Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Veggie surprise

Because we live a good hike away from the market, and I do not keep the car during the day, running out for a week's worth of fresh fruit and veg was getting to be a time wasting pain. I was about to give it up and go back to the not-as-nice stuff at the commissary. Then I found a flyer for the The Veg Box. For slightly more than I'd pay if I bought it myself and had it delivered, and much cheaper than the commissary, I can now have a week's worth of fruit and veggies delivered right to my door. It saves me at least an hour of shopping - so worth it! And the fun part is - I have no idea what will be in the box! Oh, there are always the basics - some potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, lettuce, etc. But the extras are the fun part. Sometimes we get broccoli, sometimes cauliflower. We've got red cabbage, and fresh (shucked) peas. The fruits vary depending on what is in season too. Oranges, grapefruit. We always get apples. Strawberries. This week we got peaches (and they are good!), as well as melon and bananas. For veggies, we got green beans, mushrooms, and eggplant. Yum!

Tonight I will be cooking up the green beans, and using the mushrooms sauteed with onion and garlic as a topping for steak. Probably a tossed salad on the side. We got two meals out of the eggplant. I made stuffed eggplant parmesan - Brad and I liked it. The kids thought it had too much tomato. I can't really link to the recipe because I changed it so much that it barely resembles the original - I can't help myself. Brad asked me if I did anything according to the recipe I found. I said, well, it's got eggplant in it. (recipe below, as usual, no exact measurements, sorry!)

STUFFED EGGPLANT PARMESAN
1 large eggplant
olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup port wine (fresh tomatoes and wine were my substitute for 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained)
1 6oz can tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup(-ish) finely diced zucchini (onion and zucchini were my additions, you can leave them out)
1 cup crushed crackers (I used ritz; the recipe called for 1 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs, about 3 slices)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese - about 3-4 slices or 1 cup shredded (I used cheddar because I was out of mozzarella. Cheddar was actually very good, but I'd like to try with Mozzarella next time.)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Eggplant - Trim ends off and cut in half lengthwise. Hollow out the eggplant with a sharp knife. I left a shell about 1/2 inch thick. I should have gone thinner at the top edges. (The bottom cooked nicely, the tops did not get soft enough.) Place the shells in a baking dish and set aside. Cube the eggplant carvings and saute in the olive oil until soft. Remove to papertowel covered plate.

Meat - Brown the ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. Add garlic and onions and saute until softened. Add diced tomatoes, port, zucchini, tomato paste, salt and pepper. (I probably added oregano and basil at this point as well - I find it hard to stay out of the spice cupboard.) Simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs (or crackers), parmesan cheese, and sauteed eggplant.

Assembly - Stuff the eggplant shells with the hot meat mixture. When you find that adding additional tomatoes, onion, and zucchini has provided more meat mixture than will fit, go get a large bell pepper. Top and core the pepper, cut it in half lengthwise and place in baking dish with the eggplant. Use up the remaining meat. Top with cheese.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes. Shells should be soft enough to cut with a table knife or fork.

Serve and, for adults, simply, enjoy. For kids, complain about the weird purple veggie and demand meat in the red pepper only, or, refuse the red pepper in favor of the weird purple thing, but spend 3 hours picking out all the tomato bits. Goes good with green beans.

1 comment:

Cairo Mama said...

Cairo is great for delivery everything!