Jump to:groceries grilled eggplant with quinoa & feta mint sauce spaghetti squash casserole bahn mi-ish bowls with quick pickled vegetables baba ganoush (smoked eggplant dip)
Hi hi! We received quite a few emails this last week about accessing archived Cooking Club weeks. As a refresher or in case you weren’t aware, only the two most recent weeks of Cooking Club will be accessible from the home page, weeks prior to the current and previous are archived. There is a note in the House Keeping section below regarding a couple different ways to keep hold of weekly plans and/or specific recipes that you want to save.
I’m going to get working on the requested dressing + sauces arsenal. I’m hoping to have that started in a few weeks! Also, coming up in week six, I have an easy pasta recipe that we’re going to use for inviting people over, so brainstorm who you are going to invite to your table. Have a great week!
- On Saving Archived Plans & Recipes:
Save a weekly plan: click on the title of the week's entry, ie. "Cooking Club: Week Four," you can then bookmark that week's URL in your browser and revisit it any time.
Save a specific recipe:Click the button to print or save that specific recipe as a .pdf
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I am assuming you have sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a higher heat oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Check your stock on these before you head to the market, and check off any other items you may already have. As you continue to use these recipes, you will see repetition of my favorite ingredients. For example, while real maple and pine nuts are pricey pantry staples, they won’t sit in the pantry, you’ll use them in upcoming weeks. Use bulk bins at your local health food store to buy in smaller quantities if you prefer.
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MEAT & DAIRY
recipe 01: grilled eggplant with quinoa & feta mint sauce
This sauce! Dreams. I love sauce. Make extra, use it on all the things.
For my nightshade averse, pals, you can sub in a portobello mushroom for the eggplant. It will not need the initial salting step.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: the sauce can be made three days in advance. The quinoa and garbanzos may also be made in advance, tossed with the oil, lemon, and salt and pepper, and stored in the fridge for three days.
Use It Twice: double the sauce! It’s great on all sorts of proteins and bowls or used as salad dressing with sturdy greens like kale or romaine. I also like having extra quinoa and garbanzos to toss into said salad as well.
Kid Friendly: I chop the eggplant into smaller pieces and just mix it into the quinoa and bean mixture with a bit of the sauce.
Carnivore Addition: the morning of, season lamb chops with salt, pepper, and a bit of fresh rosemary. Let them sit covered in the fridge until prep time. In a hot pan with a slick of neutral oil, sear on both sides until medium rare inside, about 2 minutes per side depending on thickness. Let them rest and serve with the remaining eggplant dish. Lamb freaks you out? There is always grilled chicken since we’re already grilling things here anyway.
Low Carb: replace the the quinoa and garbanzos with cauliflower rice sautéed in oil and a few grated garlic cloves. I made the optional note to add in a few handfuls of chopped greens, but a full portion of sautéed baby spinach would be nice too.
For the Eggplant
2 medium size globe eggplants, ends removed and sliced lengthwise about 1/2”
extra virgin olive oil
For the feta mint sauce
3 oz. feta cheese, about 3/4 cup crumbled, plus more for garnish
handful of fresh mint leaves (packed 1/4 cup), plus more for garnish
handful of fresh parsley (packed 1/4 cup), plus more for garnish
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
for the base
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
Two handfuls of chopped kale or alternative greens
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Toasted pine nuts, for garnish
If you plan on making the snack of the week (Baba Ganoush), make efficient use of your kitchen time and char the eggplant the same time you are making this dish.
Place the eggplant slices in a colander. Sprinkle them liberally with salt and let them sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
For the sauce, in a blender or food processor, combine the feta, mint, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, water and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Whiz until mostly smooth. Season to taste. Set aside.
Mix the quinoa and garbanzos together. Add in the greens, if using. Stir in the oil, lemon, minced shallot and pinch of salt and pepper. Warm on the stove or in the microwave.
Dab the extra water off the eggplants with a paper towel. Brush the eggplants liberally with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, grill the eggplants for about 5-6 minutes per side until they have dark grill marks and have started to soften.
To assemble the plates, layer a scoop of the quinoa mixture, a few pieces of grilled eggplant, protein if adding, a generous drizzle of the sauce, and some crumbled feta, herbs and pine nuts on top for garnish.
recipe 02: spaghetti squash casserole
This is super simple, so using a good quality marinara sauce will help. Look for the brands Rao’s or San Marzano - they both have a deep tomato flavor and are not super watery. It should look thick and dark in the jar.
1 medium spaghetti squash (about 1.5 lbs)
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 big handfuls of baby spinach or baby kale
2 cups/16 oz. marinara sauce
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, broken up into pieces
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
fresh basil or parsley, for garnish
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: cook and shred up the spaghetti squash. Sauté the onions and greens. Brown the chicken sausage if using. Keep all these components separate, and assemble when you’re ready to bake.
Use It Twice: this is freezable, and makes a great meal to gift to new parents or a sick friend. Prepare the squash mixture, spread the cheese on top and then cover with foil and freeze. The frozen casserole can be reheated at 375’, covered for 30-40 minutes and 5 minutes uncovered at the end to brown the cheese on top.
Kid Friendly: leave out the onions. Mine aren’t into marinara, so I’ll just warm some of the spaghetti squash up with a little oil and cheese on top. It’s not making a separate dinner, but may result in less push back if it presents to their tastes. If you *really* don’t want to risk it, sub in 2 cups of a cooked, short pasta noodle instead of the squash, or even half noodle, half squash.
Dairy Free: replace the cheese on top with a combination of some panko breadcrumbs you have toasted up in a bit of olive oil and chopped pine nuts. Sprinkle this mixture on top in the last few minutes of baking.
Carnivore Addition: you can add some cooked sausage into the sauce, or serve it on the side.
Preheat the oven to 400’.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Lightly oil the flesh side, and place it cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until fork pierces through easily. Remove to cool to the touch.
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onions, pinch of salt and sauté until softened and just browning. Add the greens, and give it one more sauté to wilt. Set aside to cool.
Use a fork to shred the strands into the bowl (if it is still steaming let that all cool off before adding the rest. Steam equals water and we want the water to release so it doesn’t get soggy). Add the onion mixture, marinara sauce and sausage if using.
Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish (2 qts. more or less). Distribute the mozzarella pieces on top, then the parmesan and a light drizzle of olive oil over the top. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 15 minutes to warm.
Turn the heat up to 475’, uncover the casserole and cook another 10ish minutes for the cheese to brown.
Remove to cool, sprinkle with basil or parsley and serve.
recipe 03: bahn mi-ish bowls with quick pickled vegetables
I am not including an anchored protein here, as we have a variety of eaters subscribed and I think this one takes well to swaps. I made a quick roasted salmon, which there is a note on below. You could make a easily make stir-fried or roasted tofu, shred up a roasted chicken or simply follow the directions.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: the miso sriracha mayo will keep for a week, covered, in the fridge. The barely pickled vegetables will also keep for a week. Both are actually BETTER if made ahead. Brown rice may be cooked in advance, and warmed as needed.
Use It Twice: honestly, I’d just make the same bowl again. BUT, these same components are delicious and portable, piled into a soft roll for a sandwich. Perhaps a Bahn mi burger?
Kid Friendly: leave out the sriracha if they are sensitive to spice. Broken record, but again with the tortillas - tiny bit of the veg, rice, protein, avocado and a little bit of sauce, wrapped up.
Carnivore Addition: see headnote.
Low Carb: replace the rice with cauliflower rice or mixed greens. We will often do a 50/50 ratio of rice and cauli rice.
For The quick pickled vegetables
1 small red onion
1 large/2 smaller English cucumbers
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. cane sugar
for the spicy mayo
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. sriracha, to taste
juice of half a lime
For the bowl
3 cups cooked brown rice
roasted salmon* or rotisserie chicken
2 avocados, for serving
sesame seeds, for garnish
fresh micro greens and cilantro, for garnish
Roasted Salmon Addition:
Preheat the oven to 350’.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and place the (thawed, if previously frozen) salmon filets skin side down.
Stir together 1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari, 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp. maple and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brush it on the flesh of the salmon and roast for about 10 minutes, depending on thickness, until just cooked through. The thickest part should feel like the meaty part of your palm when flexed. Remove to rest before serving.
Julienne, or thinly slice the onion, carrot and cucumber and collect them in a mixing bowl. Use a mandolin if you have it. Warm the vinegar, water, salt and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Pour the warm mixture over the vegetables and let it cool to room temperature. Transfer everything to a container with a lid and store it in the fridge until ready to use. Can be made up to a week in advance.
Stir together the mayonnaise, sriracha and lime. Set aside until ready to use. Can be kept, covered, in the fridge for a week.
To assemble the bowls, do a portion of rice, the protein of your choice, a scoop of the pickled vegetables, avocado, spicy mayo and a garnish of sesame seeds and cilantro.
recipe 04: baba ganoush (eggplant dip)
It is amazing how creamy and smoky and delicious the eggplant gets after getting roasted to death. It can be a bit of a mess, so I opt for the grill, but alternatives are listed below. I love it swiped on crackers or cucumbers, but it makes a great wrap spread as well.
1 large eggplant
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, well chopped
Pita chips, crackers or cucumbers, for serving
Over a grill, or open flame on the stove, char the daylights out of your eggplant. About 30 minutes. Real fire is ideal here, but for the sake of convenience you can also do this in the oven on broil, middle rack, on a foil lined baking sheet for about 40 minutes. Char on all sides, turning occasionally, until soft and very tender. Wrap the eggplant in foil and let it cool.
Once cool to the touch, use a knife to split the eggplant, and carefully scoop the soft flesh away from the skin. Transfer the flesh to a large mixing bowl or food processor. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, salt, parsley and mix. I use a whisk, so I can smash and mix at the same time. Alternatively, pulse it all in a food processor until mostly smooth.
Season to taste. Serve with chips or cucumber slices.