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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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Roasted Eggplant Tapenade

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This is a recipe I pulled together when all I had at the time were two eggplants and a loaf of roasted garlic Tuscan Ciabatta bread. I wanted something light but with amazing flavor. Most anything you put on top of a slice of grilled or toasted Ciabatta is delicious.

I found myself staring at the bread, then staring at the eggplant. OMG, Roasted Eggplant Tapenade!

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Eggplant Tapenade

Equipment: sheet pans, food processor
Prep Time: 10 minutes (prepping all the ingredients for the food processor)
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 10 cup food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients For Roasting Eggplant:
2 large eggplants halved lengthwise
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1  1/2teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients For Roasted Eggplant Tapenade:
2 large roasted eggplants, flesh removed
1-15.5-ounce can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
zest of one lemon
fresh lemon juice 2-3 tablespoons
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons *E.V.O.O.
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped basil
Smoked paprika for garnish (optional)
1 loaf Tuscan Ciabatta bread (yields 16 slices) substitute plain Ciabatta bread or a good French baguette
Garnish with smoked ground Paprika and E.V.O.O.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
I cut the top off two eggplants. Then cut them in half lengthwise and laid them onto two baking sheets. Drizzled them with olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Roasted them for 35-40 minutes then let them cool. Scoop out all the flesh and transfer to a food processor. Add the Cannellini beans, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, spices, Kosher salt, black pepper and *e.v.o.o.. Pulse until smooth. Next, add the grated cheese, fresh chopped herbs, and pulse until combined. Transfer the Tapenade to a serving bowl.

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Slice bread into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place them onto a baking sheet. Drizzle each slice with a little olive oil. Sprinkle each slice with a pinch of  Kosher salt and black pepper. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.

To serve:
Place the Roasted Eggplant Tapenade in a serving bowl. Sprinkle ground smoked paprika and a drizzle of *E.V.O.O. over the top. Alongside, I serve a platter of sliced grilled or oven toasted Ciabatta bread.

*E.V.O.O. is the abbreviation for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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