Meatless Monday Recipes: Eggplant Parmesan courtesy of inSHAPE

With the chill in the air, its hard not to start thinking of autumn. Eggplant is an autumn delight, and the parmesan style of preparing it remains a favorite. However, the thinly cut, heavily breaded style is boring and a little too heavy on the starchy carbs. So, we did some research and came up with a flavorful version that is twice baked. With whole wheat or quinoa pasta, this dish is a testament to the diminished value of meat on the plate! Cheers to Meatless Monday!

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Meatless Monday Recipes: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Walnut Sage Sauce courtesy of inSHAPE

When you see the ingredients in this recipe, you will know that we are not exactly following the rules of healthy cooking. This is the richest dish we’ve created so far, but I just couldn’t help myself! The sweet potatoes looked so great at the market this week, and I have been wanting to give gnocchi a try. Likewise, sage makes me smile when the cooler weather arrives.

 

When you see the ingredients in this recipe, you will know that we are not exactly following the rules of healthy cooking. This is the richest dish we’ve created so far, but I just couldn’t help myself! The sweet potatoes looked so great at the market this week, and I have been wanting to give gnocchi a try. Likewise, sage makes me smile when the cooler weather arrives. So, my advice is to get a great workout in with me or my team, and brace your body for some decadence. Serve with a big green salad, and a glass of light red wine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, baked and cooled (takes about 45 min in oven)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 big sprigs of fresh sage
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper of course

Directions: 

Bake the potatoes the night before. This will at least break up prep time of this flavorful dish. With the potato baked, mash them in a large mixing bowl (make sure that you have 2 cups of mashed potato), then adding the ricotta, nutmeg, and salt/pepper to taste. If you have a countertop mixer, turn it on then start the sauce.

Melt the butter over low heat, then whisk in 1/3 cup flour. Slowly add milk, sage, and stir continuously. Add salt and pepper to taste along the way.

As the sauce thickens, return to the business of making the gnocchi. Fill a large stock pot with water and a bit of salt, then turn on high heat so that it will be boiling when the gnocchi is ready. With the potato, ricotta, and spices well blended, slowly adding the 1 1/3 cups flour in 1/3 cup increments. You’ll use the remaining flour when it comes time to handle and prep the gnocchi.

Once the mix is doughy, remove it from the bowl and place on floured counter. Spilt into 4 sections and roll out into one-inch ropes. Cut one-inch segments, then use a fork to tine the cut sides of each piece and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. Gently drop 8-10 pieces at a time into boiling water, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top of the water. Drain in a collander.

Stir the walnuts in to sage sauce, then mix thoroghly with gnocchi. Top with a bit of parmesan cheese and definitely be sure to have a salad before or with this dish. It’s very rich, but very yummy!

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: An ode to kugel courtesy of inSHAPE

This week we have made a spin on kugel, a traditional Jewish dish that is already meatless. This spinach & squash kugel is a fantastic total meal in a single dish, perhaps served with a salad for some additional roughage!

This week we have made a spin on kugel, a traditional Jewish dish that is already meatless. This spinach & squash kugel is a fantastic total meal in a single dish, perhaps served with a salad for some additional roughage!

Note: This recipe yields a family sized casserole dish, so half the recipe if you are serving four or fewer people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 kabochi (or acorn) squash
  • 1 16 oz package egg noodles
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut squash in halves, remove seeds and place in roasting dish face down. Pour 1/2 cup of water in bottom of dish, cover with foil, and roast for 20-25 minutes. You want the flesh to be cooked but not mushy. Remove from oven and cool (I put them in the freezer to cool completely for about a half hour while preparing the rest of the ingredients).

Cook egg noodles (add a little salt to the water). After straining, shock the noodles in cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

To make the yummy sauce, melt butter over low heat (don’t let it burn), stir in flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly whisk in milk, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then cook over medium heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and add chopped spinach and ricotta. Blend with a spoon thoroughly and set aside for a few moments.

If your oven is still on, turn it down to 350 degrees and wait for proper temperature (otherwise, preheat it again). Rub baking dish with oil. Remove squash from fridge/freezer, cut squares into cooked halves then scoop out squares into a bowl. Some of the softer, mashed pieces can be used with the cheese on top when you get to the assembly.

Mix noodles with sauce thoroughly making sure that all of the noodles are coated. Spoon and spread 1/3 of noodles into baking dish. Drop squares of 1/2 of squash into dish, then add the next 1/3 of noodles, followed by the remaining squares of squash, and finishing with the remaining 1/3 of noodles.

Sprinkle cheese on top and dollop any smaller mushy pieces of squash (this will add additional color to the dish).

Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove cover and bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese browns. Cool but serve warm.

We want to thank inSHAPE clients Rebecca Reich and Anna Suh for their contributions to this dish. It was great fun inventing it. If you want a taste of it, book a session with Kim. Her tiny family of three should have plenty left, and will need a year to finish off the completed dish!

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: Tomato and Corn Pie courtesy of inSHAPE

Served with a green salad, this meal is not to be missed! Garden
tomatoes and fresh corn are superstars of the summer plate, and this
dish blends their flavors with a creamy, herbacious base. Served in a
blended pie crust that gives your body the protein it needs, its a
perfect dish for Meatless Monday. Or any other day of the week!

Served with a green salad, this meal is not to be missed! Garden tomatoes and fresh corn are superstars of the summer plate, and this dish blends their flavors with a creamy, herbacious base. Served in a blended pie crust that gives your body the protein it needs, its a perfect dish for Meatless Monday. Or any other day of the week!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour blend (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus 2 tsp melted butter
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 pounds tomatoes
  • 3 ears of corn, sliced off cob
  • 1 tbsp. basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp. thyme, minced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)

Flour blend: We used a blend of Cinque e Cinque chick pea flour from Lucini Italia, which we mentioned in a previous recipe with traditional flour for our crust to add protein content and reduce empty calorie load. Granted we aren’t concerned with fat content in this recipe, but to make it a complete meal, we suggest experimenting with flour mixtures that offer a little more than enriched white flour.

Preparation:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl, then blend in cold butter (3/4 stick) with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until mixture just forms a dough, then gather into a ball.

Flour the counter or another work surface, and divide dough in half and roll out pie crusts. Gently lift into a lightly buttered 9-inch pie pan. Secure crust and trim edges as desired. Fold top half and place in the fridge.

Once you get through this step, go ahead and preheat oven to 400°F, and ensure that the rack is in the middle.

Slice a one-inch X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10-15 seconds. Immediately transfer to an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes, then slice and remove seeds (you just want the fleshy part). Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, one half of basil and thyme, 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and one cup of grated cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper. Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice and pour over filling. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cover with top pie crust.

Pinch edges to seal. Cut 4 steam vents in top and brush with melted butters. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until pie is golden. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before serving.

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: Eggplant Parmesan courtesy of inSHAPE

Eggplant is a garden delight, and the parmesan style of preparing it remains a favorite. However, the thinly cut, heavily breaded style is boring and a little too heavy on the starchy carbs, so we did some research and came up with a flavorful version that is twice baked.

Eggplant is a garden delight, and the parmesan style of preparing it remains a favorite. However, the thinly cut, heavily breaded style is boring and a little too heavy on the starchy carbs, so we did some research and came up with a flavorful version that is twice baked. With whole wheat or quinoa pasta, this dish is a testament to the diminished value of meat on the plate! Cheers to Meatless Monday!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of diced tomatoes (2 large cans)
  • 3 cups tomato purée (1 large can)
  • 1 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms (mixed variety)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Preparation:

To prepare red sauce, drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil in large pot (that you’ll use for the batch) and sauté onion for about 4-5 minutes over high heat. Reduce heat and add all of the tomato ingredients, half of the basil and parsley, red wine, oregano, red pepper, bay leaves, and salt/pepper. Simmer for as long as possible. If possible, let sit overnight to further develop the flavor.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Slice eggplant into one inch thick rounds and place on oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto slices and bake for 14-16 minutes or until the tops are slightly brown. Allow them to cool before assembly. Turn oven down to 350-degrees.

Using a coffee grinder or hand mixer, crush mushrooms until a course powder. Mix with bread crumbs and rosemary and set aside. Mix together remaining basil and parsley and set aside for assembly as well.

When you are ready to assemble, generously oil your deep baking or casserole dish. Layer eggplant rounds next to each other. Sprinkle about 1/2 of bread crumbs on top, then dollop and spread out red sauce, followed by half of the herb mixture, and half the sliced mozzarella. Repeat for a second layer and sprinkle any remaining bread crumbs on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes. If cheese isn’t brown at this point, feel free to stick it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Cool and serve with a green salad and your favorite pasta. And, red wine of course! Enjoy!

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: Spinach Lasagna courtesy of inSHAPE

Lasagna is such a treat for a family meal. Creating this meat-free lasagna is pain free, and can be prepared on any work day. This tomato-free version includes a mixed blend of ricotta cheese, and whipped white beans with herbs. Along with spinach, it’s a total health meal! Just don’t eat it all in one sitting.

Spinach Lasagna
Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 6 lasagna sheets (boil free from Delverde pasta is our preference)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 6 cups fresh spinach or 3 cups frozen spinach
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tso thyme
  • 1 egg
  • salt and papper to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and either spray a deep baking dish with non stick spray or lightly coat it with olive oil. Our Delverde lasagna noodles suggest a soak in warm water for a few moments before the preparation.

In a skillet over high heat, drizzle about 2 tbsp EVOO then saute garlic, celery, and onions for 4-6 minutes, until onions are almost clear. Set aside. Steam spinach if using fresh, drain and set aside. If using frozen, ensure that veggie is thawed and totally drained.

Whip beans, parsley in a mixing bowl, and once completely pummeled, add ricotta, herbs, egg, salt and pepper. Blend completely. Prep noodles as directed.

Spread sauteed onions and celery in the bottom of the pan, then set up a later of pasta, followed by a layer of spinach. Evenly dollop the cheese and bean mixture, then sprinkle mozzarella. Repeat two more times, ending with a heavier layer of mozzarella at the end. Bake for 45 minutes uncovered, or until cheese is bubbly. For some ovens, you might need to turn the oven to broil for the last 3-5 minutes.

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: Smart Heart Salad courtesy of inSHAPE

Sometimes, a warm, hearty salad is your best dinner option during the work week. An even better reason to honor Meatless Monday, this salad also celebrates foods that promotes heart health. It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and will not leave you feeling like you need more.

Heart Smart Salad
Heart Smart Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4 cups kale
  • 1 cup red kidney beans
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Prepare quinoa on the stove according to packaging instruction, and pour into a salad bowl to cool. Wash then steam kale for about 2-3 minutes, and remove from pot to cool. In the meantime, start the dressing. Combine one half of the avocado, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon zest (about a teaspoon), and juice from the lemon (add gradually, so that you can taste it) in a bowl or blender pitcher. Liquify completely then adjust ingredients to taste. Add kale to salad bowl and toss with dressing.

Cube the remaining half of the avocado and dot the top of the salad, along with pomegranate seeds and kidney beans. Serve immediately.

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.