cooking

Stacked Eggplant Parmesan

Happy Wednesday everyone! I can’t believe it has almost been 2 months since I’ve started this blog and shared my take on recipes! Time does fly by and I can’t thank everyone enough for the positive feedback. Even if one person can take away some courage and try their hand in the kitchen, then my job here is done ūüôā

This week, I decided to make Stacked Eggplant Parmesan. Italian cuisine is always my favorite. For me, you can never go wrong with lots of carbs and cheese. Although,¬†eggplant parm has¬†nearly half of the amount of cheese than in a regular Italian dish, it can still taste just as delicious. I decided to stack the eggplant slices in a stack of 3 or 4 just because I find it more appealing and fun. Oh- and you can always fry the eggplant slices instead of baking them. I’ll mention these at the end of this post. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized eggplant
  • 2 eggs
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella and/or parmesan sliced cheese
  • Italian seasoning, garlic seasoning, cayenne pepper
  • Sliced onion

Directions:

  1. First, slice the eggplant into round evenly medium-thick slices and place on a rack. Make sure the slices aren’t too thick or too thin.
  2. It’s best to leave the sliced eggplant out for a couple of hours so the water is extracted. The longer you leave it out, the better, but no more than a day!FullSizeRender.jpg
  3. Once the eggplant slices are dried, crack 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk to mix.
  4. Place a good amount of bread crumb in a separate bowl and place it next to the bowl with eggs.
  5. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F and spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.
  6. Slowly place one eggplant slice in the egg mixture to evenly coat.
  7. Carefully place the same eggplant slice in the bread crumb bowl to evenly coat.
  8. Place back in the egg mixture to coat a second layer.
  9. Place back in the bread crumb bowl to coat a second layer.FullSizeRender-1.jpg
  10. Carefully place the eggplant slice onto a baking tray.
  11. Repeat with all of the sliced eggplant.FullSizeRender-8.jpg
  12. Place in oven at 380 degree F for 30 minutes.
  13. Take both trays out of the oven and carefully flip the sliced eggplant to their other side, using tongs.
  14. Place back in oven at 380 degree F for 20 minutes and then broil on low for 5 minutes.FullSizeRender-3.jpgFullSizeRender-2.jpg
  15. Let both trays cool for about 15 minutes.
  16. While the eggplant is cooling, slice the onion and gather the seasoning.
  17. In a bowl of tomato sauce, add your desired seasoning and set aside.
  18. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and place one spoon of tomato sauce in a circle the size of the sliced eggplant.
  19. Place one round sliced eggplant on the tomato sauce in the baking dish.
  20. Place another spoon of tomato sauce on the sliced eggplant.
  21. Top with a few sliced onions and a sprinkle of mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese.FullSizeRender-5.jpg
  22. Add a second layer of sliced eggplant and top with a spoon of tomato sauce.
  23. Add a few sliced onions and a sprinkle of mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese.
  24. Repeat with one more layer of sliced eggplant.
  25. This is your first stack of eggplant parmesan.
  26. Repeat steps 19 – 24 with all of the remaining sliced eggplants until you have made about 5 or 6 stacks of three or four layers.
  27. Bake at 375 degree F for about 25 minutes and broil on low for 5 minutes.
  28. Plate and serve!
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Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • This recipe yields about 5 or 6 stacks of eggplant parmesan.
  • You can omit¬†adding onions. I just had them handy so I might as well use it.
  • Double coating makes the eggplant thicker and firm. I have make this with just coating the eggplant once in egg and bread crumbs, but found them to become slight soggy when baking. Of course, you can fry them, but baking is better.
  • Stacking the eggplant slices is like having your own little italian eggplant cupcake, weird, I know. If you’re not with that, feel free to coat the entire baking dish with some tomato sauce and then evenly place one layer of eggplant as the bottom layer. Then add more sauce, onions, and cheese. Add a second layer of sliced eggplant, and repeat. This will be more of a casserole style which is great for a potluck or a family style meal.

You definitely can’t go wrong with tomato sauce and cheese!¬†A huge plus if you’re craving something moderately healthy but not all the way there yet.

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

‚ÄstMitz

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cooking

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Brotein Balls

Hi everyone! It’s officially spring and I couldn’t feel any more happier.

Last week, my friend, a gym-head requested some chocolate peanut butter oatmeal protein balls. Although I find myself wanting to go to the gym during the week, I¬†find it difficult to accomplish as being a doctoral student with a side job that requires a good amount of physical activity takes up a lot of time. On top of that,¬†you can add a dash of studying to that every day. I do try to go to spin class every weekend if there isn’t a social event hindering it. Anyways, these protein balls are very easy to make and require no time at all. They’re perfect for an extra kick of protein if you’re on the go or even perfect for a dessert and snack! These can be made with countless variations and flavors, which I will list at the end. Warning! These are super addictive. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 0.5 cup of Whey protein powder
  • 1.5 cups of Oatmeal
  • A dash of Cinnamon
  • A dash of Vanilla extract
  • A dash of Cocoa powder
  • Loads of Chia seeds
  • Chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cups of Peanut butter
  • A spoon of Honey
  • 3 tablespoons of Almond milk

Directions:

  1. In a very large bowl combine the whey protein powder (I used vanilla), oatmeal, cinnamon, chia seeds, cocoa powder (omit if using chocolate protein powder), and chocolate chips.FullSizeRender-7.jpg
  2. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Next, add the peanut butter, honey, and almond milk.FullSizeRender-6.jpg
  4. It’s time to get messy! Use your hands and combine everything together.
  5. Pretend your kneading dough.FullSizeRender-8.jpgFullSizeRender-5.jpg
  6. Roll into bite sized or large balls and place side by side in a container.FullSizeRender-2.jpgFullSizeRender-1.jpg
  7. Store in fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving!FullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender-3.jpgFullSizeRender-4.jpg

Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • This recipe yields about 12 large¬†protein balls.
  • You can omit the cocoa powder if you have chocolate protein powder or you can even just make vanilla protein balls.
  • Feel free to substitute chocolate chips with raisins.
  • If you don’t have almond milk, substitute with regular milk or even water.

These are so yummy to eat and I already have other flavors and add ins in mind for next time! Spare 15 minutes this weekend and definitely make these delicious protein energy balls. They’re a great source of protein and satisfy your hunger before your next meal.

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

–¬†Mitz

cooking

Indian Paneer Makhani

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is having a warm cozy day! Although Spring is around the corner (literally, a week away), we, the East Coast just got hit with snowstorm Stella so this is a perfect recipe to make on a cold snowy day.

Today, I will be sharing my Paneer Makhani recipe. This is an Indian dish that is full of flavor and can be paired with naan bread and rice. You can modify the taste to how spicy you want it. Paneer is firm cubed cottage cheese and Makhani directly translates to Butter. So this recipe can be heavy and shouldn’t be eaten all by one person in one sitting- no matter how good it is! Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • One block of paneer
  • 3 tomatoes
  • Half an onion
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream or milk
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Garam masala powder
  • Fenugreek leaves
  • Kashmiri red chili powder
  • Red chili powder
  • Honey or sugar

Directions:

  1. First, finely chop half an onion, 3 tomatoes, ginger, and garlic.
  2. In a big pot over medium-low heat, add the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic.FullSizeRender-8.jpg
  3. Let simmer for about 20 minutes and add about half a cup of water in between.
  4. Stir occasionally.FullSizeRender-7.jpg
  5. Let cool for about 10 minutes and place in a blender. If you have a food processor that allows hot liquids, then you don’t have to let the tomato mixture cool.FullSizeRender-4.jpg
  6. Pulse about 3 times to make the tomato base for the curry.
  7. Pour this mixture back into the pot and add about 5 tablespoons of butter.FullSizeRender-6.jpg
  8. Let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add about 2 tablespoons of the garam masala powder, kashmiri red chili powder, and red chili powder. Of course, you can add more or less according to your taste.FullSizeRender-10.jpg
  10. Add one spoon of honey or 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  11. Crush a good amount of fenugreek leaves into fine powder and add it to the pot.
  12. Let simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. FullSizeRender-5.jpgFullSizeRender-12.jpg
  13. Add half a cup to a cup of heavy cream and the cubed paneer.FullSizeRender-9.jpg
  14. Simmer for 5 minutes and at this point, add more chili powder if needed.
  15. Serve with naan bread and rice!IMG_8074.JPGIMG_8076.JPGIMG_8073.JPG

Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • This recipe yields about 4 servings.
  • You can skip making the tomato puree steps and just buy a can of crushed tomatoes and just making it into a puree by blending it down.
  • You can find all of the ingredients at your local Indian store.
  • The more butter you add the more thicker the curry will be.
  • The more heavy cream or milk you add, the more bland it will be so I suggest adding more chili powder after adding the cream or milk.

Although it takes about an hour or so to make this delicious paneer makhani, it’s definitely worth it and feeds many. I hope everyone can cozy up and have some Indian paneer makhani this weekend.

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

-Mitz

cooking

Thai Panang Curry

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week so far.

How many times have you asked your favorite thai restaurant to make your panang curry extra extra spicy? (Disregard if you don’t like spicy food) Well, now you can make your own panang curry and satisfy your spicy taste buds!

This recipe is very easy and allows you to multitask through out making the dish. You can make a whole batch of it and save it for leftovers or even for lunch the next day.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can of thai coconut milk
  • Thai red curry paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Broth
  • Extra firm tofu or protein of your choice
  • Half an onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Finely chop the garlic and ginger and set aside.
  3. Chop the onion and bell pepper.unnamed.jpgunnamed-1.jpgunnamed-2.jpg
  4. Sauté the garlic, ginger, onion, bell pepper on medium until they become soft.
  5. Once soften, turn off the stove.
  6. Next, cut the tofu into bite sized squared pieces and evenly spread them on a sprayed baking sheet. Lightly and quickly spray the top of the tofu on the baking sheet. This will give it color.
  7. Place the tofu in a 400 degree F oven for about 30-40 minutes or until they’re are golden brown and crispy.
  8. Meanwhile, pour the coconut milk in a big pot and turn the heat on medium.
  9. Add 5 tablespoons of the thai red curry paste and stir well.
  10. Add the sautéed vegetables, a table spoon of brown sugar, a teaspoon of soy sauce, and a bouillon cube.
  11. Let it simmer on medium low until the tofu is done baking.unnamed-3.jpgunnamed-4.jpgunnamed-5.jpg
  12. Once the tofu is nice and crispy, remove from the oven and place all of them in the curry.unnamed-6.jpg
  13. Let the panang curry simmer for an additional 5-10 min on medium.
  14. Serve with rice!

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Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • These were the only vegetables I had on hand- desperately need to go grocery shopping! I encourage you to use many more vegetables.
  • 1 can of coconut milk usually serves 2 people.
  • Use any protein your heart desires! If you use chicken, I would cook them on a pan and then bake them so they become crispy.
  • The broth just adds more flavor, feel free to leave it out if you don’t have it on hand.
  • The more curry paste you add, the spicier it will become! Use cautiously.

I hope everyone can cozy up and eat some panang curry this weekend. It’s¬†super easy and fun to make. You let the oven and stove do all the cooking!

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

-Mitz