Recently on a Trader Joe’s shopping day I picked up a beautiful eggplant for under $2. A recipe from Ina Garten for a roasted eggplant spread intrigued me so I got busy in the kitchen. This recipe contains all things that equal deliciousness – is that a real word? Roasted red bell peppers, red onion, garlic cloves, olive oil, said eggplant and just a smattering of tomato paste.
OMG! This recipe exceeded my expectations. I could have sat and eaten the entire bowl of spread all by myself. I kid you not – it’s that amazing.
It’s one of those foods that doesn’t photograph well, but don’t let that stop you from making it. Serve it as an appetizer with whole grain crackers, pita bread, endive or a baguette. Spread it on a sandwich or a wrap. Top a cooked chicken breast or a piece of white fish with a generous spoonful. Stir some into a half cup of black beans or garbanzo beans and serve over rice. It’s healthy, low calorie and bursting with flavor.
Since you are using just one tablespoon of tomato paste what do you do with the rest of that can? Here is my kitchen tip – cover a plate with plastic wrap, measure out tablespoons of tomato paste onto the plastic. Put in freezer until frozen, place each frozen tomato paste blob (that’s a technical term you know) into a freezer bag. The next time you need a little tomato paste just pull it out of the freezer bag. No waste! I tried that tomato paste that comes in a tube and I found it to be kind of strange – watery and I happen to prefer the stuff that comes in a can. Call me old fashioned – that’s okay.
Roasted Eggplant Spread
- 1 eggplant – medium size
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded
- 1 red onion, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbs olive oil – garlic olive oil would also be good
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt - I didn’t use this much salt, maybe 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs tomato paste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. I didn’t peel the eggplant. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.
3. Cool slightly.
4. Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.
Yield: 8 servings
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe
Amount Per Serving; Calories 78.09,Total Fat 5.32g, Saturated Fat 0.74g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 371.93mg, Potassium 233.79mg, Total Carbohydrates 7.35g, Fiber 3.09g, Sugar 3.13g, Protein 1.24g WWPP 2
Tami’s Notes: I think this could be made with less olive oil and still taste amazing.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Getting Ready For Surgery
Last week I had my annual physical, EKG and blood work results. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to use any body lotion prior to having an EKG – the little sticky things didn’t want to stick so the nurse had to tape everything down. OOPS! We both had a good laugh about it and the results of the test were awesome. My ticker is working just fine thank you.
I wish I could say the same for my blood cholesterol. Despite my healthy diet and all the things I have done to try and keep the LDL down (or in my wishful thinking ways - go lower) it has risen yet again! We talked about statin drugs but I don’t want to go there yet. My doctor agreed to give me some more time to get it down naturally. We are hoping that after my foot surgery when I can resume daily exercise that it will help to lower my numbers. There are still some dietary adjustments I can make and I am currently doing research on that. Increasing the Omega 3 foods and taking Omega 3 supplements on a regular basis might also help counter my genetics. Taking supplements is a hit and miss for me – I’m not fond of taking pills and I will do well for a a few weeks and then drop off for no real reason. This is a work in progress. My little weekly pill box is filled – now I just have to remember to take them. Did you know there is a smart phone app for that? RxmindMe Prescription/Medicine Reminder and it’s free.
One For The Road
Before I left the doctor office I got a flu shot. I don’t usually get one but he suggested that I do with my surgery coming up, going to a hospital, being around sick people – okay – I’m in. The nurse said she gets a flu shot every year and she never gets the flu. I know a lot of people get a sore arm from the flu shot but I didn’t have side affects.
Last night for dinner we had an old fashioned Sunday dinner with an oven roasted organic chicken (we brined it first), oven roasted acorn squash,sweet potatoes and a huge salad of baby greens. Lots of leftovers for today so no cooking at my house. Hubby Tom was a big help in the kitchen as my foot was killing me last night. It had been feeling pretty good so I decided to go for a 3 mile walk yesterday and that was a mistake. I’m taking it easy today as it’s still quite painful and swollen. Sometimes I can go for a walk and have no increase in pain – it’s so random.
Whole Foods had Diestel turkeys on sale for 40% off on Saturday morning so I headed over there early to get one. People were putting three and four of them in their shopping carts! They are range grown turkeys from a California farm. We have never had this brand before but are looking forward to trying it on Thanksgiving day.
We are having a little burst of warm weather here. I love it – the sunshine always makes me happy! Did you all remember to set your clocks back on Saturday? I hate that its dark at dinner time now. It makes for awful food photography and makes me feel like we should be getting ready for bed instead of eating dinner. Over the weekend we saw the movie Perfect Pitch, it was cute – light hearted and you felt good at the end of it. I love a happy ending.
Join the fun – leave a comment.
Do you get a flu shot?
Do you like eggplant?