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Posts Tagged ‘Italian food’

Last night, I made the most yummy dinner- and it was really quick! Perfect for a weeknight meal.

I was in the mood for pasta, but I wanted to try something a little different. So I put together the following ingredients in my kitchen:

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 Roll of polenta
  • Trader Joe’s “Giotti” canned tomato sauce
  • Goat’s milk gouda

I decided to combine all of these ingredients into mini eggplant/ polenta “lasagnas”- and they turned out really well!

I preheated my oven to 350, sliced up the eggplant, and cooked it in a pan (about 3 minutes each side) on medium heat with some EVOO, salt, and pepper. While the eggplant cooked, I sliced up the polenta. Then, I just stacked the soft eggplant and the slices of polenta (just 2 slices of both- didn’t want them to topple over!). I topped the “lasagnas” with the TJ’s sauce and a slice of yummy cheese on top.

I popped the whole thing in the oven, covered in aluminum foil, for 20 minutes. I took off the foil after 20 minutes and let it sit in the oven and bake for another 5.

And, VOILA!  A cheap, easy, and really tasty dinner!

If none of you have cooked with polenta in the past, I highly recommend it. It’s actually made of cornmeal, and you can find it in any supermarket these days, usually in the pasta aisle. I like to buy it pre-made in a roll (wrapped in plastic) which is easy to cut up and bake or pan fry. I was really happy with this version… as I don’t use recipes, I’m always happy when I play with ingredients and it works!

All of the flavors worked perfectly together. You could definitely play with the ingredients and add things like zucchini, peppers, fresh basil, a sharper cheese, etc. This dish is very forgiving! Especially if you have a great sauce (This TJ’s marinara is highly recommended by yours truly).

This dish also makes plenty of leftovers (if you are two hungry eaters, like we are). It made enough for 2 filling meals for both of us!

Hope you all give this a try at home. If you do, don’t be afraid to add new flavors and ingredients- and let me know how you like it!

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Morning, blog world!

Yesterday I felt great all day. Those 9 hours were like magic! I also felt really good taking a break from exercise. I usually feel worse on my “break days” just because I feel a bit groggy and out of it all day, but I didn’t at all yesterday. I guess I needed the day off!

For breakie yesterday, I made one of my all time favorites: a good ol’ breakfast burrito.

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Nothing  fancy here, just scrambled eggs (1 egg, 1 white), a mashed quarter of an avocado, and whole wheat TJ’s tortilla. With lots of salsa and hot sauce.  And a mug of Chai Tea with almond milk, of course.

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It hit the spot! As much as I love oats, I think that savory breakfasts will always have the #1 spot in my heart. Sorry, oats.

I snapped some photos of lunch + snacks before leaving the house. I think I like this trend. Much easier for me not to carry my camera to work (its bigger than a pocket camera, weighs about 4-5 lbs… just guessin). Anyhow, lunch was simple and delicious!

IMG_8956A humus and avocado sandwich on Quinoa bread. I ate 1/2 the yellow pepper with lunch and 1/2 as a snack. I also munched on the grapes and strawberries throughout the day. Didn’t get to the carrots, but I’m sure I will sometime this week!

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Post-work, I met my sister, Elizabeth, for dinner in Manhattan. She wanted to take me out to celebrate the Secret-Very-Good News that I can’t share yet with you guys (Sorry! I wish I could… use your imaginations :)… remember: I am not trying to be a food writer or write a cook book. I am trying to do something else…).

It was great to see her and catch up. While we both live in NYC, she lives on the Upper West Side and I live in Brooklyn…. that’s like two far away lands in NYC terminology. Not really, but it’s about an hour on the subway. We are both really busy, so its hard to meet up. Well, she took me out to a great Italian place called Dell’anima in the West Village.

It was yummy! We both had a glass of Merlot. They gave me kind of a small pour (maybe 4 oz.?) but that was fine by me- it was the perfect amount to feel relaxed and cozy. The restaurant had a great ambiance, with an open kitchen and dark wood floors and tables. Sometimes restaurants with open kitchens can get really hot, but they had the door open, so a nice, cool breeze came through the restaurant.

And the food was great!

We started out with some bread and bruschette, or dips. One was avocado and EVOO, one was a scrambled egg kind of mixture, and one was a walnut pesto. The pesto was a little bitter for my taste, but I loved the others. I had 2 small pieces of bread and dip. Didn’t want to spoil my appetite!

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(It was very dark, so I had to use flash).

We split an Endive salad that had a light anchovy dressing and pecorino cheese. It was lovely to eat!

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And for our entrees, we couldn’t resist the pastas. They are all made in-house…. who can say no to that? Not pasta lovers like us! I think its in our DNA- we both loooove anything that includes carbs + cheese. I think we would both say that, hands down, pasta and pizza are our favorite foods.

I ordered the Garganelli with mushrooms, lemon, and EVOO. It was excellent!

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Came with lots of Pecorino shredded on top! What I loved about this dish was that the mushroom:pasta ratio was about equal, so I didn’t feel that I was eating straight up carbs. There was a blend of three meaty mushrooms mixed with the homemade pasta, and it was all perfectly cooked. The pasta was incredible- thin, light, and not starchy at all.

My sistered ordered a pasta dish with egg, ham, and pecorino. You can see it back there. She shared a bite and it was delicious!

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We both left feeling satisfied and happy, but not overstuffed. It was the perfect meal! Thanks, Eliza!

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