Tag Archives: vegetables

Procrastinating…eggplant lasagna

16 Jan

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I can’t find an original source for this but I think it’s funny. Picked up from reddit

I’m giving a talk tomorrow in my advisor’s little seminar and I’m definitely doing that silly thing where I’m too unprepared and panicky about it, and hence rather than preparing I’m procrastinating (because the thought of preparing makes me realize how unprepared I am).  That’s a universal problem.  My specific problem is that this paper by Olshanskii is SO COOL and has all the things I like (functions between graphs, some combinatorics, some algebra, lots of pictures) and yet the talk I’m preparing is SO BORING.  Somehow I sucked all the fun out of the paper and now my talk is joyless, which is exactly what you *don’t* want to do when teaching or talking.  It’s like listing all the ways to integrate functions without ever saying why integration is so awesome.  Giving someone that flowchart above without a picture of an integral.

So instead, I’ll blog about a food!

Inspired by my friend Ellie, I tried to make eggplant lasagna.  It’s nice because my former-Paleo SO likes to avoid pasta, so I have yet to make regular lasagna (which my wonderful mom used to make all the time).

Yknow how to make these beautiful red fruits seem grosser?  Say the name aloud with a stress on the first syllable.  TOE-mato.  Ugh.  Just imagine toenailmatoes.

Yknow how to make these beautiful red fruits seem grosser? Say the name aloud with a stress on the first syllable. TOE-mato. Ugh. Just imagine toenailmatoes.

I don’t buy tomato sauce, though it seems so convenient and I’m all for convenience!  I just know I’ll never finish a jar before it goes bad and I hate throwing food out, while diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes in a can last approximately forever.  So the first thing to do is make some tomato sauce.

Step one: dice up some garlic.  If you have a garlic press, good for you!  We got one for Christmas and I promptly broke it.  I pushed too hard?  Here are some up close photos of how to peel garlic: press the flat side of a blade against the clove, and the peel will pop right off.

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Then start to fry up the garlic in a little bit of olive oil until fragrant.  I added some oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes.

It'd probably burn your tongue if you (gar)LICKed this up

It’d probably burn your tongue if you (gar)LICKed this up

Pour in a can of diced tomatoes (I like the fire roasted ones sometimes).

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Sauce is hard to apPOURtion out

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Though portable, I wouldn’t take this all the way to SAUCE-alito. I mean, it’s probably too much liquid for the airline and CA is far.

Season with some salt and pepper, let it simmer for a bit while you slice up your eggplant.

Have you stopped by the waffle factory lately?  I hear there's a lot of great things coming out of that EGGoPLANT.

Have you stopped by the waffle factory lately? I hear there’s a lot of great things coming out of that EGGoPLANT.

Some people recommend salting your eggplant for awhile to leach the bitterness out, but I’ve never had a problem with bitter eggplant.  If you want to do that, slice em all and throw em in a strainer and sprinkle a bunch of salt all over that for half an hour.  I have zero patience so I also skip this step.  Another good step: roast the eggplant ahead of time (see the zero patience thing).  Roasting eggplant here.

I was thinking of a lemon pun BUT THEN I DISCOVERED THAT LEMMINGS ARE SO CUTE.  CLICK ON IMAGE.

I was thinking of a lemon pun BUT THEN I DISCOVERED THAT LEMMINGS ARE SO CUTE. CLICK ON IMAGE.

Now that your sauce is all simmered, give it a taste.  Apparently I added some onion to it at some point (how about that!) and a squeeze of lemon (never hurts).  I also like adding a bit of sugar to combat the acidity/bitterness of tomatoes.

Throw the sauce aside, and soften some diced onions in your pan with some olive oil.  Then throw in some sliced mushrooms (I’m lazy and buy the pre-sliced ones which always say you should wash them, which makes me think that’s beside the point of buying them presliced).  You could also put in whatever veggie here: zucchini, yellow squash, red or green peppers, etc. etc.

What if you built a cross between an RV and a dogsled?  Then you'd have a MUSHroom

What if you built a cross between an RV and a dogsled? Then you’d have a MUSHroom

Once that’s cooked, throw in some spinach.

When spinach goes to a concert in LA, it prefers the WILTern

When spinach goes to a concert in LA, it prefers the WILTern

I grabbed all the cheese-like products in my fridge, which was: half a ball of mozzarella, a pack of cream cheese, some shredded parmesan, and some greek yogurt.  I mixed it except for the mozzarella with two beaten eggs, some olive oil, and a tablespoon of this weird basil paste I bought.

There's some alright bases out there (10, 2 for binary, 3 for Cantor set proof)... but for sure the most sweet is base ILL

There’s some alright bases out there (10, 2 for binary, 3 for Cantor set proof)… but for sure the most sweet is base ILL

Then mix your cheese mixture with the veggies in the pan.

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And layer tomato sauce, eggplant, cheese mix, tomato sauce, eggplant, cheese mix, tomato sauce, and top with sliced fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

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Bake at 350 until cheese is bubbly, 20 minutes or so.

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This was so yummy!

Eggplant lasagna:

1-2 eggplants

1 can tomatoes + cloves of garlic + spices OR some spaghetti sauce

1 onion

vegetables: mushrooms, peppers, squash, kale, spinach, whatever…

1-2 fresh tomatoes

some mozzarella

2-3 eggs

ricotta or cream cheese

olive oil

1. If you’re making tomato sauce, make it.  Garlic and onion in olive oil until soft, then add a can of tomatoes, and spices (oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper) to taste.  Let simmer while you do other things.

2. Slice the eggplant.  If you prefer, salt it to eliminate bitterness.

3. Cook the vegetables.

4. Make the cheese mix: beat eggs with some olive oil and cheeses.  

5. Layer tomato sauce, eggplant, veggies, cheese, etc.  Top with fresh tomato slices and slices of fresh mozzarella.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

I’m just going to wake up at 6 tomorrow and write my talk again and make it more exciting.

Kale chips

8 May
Drinking beer, making chips, feeling O-K-ale!

Drinking beer, making chips, feeling O-K-ale!

Finals week… prelims… blurk.  Chop up your kale into 1 inch or so size pieces, like chips.  This is a recipe where I actually believe in preheating, rare.  400.

I bet hobbits would love this stuff: Bilgo BaGgins would totally dig it.  He has this recipe in the bag.

I bet hobbits would love this stuff: Bilbo BaGgins would totally dig it. He has this recipe in the bag.

Throw your kale, a tablespoon of olive oil or two (I ran out and added some vegetable oil), and a healthy splash of balsamic into a plastic or ziploc bag.  Squish it around so all the kale gets covered, and then spread it out on your baking sheet.

No one would feel green with envy of this baking sheet.  Unless you love hanging out in 400 degree ovens.

No one would feel green with envy of this baking sheet. Unless you love hanging out in 400 degree ovens.

Bake it and WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK.  5-10 minutes.  This goes from perfectly crisp to horribly burned in about 30 seconds.  How long you cook is your preference, but I like it when the whole chip looks dry and the edges are lightly browned.

Kale chips: turning your frown upside brown!

Kale chips: turning your frown upside brown!

So delicious, addictive, and slightly healthier than potato chips!

I can eat a whole head of kale this way in about 5 minutes.

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Recipe from my head:

Preheat your oven to 400

Cut up a bunch of kale into small pieces

Throw in a plastic bag with 2 TB olive oil, 2 TB balsamic vinegar

Spread out on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until as crisp as you like.

Sprinkle with salt and eat!

 

PSA: Administrative Professionals Day is tomorrow!

23 Apr

I’m posting this now rather than tonight to give you time to buy some baking supplies.  I’ll actually bake something tonight to bring in to the office tomorrow.

Here’s a quick thing of carrots + zucchini:

Toss 1 TB olive oil and a 1 TB herbes de Provence seasoning with a bunch of baby carrots, and a zucchini cut into fries and a yellow squash cut into fries.  (to cut a long thin squash into fries, slice it in half lengthwise, then slice each half into thirds or halves lengthwise, and chop into two or three sticks transversely).  We also sometimes use what my old roommate dubbed “fry seasoning,” a mix of all of our spices (cumin, chili, rosemary, sage. thyme, whatever).

Spread it out on a baking sheet.

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Roast at 400 for 20-40 minutes or until the edges are crisp.

Yum!

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