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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grilled Chicken Parmesan Sub with Eggplant

WOW.   My husband amazed us again with this latest kitchen creation.    Most delicious sub I've ever had and healthy too!  He's so creative lately and I am NOT complaining.   Even my kids gobbled this up.   So flavorful and delicious.   And all of the main ingredients came to less than $12 (excluding the things we always have on hand like EVOO & italian seasoning).

1 package of boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins
4 six inch sub rolls from the bakery department of your local store (ours were $.50 each)
1 package part skim Mozzarella Cheese (or 1/4 lb if buying from a deli)
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut in 1/2" slices
1 small jar of Prego marinara sauce (or your own favorite)
2 TBS italian seasoning

1.  Heat grill to medium- high heat.

2.  Pour the EVOO in the smallest bowl you have.   Add 1 TBS italian seasoning and stir to mix.

3.  Lay out the eggplant slices on a plate.   Lightly brush each piece with a little of the EVOO / Italian Seasoning mix.

4.  Sprinkle the chicken tenderloins with the other TBS of italian seasoning.

5.  Add chicken & eggplant to the grill.

6.  Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 and put the marinara sauce in a small pan on the stove on low-medium.  

7.  Gently turn the eggplant over after a few minutes.  Be careful not to let overcook.  A few minutes on each side should be good enough.   When chicken is thoroughly cooked, transfer to a plate.  Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes and then slice the tenders into 2-3" chunks.  Then slice the eggplant pieces in half.  The eggplant should be soft, but not mushy if cooked correctly. 

8.  Cut the sub rolls in half with a bread knife (be careful not to cut all the way through).   Add a few pieces of chicken and eggplant to each roll.   Then stuff in 1/2 piece of cheese each.   Add 1-2 TBS of the sauce on top (more or less to taste preference), then add another full piece of cheese on top.   Place the sub rolls against the outer edge of a baking pan to keep them upright.   Put in oven for 3-5 minutes but WATCH CLOSELY.   You just want the cheese to melt.   Enjoy! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grilled Eggplant & Mozzarella Sandwich with a Balsamic Reduction

I don't have a picture of this latest creation but just imagine yumminess.... oozing out on a roll.  

We love eggplant and it's cheap to buy this time of year from local farmers so we decided to use some in a sandwich.   We were trying to imitate a sandwich we had from a local deli but they fry their eggplant and we didn't want to do that.  However, you certainly can if you prefer.  You can toss with some breadcrumbs and saute it to make it extra crispy.  

1 medium - large eggplant, washed and cut into 3/4" slices (leave skin on)
1 ball of fresh mozzarella (sliced 1/2" thick)
1 jar of roasted red peppers, sliced thin
1/4 onion, sliced
Dash of salt
3 cups balsamic vinegar (which will be your balsamic reduction sauce)
3-4 sandwich rolls or bread of your choice (or foccaccia bread is AMAZING)
optional:  2 TBS pesto

1.  Slice up your mozzarella several hours before starting to drain out the moisture.  You don't want a watery sandwich and that cheese is full of moisture.   Slice it and place on a plate of paper towels with additional paper towels on top and then refrigerate for 2-4 hours before using. 

2.  Use a small pan and coat with a little EVOO.  Heat on medium-high.   Once warm, add the onion and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.   Stir well for 3-5 minutes until tender-crisp. 

3.  After slicing up your eggplant, lay out on a plate and sprinkle with a TINY bit of salt on each piece (it helps to dry out the eggplant a little).  

4.  Preheat a small stove burner to medium high heat.   Add the balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan.   Once the stove is heated, add the pan.   Wait for the bals vinegar to boil slightly.  Start stirring with a whisk.   Turn the stove down enough to just keep it simmering, but not a high boil.  Stir every minute or so.   Once the sauce starts to thicken up, stir more frequently to keep it from burning then remove from heat.   The whole process should only take 3-5 minutes.   Immediately pour the bals vinegar (which should now be very very dark & very thick, almost a syrup consistency) into a separate container.   Some people like to add a dash of sugar or herbs to the bals reduction at this point.  We kept ours as is but make it to taste.  

5.  Preheat grill to medium heat.  Once heated, add the eggplant and cook 3-4 minutes on each side.  You have to be careful not to overcook or else the skin will get crispy and the inside will get mushy.

6.  Add the rolls (or bread) on the top shelf of the grill to slightly brown.  Will only take a few seconds to be done.

5.  Assemble the sandwich as follows: 
One slice of eggplant, one slice of mozzarella,  a second slice of eggplant, (optional to add more mozzarella here too), then add 1 TSP of the roasted red pepper and onion, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction, top with other piece of bread.    (optional to spread a little pesto on the top layer of roll).  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mango Shrimp Salad Wrap

My husband came up with this recipe.   It was unbelievable.  I never wanted it to end.  So light and refreshing. Perfect summer dinner.   We served it with a side salad.  It does take a little more time to prepare than we normally do for dinners so I can't call this "quick & easy" but it's worth it. Trust me!  (This recipe makes 4 tortillas). 

1/3 cup low fat sour cream
1/3 cup low calorie mayo
1/4 cup fresh basil - chopped
2 TBS fresh chives - chopped
1 TBS fresh mint - chopped
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 TBS lemon juice
1 cup baby spinach
1 1/2 pound large gulf shrimp in shell, peeled and deveined
2 large ripe mangos, peeled and cut into 1/2" slices
4 Tortillas (we used the whole wheat ones)

1.  Put sour cream, mayo, basil, chives, s&p in a blender until the mixture is smooth.  It should be a pale green color when done.

2.  Heat a nonstick pan on medium - high heat.  Once the pan is warm, add the shrimp.   Let them cook for several minutes on each side until done.  Make sure the shrimp are fully cooked or else they will be mushy after the next step.   

3.  Immediately transfer the shrimp to a bowl of ice water for 2-3 minutes.  Then drain well and pat dry.  Cut the shrimp into large chunks. 

4. Add the shrimp to the dressing you made in the blender.  Stir to combine. 

5.  Turn a stove burner on med - high heat.  Add one tortilla at a time directly to the burner, turning over & over with tongs until it's pliable and has a few "grill" marks.  Usually 30 seconds on each side.

6.  Divide the baby spinach to each tortilla, arranging it across the middle.  Then divide up the mango on top of the spinach.   Top with the shrimp salad.   Roll up the wraps & cut in half.    Enjoy!