Recipe: Eggplant Involtini

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(This is not the actual picture of the dish, but I don’t know where they have gone – so imagine these eggplant slices rolled around the cheese (which is dotted with fresh herbs) on top of couscous instead of salad!)

We got some really cute eggplants at the Farmers Market recently. I didn’t really have a dish in mind for how to prepare them, but I love eggplant, so I knew I would get inspiration at some point. They sat in the fridge for about a week, and then I got a bright idea! Recently we had gone out to eat and I had a rolled, stuffed eggplant dish that was breaded in panko and fried. I didn’t really want to fry the eggplant, but I wanted to roll them and stuff them. I love the combination of chevre and eggplant, and I had some nice chevre in the fridge. I stuffed the eggplants with fresh herbs and chevre and broiled them in the oven. I drizzled balsamic-pomegranate reduction over top and served it with raisin and pine nut dotted couscous. The flavors were really magical and took my taste buds to new heights! I was really pleased with the way the dish turned out – I think the combination of herbs really made it. This is a great dish for the last days of summer and I am betting it would be phenomenal on the grill!

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Recipe: Chicken and Lemon Peel Olive Tagine and Yellow for Bri – Lemon Peels

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Today, I am dedicating this post and recipe to Bri, a fellow food blogger from Figs with Bri, and a woman fighting the long and difficult battle against breast cancer. This month’s CLICK event , hosted by Jugalbandi has a theme of Yellow, based on the Livestrong model. This month we, who are participating in this event, are dedicating our YELLOW posts to Bri, a strong woman with the heart and spirit of an Amazon! There is also a fundraiser going on for Bri – a way to help her seek the best medical care, in all areas, including holistic and experimental treatments some of which are not covered by her medical insurance. So please go here to check out the information and learn more about Bri’s cause – a little goes a very long way. The Foodblogger Blogosphere is a global village. we may not personally know everyone we interact with on a regular basis, but their stories and lives do touch us. I feel it is so important to support our fellow bloggers in good times and when they need us the most, during their trials.

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(CLICK event photo)

Everyone here knows about my love for Moroccan foods. One of my favorite restaurants when I lived in the DC area was Marrakesh. This is how their website describes an evening there “course after course of Moroccan cuisine featuring succulent meats, vegetables, and salads served against the backdrop of Middle Eastern music and decor will both excite and lull you into one of the most special evenings of your life”. No truer words have ever been spoken.

Then at the other end of the spectrum, there was another great Moroccan restaurant where I used to live in Northampton, MA called Amanouz Cafe an unassuming place, yet serving up fresh and delicious food at very affordable prices. Both of the restaurants rate highly on my list of favorite restaurants of all time because of the education they afforded me for Moroccan food.
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Recipe: Shrimp Curry Couscous and Are You a Fat Chef or Skinny Gourmet?

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Eating healthy is a way of life, some may argue that it is a boring way of life. They might say, food is about passion, and that you shouldn’t dumb down that passion through making it healthy all the time. I am certainly one to splurge but I really believe that some of the healthiest foods are the tastiest. For me there is no question of what I would prefer given the choice of a nice juicy marbled steak with Bearnaise sauce or a sushi roll. Who can argue that fresh vegetables from the garden are something most of us look forward to every year?

A list of my favorite foods include cheese, beans, hummus, olives, yogurt, papaya, salads of all varieties, avocados, almonds, artisan bread, ice cream and nice fresh sushi. So for me, healthy does not equal tasteless or boring – to me it equals fresh, unrefined, un-tampered with goodness. “Healthy” means something different to different people. For me, it is about moderation and the above qualifications are more important than calories and fat, calories and fat are natural, they are in everything, there is good and bad and they are important for a balanced diet. For me it is more important that my food is free of chemicals, hormones, additives, preservatives and dyes. So when you think about that, a diet of all my favorite foods fit into my category of “healthy”.

Here is another Leftover Queen classic! It was one of those meals which kind of cleaned out the fridge of Farmers Market finds and the pantry of dry goods . I made this when we were spending a weekend at home and had some time to kill. Usually if we are home on the weekend, we spend one day making and prepping food for the following week. We made bread, ice cream, sauces and usually a nice meal – that will produce leftovers!

When we made this we had some for dinner one night and then the next day, ate it like a cold salad at the beach. It is so flavorful, healthy and full of goodness. This made quite a lot so we had lots for lunches the following week.

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This is one of those recipes that you can substitute anything you like. For us, the combination of the shrimp, pine nuts and raisins backed by the curry flavor was amazing! I am submitting this in Ben and Ivy‘s Fat Chefs or Skinny Gourmets event promoting healthy foods. I wanted to show that cooking healthy is a lifestyle and not something that needs a lot of planning to achieve. If you have a well stocked pantry full of whole grains, legumes and whole wheat pastas, as well as a freezer and fridge full of vegetables that have already been washed and are ready to use, cooking healthy is a breeze. You can create awesome stir fries, couscous, hash and healthy pasta and bean dishes in a flash.

Healthy foods are not boring, especially when you are using local, seasonal produce that is at the height of flavor and freshness in tandem with what is already in your pantry.
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Recipe: Mediterranean Shrimp Salad

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This is a wonderful and easy dish to prepare. It can be served hot as a main dish or you can chill it and serve it as a salad. It is a wonderful and refreshing dish that is easy to make variations of depending on what you have on hand and is the perfect dish to make with leftover shrimp!

Enjoy!
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Featured Product: Tunisian Fancy CousCous

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Speaking of Tunisian CousCous, you can now purchase your own Tunisian Fancy Couscous (6.7 Ounce) by igourmet.com through Amazon. Amazon has a wide variety of wonderful gourmet and imported food products. Many of which I have available through my store. I will be featuring a variety of products through these product reviews on a regular basis, so stay tuned!

The national dish of Tunisia is in fact CousCous. CousCous is a small pasta that is made from semolina. Tunisian Cuisine is a complex mixture of Middle Eastern, Berber and European foods.

Recipe: Tunisian Style Cous Cous

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The Mediterranean Recipe of the Week this week is Tunisian Style Cous Cous. This is also by a guest cook this week, David, another one of my Travel blog buddies. David and Lucy have traveled all over the Mediterranean and Middle East and their extensive travels have inspired many creative dishes. You should definitely check out David’s Images of Islam Blog
Now for the Recipe!
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Recipe: Lucinate Style: Salmon and Cous Cous

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Here is a wonderful dish prepared by one of my travel blog buddies, Lucinate! If you are into world travel, you should definately check out her blog, it is full of travel details all around the world. She just recently returned from a scuba adventure in Thailand. Her cooking is inspired by her many trips! Speaking of Thai, this is a Thai-Inspired Salmon with Cous Cous! Looks incredible!
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