Monday, August 31, 2009

Chili Dogs or Dogs of Chili

I came up with this cool concept while staring at a whole mess of leftover chili. I decided to deconstruct a summer favorite, the chili dog, and turn it into something new: a dog made of chili. The flavor of the dogs will all depend on the flavor of your chili, so use a good one.

You will need:

1 cup prepared brown rice
4 cups leftover vegetarian chili with lots of beans (most of the liquid drained off)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. All ingredients go into a food processor and are blended until well incorporated. It should be the consistency of bread dough. If it is too loose add more breadcrumbs. Then to form sausages, lay 1/2-inch mound of the mixture across a piece of foil leaving a 1/2-inch margin on either end. Roll it tight like a sushi roll and twist the ends shut. Find the middle of the large roll and twist it to for two smaller links. Repeat until you have used all of the mixture. Place links on a baking sheet and place them into the oven for 1 hour. Allow the links to cool. Place links in the fridge for an hour before unwrapping them. Brush them with olive oil and grill'em up. Serve on a whole wheat bun with shredded cheese and onions\ and a side of sliced, salted watermelon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zucchini & Tomato Galette

This simple dish has a very elegant presentation. For that reason, it's a great thing to take to a party -- it is sure to get a few oohs & ahhhs. This recipe is great because you can use just about any vegetables you have lying around to make variations of it.

You will need:

1 large zucchini (sliced into thin rounds)
4 medium tomatoes (sliced into thin rounds)
2 small eggs
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic (minced)
salt & pepper
parmesan for garnish

Roll pie crust into a large rectangle and place on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Arrange the vegetables in a shingle-like pattern on the crust leaving a 1/2 inch margin. Fold extra crust up over the edge of the vegetables and pinch at the corners to seal them together. In a bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta, garlic, salt & pepper together until well incorporated. Slowly pour the mixture evenly over the veggies. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Allow to cool completely before eating.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Roasted Eggplant Pizza with Onion & Goat Cheese

Another homage to my new favorite food, the roasted eggplant. Follow roasting instructions from my previous post. Use roasted eggplant instead of tomato sauce on your next pizza. You will love it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jackalope Jr. with Roasted Eggplant

At a cookout at his house this summer, my buddy Andy told me the legend of the jackalope. He said that he practically lived off of them in college at the University of Tennessee. No he wasn't eating an imaginary bunny/ deer hybrid. The jackalope is a grilled vegetable sandwich that contains both a portobello mushroom and a thick slice of eggplant. He would pop the slice of eggplant into the gill side of the mushroom and grill it up. He made a version of the jackalope in his backyard that day, and it was delicious.

I decided to try it out at home. I, of course, had to put my own spin on it, so instead of grilling the eggplant, I roasted it. Do this by sticking a raw, uncut eggplant on a hot grill for about 3o minutes. You want the skin to turn completely black, so you want to turn it every 10 minutes. Once the eggplant is nice and burned, place it in a metal bowl, cover it with foil, and put it in the fridge until it's completely cool. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh away from the burned skin and place into a container. Do not add the juice that had collected in the bowl. It is bitter. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to roast several eggplants at once because the smoky and creamy flavor makes a great sandwich filler and a delicious pizza topper.
Let's make the sandwich:

2 cups roasted eggplant
4 grilled portobello mushrooms
chopped parsley
balsamic vinegar
spring mix
sliced tomato
sliced onion
sliced rustic bread
vegan mayo

Toast bread and spread a little vegan mayo on each side. Stuff the gill-side of each mushroom with the roasted eggplant mixture, and drizzle each with balsamic vinegar. Build your sandwich any way you'd like. Enjoy the rich smoky flavor of the jackalope jr.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Purple Basil Lemonade

This is really simple but has a great, unusual taste. I've been on the lookout for purple basil so I could make it, and Grow Memphis's booth had it on Wednesday at the Botanic Gardens market.

Rinse basil and set it in a small pitcher. Squeeze 3 lemons and one orange, add it to the basil, and muddle it all up for a little bit. Whisk 1/8 cup agave nectar with water. Add agave, ice, and 2 cups water. Stir and pour.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


The world's best foods are simple and comforting, and that is exactly how I would sum up panelle. A close cousin to falafel, panelle hails from Sicily and is made from garbanzo-bean flour. It looks like tofu, and tastes as creamy as cheese. When I first saw it described on Lidia's Italy, I thought I must be dreaming. It's my fantasy food: low-fat, tasty, creamy, inexpensive, and simple to make. The traditional way to eat these garbanzo flour cakes is simply on a sesame bun. I dolled it up a little with a few slices of tomato, a little vegan mayo, and some rustic bread. I loved it from the first bite. My mind is racing coming up with new ways to use this wonderful concoction.

Find Lidia's recipe HERE.

(The only thing I did differently is to add 1 "Not Chicken" boullion cube to the water for extra flavor.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

One of Ten Mighty Mini-Burgers on

I was honored to be selected as one of ten mighty mini-burgers in an article on Woman's Day's website. The Wife was very excited as she takes that magazine. Click HERE to view the mini-burgers article. Click HERE for my BBQnoosh slider recipe.