Author: Tina

Top 10 ways of using Garlic

Top 10 ways of using Garlic

Here are my favourite top 10 ways of using garlic. Garlic has been proven to have many health and medicinal benefits. For thousands of years, ancient civilization have been using garlic as medicine and food. It is hence imperative that we incorporate garlic as much…

How to Make No Sew Face Masks

How to Make No Sew Face Masks

No sew face masks is the answer to the face mask shortage around the world. In this pandemic time, face masks, along with toilet paper, pasta are in short supply. For a long time, the western countries resisted the idea of wearing face masks. It…

6 Ways of Cooking with Eggplants

6 Ways of Cooking with Eggplants

In a country as diverse as Canada, it is easy to find 6 ways of cooking with eggplants. I have learned to cook by ingredients to take advantage of the seasons and the store sale. If eggplant is on sale, I will grab that opportunity to indulge in my eggplant fantasies. I love eggplant. It has a meaty texture and a distinct taste. Moreover, eggplant is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and low in calories.

I was so impressed when I first immigrated to Canada and visited a Canadian supermarket. There is just simply many choices of everything. 10 different brands of cooking oil, 20 different types of flour, 30 different types of coffee. This is the same with vegetables. I was flabbergasted to find so many different types of eggplants.

Canada imports its vegetables from different countries, and depending on the seasons, we would find different eggplants. Did you know that there are in fact, ten different types of eggplants? These include Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, White, Graffiti, Fairy tale, Globe and Rosa Bianca.

types of eggplants from different countries
Different types of eggplants from around the world

Just as there are many different types of eggplants, there are many ways of cooking with eggplants. I want to share my favourite 6 ways of cooking with eggplants. They vary from being a main dish, an appetizer, or a side dish. They are all quick and easy, and not too fussy.

Grilled Eggplant Rounds
The key to this recipe is to use the Globe eggplant, which is round and fat. Cut the eggplant into round slices. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Lay them flat in a lined cookie sheet, and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. Once they are done, take them out, add your favourite toppings like cheese, scallions, bacon bits, and broil in the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Grilled cheesy eggplant rounds
photo by Elodiv at Pixabay

A variation of this grilled eggplant round, is roasting the eggplant cut in vertical shape. Same principle. Top with your favourite toppings. You can add sour cream and parsley, just like you would do on your favourite baked potato.

different ways of cooking with eggplant
Roasted eggplant topped with sour cream and parsley

Tortang Talong (Filipino Eggplant Omelette)

Poke the eggplants with 5 to 6 holes before placing them in the oven center rack and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can broil them at 10 minutes each side (this will require you watching the cooking process – no multitasking while cooking.) Once baked or broiled, let the eggplant cool. Peel, and flatten eggplant with a fork to reach a fan shape. Prepare 2 eggs, dip the eggplant in the beaten eggs, and cook in pan. Pour the remaining eggs on top of the eggplant. You can add cheese, scallions just like you would in an omelette.

Tortang Talog – Filipino eggplant omelette

Eggplant Pizza
Slice the eggplant into long vertical pieces, bake in oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn them half way through the baking process to ensure even cooking on both sides. Once, done, take them out, and top with your favourite pizza toppings. Return to oven to broil for another 5 minutes.

Image by Petrovkey from Pixabay

Asian inspired Eggplant with Garlic sesame recipe

This is best done using the long Asian eggplant. Cut them into 4 inch length Bake in the oven at about 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Once done, place in a platter, top with a ginger, garlic, sesame soy sauce, and return to oven to fuse the ingredients for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice.
Note: In Asia, where cooking is mostly done on a stove top, the eggplant is cooked by steaming for 15 minutes, while covered. Once sauce is poured over the steamed eggplant, cook for another 5 minutes.

Grilled eggplant with feta rolls
Bake eggplant vertical slices in oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Once done, let it cool for a few minutes. Slice up feta cheese in rectangles, wrap the feta cheese with baked eggplant and a slice of cheese. Return to oven for a quick 2 to 3 minute softening of the exterior cheese and eggplant wrapper. Serve.

Eggplant Pate or Eggplant Babaganoush

This dish originated in the Arab countries and can be served as a side dish, a pate, a sandwich spread or a dip with crackers. (I can imagine Jesus probably eating this recipe with flatbread :). Poke a few holes in the eggplant to let off steam during the cooking process. Roast the eggplant in oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Once cooled, peel the eggplant, and mash to a pulp using a fork. Using 2 eggplants, add 1 garlic clove, 2 tbsp tahini sesame seed paste, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp lime juice, salt and pepper.

image by Veganamente Rakel SI at Pixabay

When I was a kid, we only have two ways of eating eggplant, and we do it the same way over and over again. It was probably like that for generations. Then I come to a country like Canada, and I start to think, what a wonderful way to live, if we can try out things differently.

I hope you share the same feeling. Dare to experiment and try something different.

6 ways of cooking with eggplants

Top 5 Ways of Cooking with Parsley

Top 5 Ways of Cooking with Parsley

There are several ways of using parsley but here are the top 5 ways of cooking with parsley. Parsley is a humble ingredient, yet it is very versatile. It is inexpensive, easy to grow in your garden or a container pot. An antioxidant, it is…

A Gluten Free Journey

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How and why I go on a gluten free diet has always been an interesting topic.  It is definitely a conversation piece whenever I get invited to a dinner party.  Guests on a gluten free diet can be a nuisance because they require the party…

Keto Gluten free Cauliflower pizza crust recipe

Keto Gluten free Cauliflower pizza crust recipe

I have finally found a keto gluten free cauliflower pizza crust recipe which I have partially modified. Pizza is like a comfort food. Traditional pizza crust is made with wheat, which is full of gluten and carbohydrates. For those who are gluten intolerant or have gluten allergies, this is particularly annoying when you go out for pizza night with a group of friends. In fact, very few restaurants even offer a gluten-free pizza option.

This is a keto gluten free pizza crust recipe. Instead of using wheat, it uses cauliflower for the pizza crust.

Gluten is a binding agent. Without wheat, it is generally difficult to bake a pizza crust that is firm, easy to pick up, and eat with your fingers. This is the reason why pizza is almost always made with wheat or some kind of flour. In order to keep this recipe keto and gluten free, there is no flour used. Hurray!

This cauliflower pizza crust recipe depends on two main ingredients to do the binding work.

EGGS and MOZARELLA CHEESE.

Eggs bind ingredients together giving them strength and stability. Mozarella is by nature a stringy cheese and adds more binding power.

String cheese is just mozzarella cheese that has been heated to 140 c degrees. At this temperature the cheese becomes very stretchy and the milk proteins move around and line up together in a row. It’s this alignment that makes string cheese so stringy! And that’s all there is to it. No strange processing. No toxic chemicals. Just the realigning of milk proteins.

Huffpost (Note: 140 celsius equals 284 Fahrenheit

I highly recommend this keto gluten free cauliflower pizza crust recipe to all my gluten free friends. You will not be disappointed. Try it and you will certainly fall in love with it!

You can make this recipe in a big batch and freeze them in an airtight container for future use. Do all the work in one go, and make the next pizza meal quick and easy.

Quick and easy cauliflower pizza crust recipe
This quick and easy keto gluten free cauliflower pizza will satisfy the pizza cravings of those who are on a keto or gluten free diet.
keto, no carb, gluten free pizza crust recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Keto Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe

This is the best and easiest keto gluten free cauliflower pizza crust recipe
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Servings: 4 hungry people

Equipment

  • oven
  • steamer basket

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozarella
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil, or oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  • Cut the cauliflower into small florets and pulse them in a food processor.
    main ingredient for cauliflower pizza
  • Steam the cauliflower florets for 15 minutes in a steamer, let cool and drain well
    steam the cauliflower bits for making pizza crust
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the baking sheet with grill mat or parchment paper.
  • Mix the parmesan cheese, mozarella cheese, spices, salt, garlic powder, eggs and beat together.
  • Put the cauliflower bits on top of the baking sheet lined with parchment paper or grill mat. Use a spatula to press and form the squeeze dried cauliflower bits into a rectangular or a round pizza crust.
    forming the cauliflower pizza crust
  • Bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes until dry and crisp
  • Take out the cauliflower pizza crust, add your favourite toppings, and bake for another 10 minutes
    do it yourself easy cauliflower pizza crust

Notes

For a crisp and dry pizza crust, be sure to squeeze dry the steamed cauliflower.  I suggest that you steam the cauliflower florets well in advance, and allow it time to cool.  
Drain the steamed cauliflower florets on a dry towel, or best yet, wrap them with a cheese cloth and squeeze dry.
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Quick Easy Blueberry Cobbler

Quick Easy Blueberry Cobbler

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Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

The vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff is a variation of the popular Beef Stroganoff or beef Stroganov (Russian). Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish made with cut up pieces of beef, sauteed and served in a sauce with sour cream which is called smetana in Russian. It originated in mid-19th-century Russia. Today, Stroganoff dishes have become popular around the world, with considerable variation from the original recipe.

The Stroganoff dish was named after Stroganoff (French spelling) or Stroganov (Russian spelling). family. They were a family of highly successful Russian merchants, industrialists, landowners, and statesmen. It was believed that the recipe was invented by a French chef working for the family.

After the fall of the Tsar of Russia, Russian immigrants brought the stroganoff dish to the United States. The dish became very popular around the world during the 1950’s. It is served in restaurants in UK, Australia, Scandinavia, China, Hongkong, Japan, Middle East, to name a few. Adaptations use different types of meat including chicken, sausages. In Japan, the stroganoff dish is served over white rice, and seasoned with soy sauce. In Iran, stroganoff is spiced with paprika and served over rice. All in all, the staple ingredients in a stroganoff dish is onions, mushrooms and sour cream.

Here are some of my tips. For this vegetarian mushroom stroganoff recipe, I suggest using fussili, penne or the fetuccine pasta. These noodles have more surface area, and when soaked in the stroganoff sauce, can really enhance the dining experience. Use as much mushrooms as you like. There are several varieties of mushrooms, I personally favor the round button mushrooms, Korean king mushrooms, shitake or chanterelle for the meaty texture.

Serve with our popular Seven Layer Salad dish.

Canadian vegetarian mushroom stroganoff recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

This Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff cooked in white wine is a variation of the popular Russian Beef Stroganoff
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Frying pan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta (fussili, penne, or fetuccine)
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, in thin moonshape slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced I used pre-chopped garlic
  • 1 pound mushrooms (cremini, shitake, or chanterelle) any meaty mushroom
  • 1-1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3-1/2 tbsp flour
  • 3 sprigs sprigs of fresh parsley (or 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley) may substitute with thyme
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar may substitute with worchestershire sauce
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper according to taste

Instructions

  • Boil egg noodles in salted water according to package instructions. When done, drain and set aside.
  • While the noodles are cooking, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and sautée for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and mushrooms along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir to mix.
  • Continue sautéeing for an additional 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked, browned and tender.
  • Add the white wine and let the sauce simmer for 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, Mix the vegetable stock, flour and whisk til smooth.
  • Pour the vegetable stock mixture slowly into the pan, and stir to combine.
  • Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
    variation of vegetarian mushroom stronganoff
  • The very last step, stir in the sour cream evenly into the sauce.
  • Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Pour sauce immediately over the egg noodles, garnish with your desired toppings.