Two Sisters, One Kitchen

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

Baked Eggplant Parmesan November 29, 2014

Jamie says: I went to the farmers’ market in St Petersburg for the first time. I love food markets. They have this contagious and bustling energy about them. There’s food to eat now and food to make later. After a picnic lunch on the lawn watching a cooking demo, I strolled through the fresh produce and this misfit eggplant called my name. Funny-shaped food intrigues me. You could say I’m embracing nature’s bounty, but I’ve also always liked the weird M&M’s, too. You know, the lumpy ones with one and half peanuts in them. So here’s my eggplant…

Funky farmers' market eggplant

Funky farmers’ market eggplant

And so what did I do with my eggplant? I made Baked Eggplant Parmesan. And not just any eggplant Parmesan, but my best eggplant Parmesan yet! One that I had to show a picture of to my Italian Grandmother.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I think the key to a great eggplant was a good sauce, light olive oil, fresh mozzarella, and fresh snips of basil.

Lightened up eggplant that's delish!

Lightened up eggplant that’s delish!

It went perfectly between two slices of whole wheat bread to make an eggplant parm sandwich. I froze the leftovers and brought them to work. What a treat to have during the work day.

Fit for a king. Perfect for a sandwich.

Fit for a king. Perfect for a sandwich.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • spray extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • jar of favorite sauce
  • 1/2 fresh mozzarella ball
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • a dozen leaves of fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice eggplant into disks. Spray both sides of sliced eggplant with spray extra virgin olive oil and top with freshly ground pepper.
  2. Place slices in one layer on a baking dish and pour half of sauce on top. Spread sauce evenly. Use remaining eggplant to a second layer and pour remaining sauce on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Slice mozzarella. Sprinkle baked eggplant with Parmesan cheese and distribute pieces of sliced mozzarella evenly on top. Heat an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is hot and melted.
  4. Remove eggplant from oven. Use kitchen sheers to cut fresh basil over cooked eggplant. Enjoy!

Serves: 6-8

Serving suggestion: Serve with whole wheat bread to make eggplant Parmesan sandwiches.

  • Nutrition note: Make baked eggplant instead of fried eggplant to reduce the calories while maintaining the delicious flavor. Using spray olive oil and a single layer of cheese helps reduce the calories even further. No sacrifice in taste here.
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Apple and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Honey Mustard October 10, 2014

Jamie says: Eight days until the big 2-8! Woot, woot. I’m ready for it, and for some reason, I’ve already adapted to the new number. I had a great 27 and am looking forward to the adventures of 28! Let the birthday countdown begin and the celebration continue. After all, you’re supposed to celebrate for the whole month, right?

Apple and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Honey Mustard

Apple and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Honey Mustard

Today’s lunch- Apple and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Honey Mustard. It was delicious…

What's inside? Let's have a look at that tender kale, soft mozzarella, and softened apples, with a drizzle of honey mustard peeping out... yum!

What’s inside? Let’s have a look at that tender kale, soft mozzarella, and softened apples, with a drizzle of honey mustard peeping out… yum!

The bistro-style grilled cheese was simple to make and oh-so-great. I think the lines in the bread add character.

This bread's got definition.

This bread’s got definition.

Paired with a warm bowl of tomato soup, it’s the perfect lunch. As always, enjoy!

Pairs perfectly with a bowl of tomato soup. Chow time.

Pairs perfectly with a bowl of tomato soup. Chow time.

Apple and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Honey Mustard

Ingredients:

  • 1 large slice 100% whole wheat mountain bread (Publix Bakery)
  • 1/2 apple (organic gala)
  • 2 tsp honey mustard (Boar’s Head)
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby kale (Organic Girl)
  • 1 slice fresh mozzarella (Publix)
  • no-stick canola cooking spray (PAM)

Directions:

  1. Preheat a panini maker or indoor electric plate grill (aka George Foreman grill).
  2. Slice bread in half. Slice apple half into disks (cut out core of inner pieces).
  3. Spread honey mustard on one side of bread. Top with baby kale, followed by fresh mozzarella and apple slices. Top with remaining 1/2 slice of bread.
  4. Spray no-stick cooking oil on cooking surfaces. Heat sandwich in grill for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, kale is slightly wilted, and apples are softened. Remove from heat. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

Serving suggestion: Serve with a bowl of warm tomato soup. (I had the Tabatchnick’s tomato with basil frozen soup.)

  • Nutrition note: Adding fresh apple to a sandwich not only gives it a nice crunch, but adds vitamin C and fiber.
 

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza with Sweet Potato Coins August 9, 2014

Jamie says: I think I’ve missed cooking and blogging! Now that I’ve completed the 40 Two Sisters, Dine Out blog posts for Spain and have returned from my travels, I’m looking forward to spending a little more time playing in the kitchen. Following my Hawaiian Salad lunch, I made Indian Roasted Veggie Pizza with Sweet Potato Slices for dinner.

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza with Sweet Potato Coins

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza with Sweet Potato Coins

The colors of the dish were vibrant and the taste exquisite.

Colorfully delicious

Colorfully delicious

The whole grain Indian naan bread made a nice base. I piled on the cottage cheese. I liked how the cottage cheese was creamy and rich and secured the roasted veggies in. Fresh basil always makes a nice finishing touch, too. The sweet potato was super easy to make (I’m talking tin foil and a potato here) and made a fun side dish.

Hello, mountain of flavor

Hello, mountain of flavor

And who would think that cottage cheese could replace traditional cheese on a pizza? It can! Give it a try.

High protein, reduced fat cottage cheese makes this pizza more filling for less calories and saturated fat

High protein, reduced fat cottage cheese makes this pizza more filling for less calories and saturated fat

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza with Sweet Potato Coins

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/4 fennel bulb*
  • 1/4 small yellow onion*
  • 10 cherry tomatoes*
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
  • 1 piece 100% whole wheat naan bread
  • 4-oz cup 2% cottage cheese, LiveActive (Breakstone’s)
  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 5 pitted kalamata olives

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Rinse sweet potato. Place sweet potato, still wet, on a piece of aluminum foil. Wrap potato in foil, pinching ends together to make a pocket. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until soft. Slice potato into coin-shaped pieces.
  2. Slice fennel and onion. Place in a small pile on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Mix the oil into the veggies. Space evenly on baking dish. Roast for about 35 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
  3. Place cherry tomatoes together in a baking dish and drizzle with 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Gently toss to coat. Space evenly. Roast for about 25 minutes or until soft.
  4. Place naan on a baking sheet. Top with cottage cheese and roasted fennel, onions, and tomato. Heat in oven for about 6 minutes or until cottage cheese is soft.
  5. Use kitchen sheers to cut basil over naan pizza. Top with kalamata olives. Serve with sliced sweet potato on the side. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

*Cooking note: You can quadruple the veggies and the oil and use the leftovers on salads.

  • Nutrition note: Veggies amp up the flavor and the nutrients. Looking for “superhero vision in the dark?” (Not quite but it sounds good to kids.) Eat your sweet potatoes. They are loaded with beta-caratone which helps with night vision. Looking for a powerful antioxidant? The lycopene in tomatoes can fight those free radicals in your body. Now, that’s pretty cool.
 

Hawaiian Salad August 8, 2014

Jamie says: Lately, I’ve been into trying new things, including previously unexplored foods such as Barefruit fruit chips (which add a great crunch), South Beach Good to Go Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Raspberry bars (they taste like jelly rings but with a lot of fiber and protein), mochi ice cream (not to be confused with the fro yo shop), Publix Premium salad kits (a speedy way to make a unique salad), the True juices from Grimmway Farms (they taste like bottled smoothies), and dried pineapple (unsweetened but sweet as can be). With the dried pineapple, I made a Hawaiian Salad which looks quite fancy but only took a few minutes to make.

Hawaiian Salad

Hawaiian Salad

The dried pineapple and the cranberry ginger dressing amped up the flavor profile. And how beautiful are those pineapple rings?

Dried pineapple makes a beautiful topping

Dried pineapple makes a beautiful topping

Hawaiian Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 piece fresh fennel
  • 1/3 cup canned low-sodium chick peas
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp cranberry ginger dressing (Stonewall Kitchen)
  • 6 pieces unsweetened, dried baby sweet pineapple

Directions:

  1. Place arugula in a salad bowl. Chop fennel, rinse and drain chickpeas, and slice tomatoes in half. Add to salad bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Drizzle dressing on top. Add pineapple pieces. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Nutrition note: Try substituting croutons with unsweetened dried fruit for a nice crunch. The dried pineapple is an excellent source of fiber which will fill you up more than the croutons.
 

Sardine Nacho Salad August 6, 2014

Jamie says: This ones for the nacho lovers. A nutrient-packed nacho dish that outshines (in nutrition and taste) your typical restaurant nachos.

Sardine Nacho Salad

Sardine Nacho Salad

I enjoyed my Sardine Nacho Salad after a fun morning with a new friend. We biked on our road bikes, stretched out with outdoor yoga, sauntered the farmer’s market, and relaxed at a coffee shop. By the time I got home, I was ready for a good lunch. And I had sardines and nachos on my mind…

It's a plate of nachos and a salad

It’s a plate of nachos and a salad

For the sardine lover, this  combo totally works! For those who are less adventurous, give it a try. You might like it. Start out with the skinless and boneless sardines and try the traditional ones with the bones and skins later on for an extra nutrient boost.

Sardines, not your typical nacho topping...but it totally works!

Sardines, not your typical nacho topping…but it totally works!

Sardine Nacho Salad

Ingredients:

  • 20 multi-seed crackers, rosemary & olive oil (CrunchMaster)
  • 1/2 cup no-salt added red kidney beans
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 slice yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup jarred roasted bell peppers
  • 6 olives, kalamata
  • 1 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup 2% shredded cheese
  • 5 sardines
  • 2 cups chopped pre-washed lettuce

Directions:

  1. Spread crackers on a microwave-safe plate. Rinse and drain beans. Dry with a paper towel and place in a small bowl. Stir chili powder into beans. Chop onion. Chop roasted bell pepper. Pat dry with a paper towel. Slice olives.
  2. Top crackers with seasoned beans, chopped onion, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced olives followed by shredded cheese and whole sardines.
  3. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Check nachos, microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed or until cheese is melted and sardines are hot.
  4. Pour lettuce on the boarder of the plate. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Nutrition note: Sardines are an excellent source of those hard-to-get omega-3s. Want extra calcium in your diet? Choose the ones with the bones!
 

Crunchy PB & Fruit Fondue Pita Pockets August 2, 2014

Jamie says: Last weekend I raced my 16th triathlon, Top Gun Sprint Triathlon in Fort Desoto. I love everything from packet pick-up to body marking (this was the first time I had tattoo numbers!) to buying my race day song on iTunes (Yeah by Joe Nichols was my song of choice) to waking up at 4:30 in the morning to being surrounded by athletes. I was blessed to be recognized on the podium with another Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Can you believe that? Two RDNs made the top 5 in our age group. The power of nutrition! Want to know what I ate the day before? My pre-race day lunch was Crunchy PB & Fruit Fondue Pita Pockets.

Crunchy PB & Fruit Fondue Pita Pockets

Crunchy PB & Fruit Fondue Pita Pockets

I loved the crunch, the combo of chocolate and peanut butter, and the juiciness of the fruit.

Everything tastes better with chocolate

Everything tastes better with chocolate

And I absolutely love a glass of cold milk. It balances out the thickness of the peanut butter (and adds protein and 9 essential vitamins and minerals). I made these a second time, too, but this next time I microwaved the pockets, which made the chocolate melt and the fruit more preserve-like. Both options were tasty, but I think melted is the way to go!

Serve with cold skim milk for a fueling protein-punch

Serve with cold skim milk for a fueling protein-punch

Crunchy PB & Fruit Fondue Pita Pockets

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat pita (Toufayan Bakeries)
  • 4 fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp all-natural peanut butter (Publix)
  • 20 dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
  • 1/4 cup Fuji red apple chips, organic (Bare Fruit)

Directions:

  1. Cut pita in half and gently peel open. Place on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Slice strawberries.
  3. If peanut butter is refrigerated and hard to spread, scoop into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 10 seconds. Stir. Repeat at 5 second intervals until softened. Spread peanut butter inside both pita halves.
  4. Fill pitas with strawberry slices, blueberries, and dark chocolate chips.
  5. If desired, microwave stuffed pitas for 20 seconds and then at 5 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Add apple chips to pita. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

Serving suggestion: Serve with a glass of fat free milk

  • Nutrition note: Fuel and replenish with carbohydrates (whole wheat pita, fruit, milk), lean protein or protein with good-for-you fats (fat free milk and peanut butter), and a little unsaturated fats (peanut butter). Dark chocolate in moderation adds flavor and a little antioxidant boost.
 

Greek Ceviche June 14, 2014

Jamie says: Ah, summer is here. I know it “technically” starts on June 21st, but I’m feeling it already. I’m especially loving the season this year. First off, I greatly appreciate the absence of traffic on my way to the gym/work. Then there’s pool time with books and magazines. Oh, and you can’t forget about summer food. K and I did up the watermelon, berries, and corn last week. Tonight, it was a chilled Greek Ceviche night. My inspiration? A glass cup of ceviche I thoroughly enjoyed from the San Miguel Market in Madrid, Spain. Oh, and cold food is perfect for summer.

Refreshing and full of flavor- perfect for summer

Refreshing and full of flavor- perfect for summer

Oh, and check out the pitcher in the picture above (haha, say that five times fast). It’s from my trip to Spain.

Greek Ceviche

Greek Ceviche

Dinner was so amazing. I couldn’t think of anything I would have wanted more. It was that good. I love summer even more with this recipe.

Mediterranean freshness!

Mediterranean freshness!

Greek Ceviche

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb (4 legs) snow crab clusters (Publix Seafood)
  • 1/4 lb (4 large) cooked shrimp (Publix Seafood)
  • 2 green onions
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (organic)
  • 1/2 Haas avocado
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat feta cheese (Publix)
  • 8 kalamata olives
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • dried oregano
  • dash salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Crack crab legs and put crab meat in a bowl. Remove tails from shrimp and add to bowl.
  2. Use kitchen shears to cut the white and light green parts of the green onions. Use a serrated knife to quarter cherry tomatoes. Chop flesh of the avocado half into bite-sized pieces. Add all veggies to seafood.
  3. Add feta cheese, kalamata olives, and extra virgin olive oil. Use kitchen shears to chop basil and parsley over seafood. Add oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and evenly distribute ingredients. Serve cold. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Nutrition note: The Mediterranean diet (or dietary pattern) has many health benefits, including reducing the risk for heart disease. This recipe incorporates many ingredients that are reflective of a Mediterranean diet, such as: olive oil, avocado, and olives with their unsaturated fats; seafood; herbs and spices; and vegetables.