Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eggplants for a dollar, bagels for free (practically)!

A couple of days ago while perusing the Italian Market eggplants were going for a buck. Who wouldn't get one..tell me that? Now that I had this eggplant I had to do something with it for dinner and being from Minnesota we love to throw things in a casserole dish and make the infamous "hot-dish"... so this is what happened... Please, Enjoy!
Creamy Pesto Eggplant Bake
The sauce is the key to this recipe. You may want to double the recipe just so you have extra to spread on sammies or use as a dip.
The Sauce:
-3 tbsp. Earth balance
-4 cloves garlic
-3/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
-1/2 cup water
-1 tbsp. fresh mint
-dash o' salt
-1/2 cup pesto
The Dish:
-1 eggplant cut into 1/4 in. round slices
-1 yellow onion
-2 tbsp. maple syrup
-1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
-1 ripe tomato thinly (1/8 in.) sliced
In a sauce pan saute the garlic in the earth balance on low heat for about 5 or so minutes. Once it starts to get cooking, throw in the mint and leave on a low heat mixing every couple of minutes for about 10 minutes. In the meantime slice the yellow onion and place in a frying pan with a tad of olive oil and saute until tender. Drizzle on the maple syrup and saute for a good 5 minutes.
Add the water and nutritional yeast to the sauce pan with garlic mint, turn up the heat and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. When it starts to thicken add the pesto and continue stirring. Once it it mixed thoroughly turn off heat and set aside. (add salt to taste)
Oil a large casserole dish and begin layering the ingredients in this order:
caramelized onion
After the second layering of e, c, and m, layer the thin tomatoes on top and pour on the sauce evenly.
Put in the oven at 350 uncovered for about 20 minutes take out and serve over a bed of rice or orzo.
Never again will you have to pay 89 cents for a bagel at wholefoods or even more at a coffee shop. It is possible to bake your own bagels and incredible bagels at that. My friend Lauren, from veganroyale just picked up Isa Chandra Moskowitz's new book Vegan Brunch . While at her house I was flipping through checking things out and I happened to come across her recipe for da da da da BAGELS! I thought it couldn't be done, I don't know why but bagels just went on the list with croissants on things that I would never be able to bake and therefore must buy. WRONG! They are super easy, and Lauren and I came to the conclusion that to bake a dozen costs under $2.50. So check it out! Do the math and bake some bagels!
-3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 packet dry active yeast (1/4 ounce)
-1 1/2 cups water (plus a dash)
-4 cups flour
-2 tbsp. vital wheat gluten
-2 tsp. salt
Mix the dry active yeast with 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 1/2 cup warm water, mix until all is dissolved and set aside. In a large bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients (including the leftover sugar). Add the water and mix together, the dough shouldn't be wet and it shouldn't be dry, Isa uses the word, "tacky". Knead for 10 minutes and place in an oiled bowl with a moist towel over it for one hour. After an hour the dough shouldn't have risen that much but should be nice and springy. Roll it out onto a dry surface and cut into 12 equal pieces. Ball each piece and fold dough into the center with your thumbs until its smooth and even and eventually poke a hole in the center about the size of a half dollar.
Boil a large pot of water. When the water is at a rapid boil bring down to a simmer and place 3 bagels in at a time. They should pop up to the surface in a couple of seconds, but if they don't, just give them a little poke. You want to keep them in the water for about a minute on each side. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and here comes the fun part... dip them in whatever toppings you want!!! Yesterday we made Everything, Onion, Pumpkin Flax and Plain. Today I added Sesame to the mix.
Once all the bagels have been boiled and dipped place them on a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper and bake at 425 for 15-20mns, you'll know they are done when they are golden brown on the top. The hardest part is waiting for 30 mns after you take them out of the oven to dig in, but trust me as with many things in life, its worth the wait. THANK YOU ISA!

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