggplant, preheat oven to 400 degrees F., cut it lengthwise, place them onto a baking sheet lightly greased with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle the tops with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Roast them in the oven until softened and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before removing the flesh.

While the eggplant is roasting in the oven, prepare the quinoa.  In a fine mesh strainer, add the 1 cup of quinoa. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hands while rinsing. Drain. Note: 1 cup of dried quinoa equals 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the saucepan over med-high heat, and add in the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to let the water evaporate and toast the quinoa. Stir in 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Bring to a roaring boil. Lower the heat setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove  the pot from the heat and let stand for another 5 minutes, covered. Don’t peek! At this point all the water should be absorbed. Note: If not, return the pan to the heat, covered for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Finally transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Grate, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the quinoa.

In a food processor add  large diced red, yellow, and orange bells peppers, diced onion, along with garlic that’s been chopped into large pieces. Pulse until finely minced. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer to release any extra water coming from the veggies. Let veggies stay in strainer until all or most liquid has drained off, about 10 minutes. Then add the strained veggies to the bowl with the quinoa.

To the food processor add the fresh herbs and pulse a few times until the herbs are finely minced. Then add the minced herbs to the bowl with the other ingredients.

Next,  remove the flesh of the eggplant from its skin. Add the flesh to the food processor and pulse until blended. To the bowl with the eggplant!

Now the hard part is done, just a few more ingredients then in the frig with this mixture. First, for the spices, add in cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Add in 1 jar of organic sweet potato and apricot baby puree, Italian style bread crumbs, ketchup, and beaten eggs. Mix  all these ingredients together really well, cover with plastic wrap and place into the frig.

Let the quinoa mixture set up in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Next, is to get two baking sheets lined with parchment paper ready. Pull the quinoa mixture out of the frig, using a 2 ounce scoop (the size of walnuts), scoop out the mixture into your hands roll them into a balls. A couple at a time, drop them into a shallow bowl with Italian style bread crumbs. Roll them around in the bread crumbs, until coated, shake off the excess, and place them onto the baking sheet.

Drizzle the tops of the quinoa balls with olive oil to help them brown evenly. Bake them off at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown. While the quinoa balls are baking, cook off the zucchini pasta as explained above. If you have homemade Marinara sauce on hand that’s perfect, if not use your favorite jarred brand.

Cooked quinoa balls can be stored in refrigerator for 3-5 days in air tight zip lock bag.

To plate, place the zucchini pasta on the bottom of the plate, and set your quinoa balls around the veggie pasta. Ladle some sauce over the top. While everything is piping hot, grate some cheese over the top.

 

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Rotisserie Chicken

2016-04-03 16.54.29

Rotisserie Chicken is a staple in my house. The meals you can pull together, in a pinch, are endless. I’m thinking a cool crisp salad with warm tender chicken on top, YUM! I find it’s a great way to clean out your frig.

In the frig, I’m seeing some seedless green grapes, strawberries, half a red onion, OH, and one of those bags of mixed greens. This is going to work out just perfect. Whenever I”m at the grocery store, I always make sure to bring home a pint of those sweet grape tomatoes. I think I’m obsessed with those babies.

Well,  I need a huge bowl so everyone can join the party. First, the greens, next to the fruit and tomatoes. Wait!, I need something crunchy. I walk to the pantry and what do you know, walnuts, perfect!  A quick chop and right into the bowl with those. Now I’m thinking cheese…,  back to the frig to grab some goat cheese. That soft, creamy, tangy, goodness crumbled all over the top will make this extra special. Now, for the Rotisserie chicken.  I’m adding some warm shredded chicken to the top of the salad. I believe I have a bag of croutons, somewhere,..found them!

A quick and simple lemon vinaigrette dressing to drizzle over the top, a glass of sweet tea and the TV remote. I’d say, this is the perfect ending to a busy day.

 

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

 

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Croissant Gourmet Bakery

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This is what I call “Picture Perfect”. Croissant Gourmet Bakery. Their located at 120 E. Morse Blvd. Winter Park, brought a taste of Parisian French-style pastries into our lives. French bakery featuring croissants, coffee, and crepes, plus tarts, flans, and cakes for dessert.

Inside and outside seating is available. You to enjoy gourmet pastries, croissant sandwiches, salads, or just a great cup of coffee while people watching.

You can “google” Croissant Gourmet Bakery for locations, menu, hours of operation, and directions.

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Homemade Plum Crumble

2016-03-31 15.33.32

I guess it’s the English and Italian in me that makes it impossible to resist a fruit crumble. I never really understood the difference between a fruit crisp and a fruit crumble, but I do now. The difference is the oats that go into the topping. It makes the topping extra special. There’s the English. Now I’m guessing the Italian part are the plums. My grandmother always had plums, the really dark red ones in her house.

This dessert is elegant enough to serve when you’re hosting a dinner party.  Stored in the refrigerator, the topping can be made a day in advance. Hot, room temperature, and with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, it’s the perfect ending to a meal.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Equipment: a ceramic pie dish or a 9 x 13 baking dish, baking sheet

Ingredients:
2 pounds of large dark red plums, pits removed, cut into 8 slices per plum ( 6 cups of sliced plums)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of organic apple juice

Topping:
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup of whole oats
2 sticks of cold cubed unsalted butter, reserve half for the top of the crumble.

Directions:
Butter a baking dish really well. In a large bowl throw in your sliced plums. To the plums add granulated sugar, flour, apple juice,  orange zest, and a pinch of Kosher salt. Mix all this together so all the plums are coated nicely. Transfer the plums to   a buttered baking dish. I like my fruit crumbles to be piled high. It gives it an old fashion look.

In another large bowl, add the ingredients for the crumble topping. Flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, whole oats, a pinch of Kosher salt. Whisk all those ingredients together before adding in the cold cubes of  unsalted butter. Reserve back 1/2 a stick of the butter to dot the top. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks coarse meal, shown above.

Sprinkle the crumbled topping evenly over the plums. If some of the topping slips down between the fruit, that’s fine. If some of the plums are showing through that’s also fine. Using the reserved butter cubes to dot the top. Using a baking sheet to place under the pie dish, bake for 50-60 minutes, at 350 degrees F., until the plums are tender and bubbling, and the top is golden brown.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

 

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