Monday, April 18, 2016

Vegetarian Chili with Steel-Cut Oats

Oats for Dinner?

Adding steel-cut oats to a smoky chili with chipotle peppers makes a quick, hearty and wholesome meal.  This chili is great for lunch time leftovers and is so quick to make!  


4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 Tbsp. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.4 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
Sliced scallions and sharp white or yellow cheddar for garnish


Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a medium soup pot.  Add oats and quinoa and lower to a simmer.  Cook, covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally  Uncover and continue cooking until oats are tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, garlic, beans and tomatoes with their juice.  Cover and simmer over low heat to allow flavors to blend.  Salt to taste.

Top with sharp cheddar and scallions.  Serve with tortilla scoops or chips or crackers.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 5
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 305.5
  • Total Fat: 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 340 mg.  14%  Depending on which products you use
  • Total Carbs: 41.g 14%
  • Dietary Fiber: 9g 36%
  • Protein: 13g 26%

Patti's Time-Saving Hack

Although whole grains can take a while to cook, you can cook them and freeze them for future use.
Try this:  Cook up a big pot of grains.  When they're fully cooled, scoop half-cup portions into a cupcake baking pan sprayed with nonstick baking spray.  Stick the pan in the freezer, and when grains are frozen, pop them out of the pan and into a big plastic bag, which you can store back in the freezer.  When you need a serving of grains, grab one from the bag, toss it in the microwave, and heat it up for a minute or two.  You'll have a serving of delicious whole grains in less time than it takes to make instant rice.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Eggplant Meatball Parmigiana

Everyone knows that when you get a craving for Eggplant Parm, you sort of dread the process of slicing, breading and frying the eggplant.  It's the only way - unless you make some meatballs!  Crunchy on the outside, tender and full of flavor on the inside.  You can make yourself a great sandwich or top these meatballs on your favorite pasta.

3 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, about 12 ounces), peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. water
1-1/4 Italian Style Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup minced fresh Italian Parsley
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup canola oil
Marinara Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella & Provolone Cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and slowly cook the garlic over medium heat until golden.  Add the eggplant and 1 Tbsp. water; cover and steam the eggplant over low heat until very soft, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the remaining water only if the eggplant begins to stick to the skillet.  Stir the eggplant occasionally while it cooks.  Set aside and let it cool.

Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, eggs, and cheese in a large bowl.  Stir in the eggplant, mix well and let it stand for 20 minutes.  Scoop small amounts of the mixture into your hands and form meatballs.  There should be enough to make about 12.  Roll each meatball in Panko breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Fry meatballs, turning them occasionally so they brown evenly. Transfer to a baking dish sprayed with olive oil spray and one cup of marinara sauce.  Top with mozzarella and provolone cheese.  Be sure to leave some of the meatballs exposed to keep them crispy.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melted and browned.


Artisan Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread

This recipe is a typical one with two rising periods.  Most of this time it's the yeast working and not you! 2 cups water 1...