Eggplant Rollatini

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I’m dreaming in a British accent.

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And I blame my Great British Baking Show addiction.

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I’m convinced there has never been a happier show.

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Who knew the whole of the UK was filled with genius amateur bakers that can design giant towers of caramel in the shape of dinosaurs? And they are all just like normal blokes (see what I did there). Like, when did they find the time to do this? Do English folk not spend the entirety of their evenings watching Netflix like the rest of us? They must actually work to better themselves or something in their free time. They all just have the purest personalities. Just sweet cherub angel babies making their ginormous meat pies. I just love how they say every single word. Like how their r’s are so soft and their th’s sound like f’s and they add an r after words that end in a. Oh, and how they use “brilliant” to describe the really good bakes. And don’t act like you don’t tear up a little every time Paul Hollywood sticks out his hand for one of his infamous handshakes!!

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It’s also inspired me to think I, too, can create a lion out of various freshly baked breads.

 

 

Time: 1.5 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants, peeled + cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. of flaxseed meal
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, drained of water
  • 1/2 cup of roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Jar of your favie pasta sauce
  • Basil, for serving

How to:

  • Arrange eggplant slices in a colander + sprinkle with some S, let sit for about 15-20 minutes + let the water drain
  • Meanwhile, make a flax egg by combining flax meal + 3 tbsp. of warm water, stir + let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, pulse the sunflower seeds in a food processor until ground
  • Add tofu + process until combined
  • Pour that in a bowl + add lemon juice + zest + garlic + nutritional yeast +crushed red pepper + S+P, mix well + put in fridge until you’re ready to use
  • Pour your breadcrumbs in a bowl
  • Dunk an eggplant slice in the flax egg, then the breadcrumbs + coat on both sides, arrange on a lined baking sheet
  • Repeat with remaining eggplant slices
  • Bake 20 minutes or until crisp to your desire, flipping once
  • Let cool for a few minutes until you can handle your slices
  • Add a scoop of your tofu cheese to one end of your eggplant slice + roll, arrange in a greased baking dish
  • Repeat
  • Pour sauce on top + bake for 15 minutes
  • Serve warm with basil
  • Put on your cargo pants + pop a rollatini in all your compartments for convenient snacking

Grilled Veggie Clubs

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I am equal parts intrigued and wigged out by these DNA tests we all keep doing.

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Like, I spit in a tube and you all found 83 people that could be my third cousins. I’m just not understanding how this is possible.

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What does one use as an opening line to someone that may or not be related to you based on saliva compatibility alone?

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It is pretty interesting to finally know from where my peeps hail. No surprising results. I’m mostly English with some French and Norwegian mixed in. A splash of Irish/Scottish with even less German. However, I’m really holding tight to my 2% Greek and 1% Middle Eastern. Like, I will absolutely be claiming those. The best is I legit grew up thinking I was like 75% Italian and have told everyone that’s my background for as long as I can remember. Nope nada, can’t even fake it up in a Carrabba’s Italian Grill (no hate, their spaghetti is dope).

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Now I need to know – what do they do with my spit once they’re done testing it?¿

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4 sammies

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, peeled + sliced thin into rounds
  • 1 zucchini, sliced length-wise, thin
  • 1 squash, sliced length-wise, thin
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, roasted or 1/2 cup of store-bought roasted red peppers
  • 1 avocado, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 12 slices of toasted bread (ezekiel bread used here)
  • 1/4 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup of hummus
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Salt your eggplant rounds + place in a strainer, let water release for about 20-25 minutes, pat dry
  • Heat your grill or grill pan over medium heat + spray with cooking spray
  • Sprinkle eggplant + zucchini + squash with S+P, grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping once
  • To assemble, spread some hummus on a slice of bread + top with a slice of eggplant + some zucchini + some squash + roasted red peppers
  • Spread mustard on both sides of another piece of bread + place on top
  • Add cucumbers + tomato + avocado + spinach
  • Spread some hummus on another slice of bread + place that on top, hummus down
  • Repeat with remaining sammies
  • Stick some toothpicks in the four corners of the sammies
  • Cut diagonally into fourths, making sure a toothpick remains in each fourth
  • Serve room temp or warm
  • Unhinge jaw + wrap mouth around this bad boy + enjoy all the crunchy fresh goodness that is about to happen up in there

Vegan Eggplant Parm Sammies

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With the turn of the year, comes the turning of a new leaf.

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I’m going vegan. Without cheating.

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I’ve been 90% vegan since July with the OCCASIONAL slip. I’m a weak, worthless wimp, I know it. But THIS IS IT. My last hoorah was New Year’s Eve.

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I started out the day on a positive note, scraping some decadent-looking pecorino from my brunch. Then I arrived at Century Link Field to watch my baby Seahawks get they butts whooped and my emotions and hunger pangs were running rampant. My husband could see my dismay. Toward the end of 2nd quarter, up to the nosebleed section my knight walks with a piping hot Papa John’s. This is why I married him. Once I stuff my face, I have the energy to talk smack to the opposing team’s fan sitting next to me. I needed to cool off so I took a bathroom break. Then, I spy the Papa’s with my very own eyes. Mini Rachel angel and mini Rachel devil appear on my shoulder. Whose advice do you think I took?

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After my second personal pan pizza in 1 hour, I have decided I’m a sick, sick person.

 

Time: 1 1/2 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4 sammies

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, peeled + sliced thin
  • 3 roma tomatoes, washed + sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp. of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1 cup of oats, finely ground
  • 2 tbsp. of flax meal
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • Toasted ciabatta rolls, for serving
  • 1/2 cup of your favie marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Arrange eggplant slices in a colander + sprinkle with salt + let drain for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine oats + flax + crushed red pepper + S+P in a bowl
  • Pat dry eggplant slices, dredge in oat mix + arrange on lined baking sheet, repeat (I needed to use three cookie sheets) + drizzle eat sheet with 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Bake for 15 minutes, flip + bake another 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, arrange tomatoes + S+P on a lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + bake for 20 minutes
  • In a skillet over low-medium heat, add a tbsp. of olive oil
  • Add onion + S+P, let caramelize for 8-10 minutes, stirring often
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine basil + nutritional yeast + walnuts + garlic + S+P, while processing drizzle in remaining olive oil
  • To serve, spread some marinara on one bun + some pesto on another + add eggplant slices + tomatoes + onion + make a sammie, repeat
  • Find machine to shrink self + arrange body in between buns to become one with sammie