parmesan

Eggplant Parm Frittata from Whole Foods Market

IMG_1144.jpg

I feel like February often gets a bad wrap. It's dark and cold (if you're in the Northeast like I am), and there doesn't seem to be much going on. But in reality there's lots to celebrate! It happens to be my birthday month, and for everybody else, there's Valentine's Day with that special person in yourself life (or Galentine's Day if you choose to celebrate with your closest gal pals). Plus, Whole Foods Market has an entire other, delicious reason to celebrate!

February is the month of Parmigiano Reggiano at Whole Foods Market, which just so happens to be one of my favorite cheeses! This year marks WFM's 10th anniversary of their traditional Parm Crack event. At this event, Whole Foods hand selects the highest quality wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano from defined creameries in Northern Italy. At 3 pm ET on February 24th, each store will simultaneously crack wheels of cheese, and there will be demonstrations and tastings for customers. If that weren't enough, Parmigiano Reggiano will be on sale from 2/23-2/25 at $5 off per lb. 

To celebrate this delicious event and give you a fun way to put that Parmigiano Reggiano to good use, I'm bringing you one of my favorite frittata recipes - eggplant parm.

Here's What You'll Need:

-1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
-1/2 medium eggplant, sliced
-4 eggs
-1 Roma tomato, sliced
-6 fresh basil leaves (2 chopped, 4 whole)
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-Splash of milk of choice or water (optional)
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
-1 tbsp EVOO

Serves 2

Instructions:

1) Heat up the EVOO in an oven-safe pan on the stove top over medium high heat.
2) Add in the eggplant slices, and cook 2-3 mins/side.
3) Add in the chopped garlic and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
4) In a bowl, whisk the 4 eggs with a splash of milk, 2 chopped basil leaves, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper.
5) Spread the tomato slices throughout the pan, layering with the egpplant. Sprinkle the Parmigiano Regianno throughout the layers, and top with the remaining cheese.
6) Pour the egg mixture over the top, and top with the 4 basil leaves.
7) Cook, covered on the stove top, for 3-5 minutes until the sides are cooked.
8) Move the pan to the oven on broil, and cook until golden brown (~5-7 minutes).
9) Remove, and cut the frittata into two halves.
10) Plate, serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!

IMG_1145.jpg

Make sure to head into your local Whole Foods Market to pick up that delicious Parmigiano Reggiano and experience the Parm Crack event for yourself! If you're local to Northern NJ, you can find more information here. And as always, let me know what you think in the comments below!

One-Pan Healthier Eggplant Parmesan

Would you believe that I've never made eggplant Parmesan? It's literally one of my favorite meals, and probably my go-to splurge meal at an Italian restaurant. So yesterday I decided that today was the day.

I had randomly bought an eggplant at Whole Foods with literally no idea or intentions for what I was going to do with it. I thought about roasting it, eggplant fries, and then it hit me (and by hit me, I mean I saw eggplant parm on Instagram). The delicious, crispy crust and ooey gooey cheesy goodness of eggplant parm was calling my name. I literally thought about it all day. Nearly 12 hours dreaming about this dish that I had never made and that could ultimately be a real F-ing disaster. But I had to give it a whirl. 

I don't know how, I guess the food gods were on my side with this one, but it was seriously BOMB. Part of me just cringed at using that word, but there's no other way to describe it. It was crispy, it was cheesy, you can still taste the eggplant, AND it's wayyyyyy better for you than the restaurant version. So let's get right on into it.

Here's What You'll Need:

-1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-1/2" slices depending on preference (I went with about 1/2", making 10 slices)
-1/2 cup almond flour (I used this one)
-1 cup panko bread crumbs
-3 tbsp shredded parm, separated
-2 eggs, whisked
-2 tbsp olive oil, separated (into 1/2 tbsp increments)
-12 oz marinara sauce or more if desired
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (I used this one)
-Sea salt and black pepper

Serves 3-4

Directions:

1) Season both sides of each piece of eggplant with sea salt and black pepper.
2) Set up your dipping station (near your stove) - (a semi-large, shallow bowl of each) almond flour, 2 whisked eggs, and the panko bread crumbs mixed with 2 tbsp parmesan.
3) In a large oven-friendly pan, heat up 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. 
4) Dip one eggplant slice at a time into the almond flour followed by the eggs followed by the bread crumb Parmesan mixture, coating all sides and edges), and place the eggplant directly into the heated pan.
5) Repeat until the pan is full, cover, and cook for about 3-5 minutes until one side is browned. Flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
6) Remove the eggplant pieces onto a cutting board or plate. Add in another 1/2 tbsp olive oil, and repeat until all of the eggplant slices are coated and cooked. This took me about 4 rotations (hence the 2 tbsp of olive oil).
7) Remove the pan from the heat, and pour in enough marinara to cover the bottom.
8) Add in a layer of the coated and cooked eggplant, topping each with a small spoonful of marinara, a sprinkle of mozzarella, and a sprinkle of the remaining parm.
9) Add in another layer of eggplant and repeat.
10) Add any remaining sauce or cheese over the top of the eggplant pieces.
11) Put the entire pan into the oven on broil for about 5-8 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to turn a slight golden brown.
12) Remove the pan, serve, and enjoy!

IMG_3358.JPG

I served mine over some cooked garlic zucchini noodles, and it was the perfect pair. Let me know what you think in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you.

Garlic Lemon Zoodles with Capers and Parmesan + Natura Wines Chardonnay

Some nights I (like everyone) am rushing around to throw together a quick meal. I had just come back from my spin class, and needed to make a throw together meal before the Bachelor started (IMPORTANT). So This quick zoodle dish was just the trick.

Here's What You'll Need:

-1 zucchini, spiralized
-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
-1 tbsp capers
-1-2 cloves of garlic
-1 tbsp lemon juice
-1 tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
-black pepper to taste
-1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions:

1) Heat up you olive oil in a pan on the stove top. Add in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
2) Add in the zoodles and cook for 3-5 minutes alone.
3) Add in the capers, lemon juice, tomatoes, parmesan, and continue to cook for about a minute.
4) Remove from heat, top with black pepper, serve, and enjoy!

This is literally the perfect quick and light meal. I served mine along some Natura Wines Chardonnay. 

image (6).jpeg

Natura Wines are vegan-friendly, organic wines. Their vineyards are pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer-free which means ZERO chemicals. I personally love a glass of wine on a Bachelor night, and this white was the perfect pairing. Plus they're afforadable, retailing at around $10/bottle. Who says organic has to be expensive? For more information on Natura Wines' natural wine selection click here.

Let me know what you think of this dish and Natura Wines in the comments below!

Savory Arugula Shiitake Oats with Parmesan and Thyme

So I will admit it, I have been slacking on recipes recently. It's not that I haven't been playing around with new things, but the holidays were just hectic! I know, excuses excuses. BUT it is one of my New Years resolutions to get back to my normal recipe posting schedule because I have A LOT of exciting ideas coming your way.

I'm a huge savory breakfast person (if you couldn't already tell). I'd probably be very happy eating just eggs and veggies every single day. But I do like to switch it up. I think it's important to vary what you eat 1) so you don't get bored and 2) so you get different kinds of nutrients. So one of the ways I've been trying to vary my usual egg and veggies dish is oatmeal. And honestly, I just wasn't feeling something sweet. So I decided to try to make a savory oatmeal, and it was AMAZING.

Here's what you'll need:

-1 cup of rolled oats
-2 cups of your milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk, and that's what the nutrition info accounts for)
-2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup shitake mushrooms
-1 cup baby arugula
-2 cloves garlic
-1/4 cup red onion, chopped
-1 tsp olive oil (or your choice of oil)
-3 sprigs of thyme
-Sea salt and black pepper to taste
-2 eggs (optional but included in nutrition info)

Instructions:

1) Mix together the almond milk and oats in a pot, and heat on the stove top over high heat.
2) In the meantime, heat up the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the garlic and onion and let cook for about a minute alone.
3) Add in the arugula and mushrooms and let cook down (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from heat.
4) Once the oats are boiling, reduce the heat to low, and begin stirring regularly.
5) After about 3 minutes, as the oats are becoming a bit less watery, add in the garlic, onion, arugula, and mushroom mixture as well as the thyme, salt, and pepper. 
6) Stir regularly until the oatmeal becomes close to the consistency you want (about another 3-5 minutes). Add in the parmesan cheese, and continue stirring for an additional minute.
7) Once the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency and the cheese has melted, remove it from the heat and split between two bowls.
8) (Optional) In a skillet, soft fry two eggs, and top each bowl with one.
9) Enjoy!

I can't wait to recreate this dish! Next time I think I'm going to try gruyere cheese. I'm dreaming about it already. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Parmesan Lemon Tilapia over Garlic Broccoli Noodles

For all of you broccoli lovers out there, how many of you feel wasteful when you just chop off the stems? The florets are the part everyone eats, so don't feel badly. We're pretty much taught to toss those stems. The florets are served on everything from pasta to pizzas, as side dishes, you name it. You might even wonder, can I even eat the stem? The answer is YES!!!!, and I will show you a great (and delicious) way to do so!

Broccoli stems pretty much taste like, well, broccoli. They have a similar taste the florets, maybe a little milder. So they are pretty much good with everything! I decided to toss them with some garlic and top with a little fish, and trust me the combination is spot on!

To spiralize the broccoli stem, you cut off the florets and try to smooth out the sides, cutting off any parts that jut out. Also cut off the bottom so that it is flat. Ideally you want it to look semi-close to a cylinder. If you see the picture below, it isn't perfect but still produces great broccoli noodles.

Once you have your broccoli noodles, you're ready to go!

Here's What You'll Need:

-3-4 broccoli stems, spiralized (amount depends on thickness and length, the thicker and/or longer, the fewer stems needed)
-1 tsp olive oil
-1 clove garlic
-6 mushrooms, sliced
-1 medium tomato, chopped
-red pepper flakes to taste
-2 tilapia fillets (about 6 oz each)
-1/2 lemon, juiced
-2 tbsp parmesan

Instructions:

1) Heat up the oil in a pan, and throw in the garlic, cooking for about a minute.
2) Add the broccoli noodles and let them cook for about 3 minutes alone.
3) Add in the mushrooms, tomato, and red pepper flakes and continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, coat the tilapia fillets with lemon juice and toss each in parmesan.
5) In a separate pan, cook the tilapia for about 5 minutes on each side over medium high heat.
6) Once cooked, split the broccoli noodles between two plates, top each with a piece of tilapia, and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and feel free to subscribe for e-mail updates!