Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

“Worms”- Pickled Eggplant October 31, 2011

Jamie says:  Happy Halloween! Looking for something a little “spooky” to make that’s healthy for you? Try making worms! No, I’m not talking about real live (or dead) worms. I’m talking about my Italian Grandmother’s recipe for eggplant!

Strips of eggplant before they are drenched in vinegar

When I was young and visited my Grandmother at her house for lunch, I remember she put these things that looked like worms on a salad.

Worms! Ahhhh!!!! (just kidding)

After a little inquiring, I discovered they were thinly sliced pieces of eggplant. I fondly called them worms. They were so delicious that I asked my Grandmother for the recipe. They have a strong pickled/vinegar taste. The extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and oregano makes them taste like an antipasto side dish. I hope you enjoy them, too!

It's really eggplant. I promise.

“Worms”- Pickled Eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 3 cups red wine and/or white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant in half length-wise. Cut into thin strips. Place in a container with a lid. Press down. Pour enough vinegar to cover eggplant, about 2 cups. Place lid on top. Refrigerate and marinate for 24-72 hours.
  2. Drain vinegar and discard. Pour fresh vinegar over eggplant to cover, about 1 cup. Refrigerate and marinate for about 12-24 hours.
  3. Drain vinegar. Press eggplant gently to remove excess vinegar. Pour olive olive oil on top. Mince garlic and add to eggplant. Add oregano. Stir. Enjoy!
Serving suggestion: Use as a topping for a salad or Italian hoagie.
Serves: 8-12
  • Nutrition note: Festive holiday food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Look for some fun, healthy recipes to add to the menu and still enjoy the occasion.
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Black Beans ‘n’ Rice with Greek Yogurt, Fire-Roasted Salsa, & Fresh Cilantro October 26, 2011

Jamie says: I didn’t plan to, but I ate vegetarian all day. I enjoyed lots of fruits, veggies, nuts and beans, whole grains, and fat-free dairy (and some dark chocolate Dove Promises). No meat. And the funny thing is, I didn’t even know I was missing it until now. On this vegetarian day, I made Black Beans ‘n’ Rice with Greek Yogurt, Fire-Roasted Salsa, & Fresh Cilantro for dinner.

Not your everyday black beans and rice...but just as easy

It tasted very fresh and flavorful. Greek yogurt is an awesome sour cream substitute. Salsa adds a hint of spiciness and moisture. Fresh cilantro offers a garden-fresh taste to each bite.

Want to know a secret? That's Greek yogurt (not sour cream) on top.

Black Beans ‘n’ Rice with Greek Yogurt, Fire-Roasted Salsa, & Fresh Cilantro

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice (Texmati)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 15.5 oz can black beans (Bush)
  • 2 cups fire roasted salsa with edamame (Publix Deli)
  • 6-oz container plain, fat-free Greek yogurt (Chobani)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (our garden)
Directions:
  1. Add tap water to the bottom of a pressure cooker. In a small bowl that will fit inside the pressure cooker, add rice and water. Put the lid and pressure regulator on the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until the pressure regulator starts to shake; reduce heat so that pressure regulator rocks slowly and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pot to sit for at least 5 minutes, leaving the lid on, until the pressure drops on its own accord (or you can aid the process by placing the pot in the sink and pouring water on it).
  2. Pour black beans and liquid in a microwave-safe dish, and heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Cut cilantro with kitchen shears.
  4. Scoop rice in bowls. Make a dent in the middle and fill with beans. Top with salsa, yogurt, and cilantro. Enjoy!
Serves: 4
  • Nutrition note: A meatless meal doesn’t have to be low in protein. Couple beans and rice to make a complete source of protein and add some Greek yogurt for an extra boost of protein.
 

Roasted Fennel October 25, 2011

Jamie says: We ventured to our first farmer’s market in South Florida this Saturday. It was the Plantation Farmers’ Market (open Saturdays from 8 AM to 2 PM at Volunteer Park, 12050 W Sunrise Blvd). It was pretty small compared to the farmers’ markets in Italy and Gainesville, but it was still nice to go and purchase “local” produce (which at this location meant, from the US).

This fennel in this recipe wasn’t from the farmers’ market (I stopped at Publix afterwards), but we did get a nice picking of produce- bananas, shallots, a funky shaped red bell pepper, Japanese eggplant, tomatoes, huge leeks and grapefruit, and tiny cucumbers.

Speaking of farmers’ markets, I entered a family photo in a contest for a gift card to a great farmers’ market in Davie called Flamingo Road Nursery and Farmers Market. If you don’t mind, please take a second to “like” my family photo on Facebook. I would really appreciate it. To return the favor, I promise to blog some good recipes, too!

Back to the fennel… it was so tender and absolutely delicious without adding anything else besides oil and salt. Ah, nature at it’s finest.

Roasted Fennel

Roasting fennel makes it so tender...

The roasted fennel was an awesome topping on my turkey burger, too.

Roasted Fennel

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bulb fennel
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Slice end and leaves off fennel. Cut fennel into 2″ pieces.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on top. Toss to coat.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until tender. Enjoy!

Serves: 4

 

Game Day BBQ Tempeh Sandwich October 24, 2011

Jamie says: My family and I went to the Broncos v. Dolphins football game to see Tim Tebow, our Gator quarterback, play for the Broncos yesterday afternoon. Right before heading out to the game, I threw together a quick sandwich to-go for lunch for Kathryn and me.

Game Day BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches

Kathryn said she’d take one of whatever I  made, so she was in for a surprise. When we got to Sun Life Stadium, we pulled out our lawn chairs and enjoyed some snacks. We wandered around to take in the tailgating scene with our delicious sandwiches in hand.

Kathryn raved over the sandwich while we dodged some Gator-hater comments. The hearty bread held the saucy BBQ tempeh well; the tomato paired nicely with the mayonnaise; and the bite of the watercress was tamed by the tasty BBQ sauce.

Then, we we entered the stadium to watch the game…

This big sandwich is getting ready to be wrapped...

Wrapped and ready to go

What a game! What a game! As a Gator alumnus, I’m a hardcore Tim Tebow fan, but as a born-and-raised Florida girl, I should be loyal to the Dolphins. Today, though, I rooted for the Broncos, just like a mother cheers for the team her kid plays for (I give full credit to Kathryn for that analogy). And what an awesome game it was for the Broncos! If you left early, like the seemingly intense Dolphins fans in front of us, you pretty much missed all the excitement. Because in those few minutes, the Broncos went from zero to overtime to victory!

Game Day BBQ Tempeh Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz three grain organic tempeh (Lightlife)
  • 1/4 cup mild Bar-B-Q sauce (Stubb’s)
  • 2 slices sprouted 100% whole grain bread (Food for Life, Ezekiel 4:9)
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise with olive oil (Hellmann’s)
  • 1/2 medium tomato
  • 1 cup watercress
Directions:
  1. Crumble tempeh with a fork. Place on a saute pan on medium-high heat. Add BBQ sauce. Mix well. Heat for about 4 minutes or until warm.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on two slices of bread. Slice tomato.
  3. Scoop tempeh on other two slices of bread. Add watercress and sliced tomato. Top with bread slices with mayonnaise.
  4. Wrap sandwiches in aluminum foil. Tear the aluminum foil down in strips as you go. Enjoy the sandwiches and the game!
Serves: 2
  • Nutrition note: Tailgating for a game? Pack some healthy snacks and sandwich. Not only will you be helping your waistline but also your wallet.
 

Truffle Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Ketchup October 23, 2011

Jamie says: Today we are going to the Tim Tebow game (aka the Broncos v. Dolphins game), to watch our Gator quarterback play for the Broncos and to see the Dolphins play for the first time. (I’m a South Florida girl and I’ve never been to a Dolphins game.) I got tickets for a birthday present- awesome gift, huh?

Last night Kathryn led the family in a legit choreographed dance to the song “Gator Girls” by LimeLyte. It was quite entertaining. The YouTube video says “Official Video Coming Soon”… we might get to it first…

In honor of these Gator events, my Truffle Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Ketchup got all dressed up for the occasion…

Truffle Sweet Potato Fries right out of the oven

Truffle Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Ketchup

Florida Field cutting board? We bought it from the UF Bookstore as a gift for Mom and Dad.

Did you notice the orange and blue?

As the song says, “the flavor is amazing.”

Truffle Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Ketchup

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp white truffle oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Cut ends off sweet potatoes. Cut in half length-wise. Slice into thin strips, about 1/4″ thick. Place in a large, metal baking dish.
  3. Drizzle truffle oil and sea salt on top. Toss to mix. Bake for 40 minutes or until soft.
  4. Mince garlic. Place a small saute pan on a burner on medium high heat. Pour olive oil in pan and add minced garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Serves: 4
  • Nutrition note: Save the skins. By leaving the skins on potatoes, you’re adding more fiber to your diet. Go you!
 

Truffle Pasta October 22, 2011

Jamie says: On my return trip from Italy, one pound of my luggage was gladly dedicated to Italian pasta. During our cooking day with Mauren Fant, we visited Volpetti, a store near the Testaccio Market in Rome, where a little Italian man who was so proud of his pasta, cheeses, meats, and pretty much everything he sold in the store sold me this pasta. Mauren taught us to look for 100% durum wheat semolina, so we found a pasta that was just that (and water, too, of course).

Earlier in the week, Mom shared a vision of a pasta with “lots of mushrooms and truffle oil” (a friend also mentioned that truffle oil is really good on our Two Sisters Dine Out blog), so I got to work in the kitchen the other night and made dinner…

Truffle Pasta

It was delicious! The truffle oil had a wonderful aroma and added a rich, distinct taste. I have become a truffle oil fan! The mushrooms were plentiful and the cheese brought the flavors together nicely.

Truffle Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb italian pasta (Benedetto Cavalieri cassarecci, pasta di semola di grano duro)
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • dash salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 12 oz sliced white mushrooms
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 scallions (green onions)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5 oz spinach
  • 3 Tbsp infused white truffle oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Set a pot with water on a burner on high heat. Bring water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Slice chicken breasts into 3/4″ strips. Place in a metal baking dish. Add oregano, basil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked throughout.
  4. Quickly rinse and drain mushrooms in a colander to dry.
  5. Chop scallions. Mince garlic.
  6. In a large pan on medium heat, add 2 Tbsp truffle oil, mushrooms, scallions, garlic, and sea salt. Heat for about 15 minutes or until mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and cook and additional one minute, stirring frequently.
  7. Divide pasta into bowls. Drizzle with reserved truffle oil. Top with mushrooms, scallion, and garlic mixture. Add chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Nutrition note: Truffle oil is mostly monounsaturated fat, which is a heart healthy fat.
 

J’s 25th Birthday Cake – Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake October 21, 2011

Kathryn says: Mom and I teamed up to make J a decadent chocolate cake for her 25th birthday. J picked out this Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake and One-Bowl Buttercream Frosting recipe from her Hershey’s Best-Loved Recipes cookbook. We used Smart Balance whipped buttery spread instead of butter. Telling of how much J loves cooking, she offered to help make it, but we decided she could let us do the work for her special day.

She opened gifts first, and she was surprised and excited to find the TSOK T-shirt I made her, which has our dot com domain name on it.

Mom and I iced the cake just minutes before J cut into it so that it would be fresh. We topped it with rainbow sprinkles.

Cake before the candles. Made with love

Cake before the candles

We added festive candles, and gathered together to sing and eat.

J's 25th birthday cake

J's cake

J & K celebrate J's 25th birthday and TSOK going dot com

We enjoyed the moist, spongy dark cake and the rich, oh-so-sweet-and-creamy milk chocolate icing on top.

J's slice of birthday cake

Bite of cake

J and I washed the delicious dessert down with non-fat milk in martini glasses.

Keepin' it classy

Cheers to J’s 25th and TSOK going dot com!

  • J’s nutrition note: Fat free milk in a martini glass- a healthy beverage choice to go with the decadent cake