Baked Eggplant Sticks

Side Dishes

Baked Eggplant Sticks

I strongly believe that the eggplant is one of the best vegetables out there. They go with anything and you can bake them in so many ways. I had some eggplants in my fridge and I needed to use them fast before they rotted. I had planned to make a meal that day but my parents wanted to eat meat so I had to find a side dish that included eggplants. How could I possibly resist breaded eggplant “fries?” I couldn’t. Here’s the outcome!

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg white
Baked Eggplant Sticks, plato c: milanesas de soja

Soy Milanesas with Baked Eggplant Sticks

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F (232C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. Cut the ends off the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in half and then into ¼ inch thick slices. Lay each slice on the cutting board and cut into ¼ inch strips.
  3. Place the eggplant strips in a bowl and season with olive oil and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and the egg white in another.
  5. Dip a few eggplant strips at a time into the egg white and then into the breadcrumbs. Use a fork to fully coat the eggplant and to remove them from the crumbs. Place the strips on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn over the strips and bake for about 5 more minutes or until golden.

 

Comments: There’s really nothing to this recipe. It’s foolproof but absolutely delicious! The eggplant sticks are crunchy on the outside but remain soft and tender on the inside. There’s very little hands-on time and they bake quite quickly. My parents had them with barbecued pork and I had them with some Soy Milanesas.

Baked Eggplant Sticks, plato, close-up

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Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

Side Dishes

Roasted Herb Fingerling Potatoes

Adapted from Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington

Roasted potatoes are amazing. They go with practically anything and can be made for any occasion. Roasting keeps more of the nutritious qualities of the vegetable than does boiling and has a more interesting taste than just steaming.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds red, yellow and purple fingerling potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).
  2. Combine the potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary in a roasting pan. Roll the potatoes around with a large spoon or shake the pan from side to side until all the potatoes are well coated with oil and herbs.
  3. Roast the potatoes for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Shake the potatoes so they are browning evenly.
  4. Roast for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are brown and crusty. Serve immediately.

Comments: This is a really easy side dish to make. Though the roasting itself takes quite some time, the preparation doesn’t. You can prepare the potatoes, put them in the oven and start working on the main course. I made these to go with Broiled Tilapia Parmesan for my parents and Chipotle Harvest Chili for me. If you can’t find fingerling potatoes, cut larger ones into 1½-inch pieces. Though the recipe says it serves 6 to 8 people, I made half the recipe and had about 5 servings of potatoes; I guess it depends on how large your portions are. Now get roasting!

Roasted Herb Fingerling Potatoes, porción

Ratatouille

Side Dishes, Vegan

Ratatouille

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

Ahh, yes. Ratatouille. A classic of the French cuisine. What a wonderful thing these Frenchmen have invented. In this recipe, each vegetable “retains its own shape and character” so that you can taste each one but they also blend beautifully to create a wonderful mélange of flavors. We had them with meatballs (vegetarian ones in my case), which I admit is a bit unorthodox and all the French would probably kill us for it. If you want something more traditional, try it with a roast, broiled beef or lamb, pot-au-feu or chicken.

Yields 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons oil, divided
  • ½ pound yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 (about 1 cup) green bell peppers, sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound firm, ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced (directions below)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley

Directions:

  1. Peel the eggplant and cut it into lengthwise slices 3/8 inches thick, 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.
  2. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut it into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices.
  3. Place the eggplant and zucchini in a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain. Dry each slice in a towel or with paper towels.
  4. In a 10- to 12-inch skillet, sauté the eggplant and then the zucchini in 4 tablespoons of hot oil one layer at a time. Sauté for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Set aside on a separate dish.
  5. In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in the oil for about 10 minutes or until tender but not browned. Season to taste.
  6. After peeling seeding and juicing the tomatoes (instructions below), slice the tomato pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise the heat and boil for several minutes until the juice has almost entirely evaporated.
  7. Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 2½-quart saucepan or casserole and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of parsley over it. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top followed by half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini. Finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
  8. Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip the casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Raise the heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored oil.

Peeling, Seeding and Juicing Tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Use firm, ripe, red tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes one or two at a time in boiling water to cover.
  2. Boil for exactly 10 seconds. Remove.
  3. Cut out the stem. Peel off the skin starting from the stem hole.
  4. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half crosswise, not through the stem. Squeeze each half gently to extract the seeds and juices from the center of the tomato.

Comments: Ratatouille can be served hot or cold though I prefer it hot. Keep in mind it’s not the quickest dish to prepare because you have to cook each vegetable separately before combining them. However, you can prepare it the day before; reheating it makes it even more flavorful. When cooking all the vegetables together, be very careful not to scorch the vegetables. I highly recommend using a fireproof casserole if you have one since they are less deep than a saucepan. I don’t have a fireproof casserole and had to make do with a saucepan. I reduced the cooking time considerably out of fear that too little juice would be left. It still turned out wonderful!

Ratatouile, porción

Roasted Chayote Squash

Side Dishes, Vegan

Roasted Chayote Squash, para servir

Adapted from museinthekitchen.com

This year, I have finally learned to love all kinds of squash. Chayote can be considered a type of summer squash. It has a green outside and whitish flesh. Some people eat it raw but I’d rather have it cooked. Here is a very simple recipe for roasting a chayote.

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Ingredients:

  • 1 chayote squash, cut into 8 pieces (like an apple)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
  2. In a bowl, toss the cut chayote with the olive oil to coat.
  3. Sprinkle the chayote with the cayenne pepper and salt if desired.
  4. Place the chayote on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Flip the chayote pieces over and roast for 15 more minutes.

Comments: As I said, previously, this is a very easy recipe. It doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time and makes for a great side dish. I made these for lunch to accompany a Buckwheat, Mushroom and Rye Burger on German bread.

Roasted Chayote Squash, plato

Zucchini “Mozzarella” Sticks

Side Dishes, Vegan

Zucchini %22Mozzarella%22 Sticks

Adapted from Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

Don’t ask me. I don’t know why she called them mozzarella sticks. But anyways, they are a delicious side or appetizer. They are very easy and quick to make and everyone loved them.

Zucchini “Mozzarella” Sticks

Yield: 24 sticks

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp AJ’s Vegan Parmesan (recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (204C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut each zucchini into 12 sticks (about ½-inch thick) and set aside.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs with the vegan Parmesan and a little bit of salt and pepper. Place the crumb mixture into a shallow bowl.
  4. Pour the milk into another shallow bowl.
  5. Dip the zucchini into the milk and then press all sides into the crumb mixture. Transfer the coated stick to the prepared cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining sticks.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the breading is golden and the zucchini is tender.

Zucchini %22Mozzarella%22 Sticks, míos

AJ’s Vegan Parmesan

Yield: ¾ cup

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cashew nuts
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

Directions:

  1. Place the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process until a smooth powder has formed.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Comments: The author recommends eating these with marinara sauce. We had them plain and they were really good but you can try them with marinara or any other sauce you want. When cooking zucchini you want to make sure they are tender; raw zucchini, in my opinion, is not too great. I made these as a side dish for the Quinoa Curry Cakes. They would be great with any kind of burger, meat dishes or as a party appetizer along with other veggies.

Quinoa Curry Cakes c: Zucchini %22Mozzarella%22 Sticks

Quinoa Curry Cake with Zucchini “Mozzarella” Sticks

Pommes de Terre Savoyarde

Side Dishes

(Scalloped Potatoes Savoyarde)

Coq au Vin avec des Pommes de Terre Savoyarde

Coq au Vin avec des Pommes de Terre Savoyarde

Adapted from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child

These potatoes are great for any meat dish: Coq au Vin, boeuf bourguignon, boeuf au poivre…you name it. They are flavorful, cheesy, crusty and soft…simply delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boiling potatoes
  • 3 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1½ cups grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F (218C).
  2. Peel the potatoes one at a time. Cut them into ¼-inch thick slices and drop them into cold water.
  3. Sauté the onions in some vegetable oil.
  4. After draining and drying the potato slices, layer the bottom of a baking dish with them. Top the potatoes with the onions and then the cheese.
  5. Pour the chicken stock over the potatoes to cover by three-quarters.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, basting several times until the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are nicely browned.

 

Comments: This is not a complex side dish. They do bake for a while so they are perfect if you need to finish making the main course. I made them with the Coq au Vin and it was a very satisfying meal.

Sweet Corn Pudding

Other, Side Dishes

Corn Pudding

 

Adapted from Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington

I made this corn pudding as a side dish for the Whole Slow-Roasted Salmon with Buttermilk Garden Herb Dressing for “Thanksgiving dinner.” It was a great discovery. It’s simple, quick, with little hands-on time and delicious. After seeing several other corn pudding recipes, what surprised me about this one is that it has no butter. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups corn kernels
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat instead)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¾ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
  2. Combine the corn kernels, eggs, milk, basil, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer or blender. Mix or blend the mixture at low speed until very smooth.
  3. Grease an 8-inch baking dish. Pour the pudding mixture into the dish.
  4. Put the dish in a larger pan. Put the pan in the oven and pour enough hot water into the larger pan to come about halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
  5. Bake the pudding for about 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.

 

Comments: This is truly a very easy and versatile dish. It goes well as a side dish for chicken, fish and meat but can also be served a main course. This corn pudding is great hot out of the oven but can also be served at room temperature at a summer party, for example. You can make it up to 4 hours ahead and kept covered at room temperature. You can later reheat it at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Corn Pudding pedazo

 

 

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

Side Dishes

Spicy sweet potato wedges

 

Adapted from Health

This was a marvelous discovery. Before I didn’t like sweet potatoes but I knew they had good properties. So, I searched for recipes and this was definitely a keeper. They are a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Now, I love all types of sweet potatoes, but this is definitely a keeper. Some healthy perks: one serving provides you with 100 DV of vitamin A and 1/3 DV of vitamin C. (Makes about 8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ pounds sweet potatoes
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper (depends on how spicy you want them)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 500F (260C).
  2. Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into quarters.
  3. Place the wedges in a large bowl and coat them with cooking spray.
  4. Mix together the sugar, salt and peppers and sprinkle them over the potatoes. Toss well to coat.
  5. Arrange the wedges on a cookie sheet cut sides down. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, flip the wedges over and bake for 10 more minutes.

 

Comments: Like I said before, these are delicious and healthy. They are easy and quick to make. The outside browns and turns crispy but the inside is almost like sweet potato puré. They go well with meats, fish, the quinoa and white bean veggie burgers…anything you want.

Mis spicy sweet potato wedges