I had this weird realization today when I wrote the December rent check that we only have 6 months left in our apartment… seriously where has the time gone? November flew by… I was going through my camera and realized that I have about 10 different recipes waiting to be blogged. So this is going to be a double whammy, dinner and dessert…. Quinoa Cakes with an Eggplant “Ragu” and peanut butter cookies with Reese’s peanut butter cups.
But first, November in picture form:
For the Eggplant Ragu, I wanted to make something hearty and warm as the nights get darker and colder. I know it’s not a ragu in a traditional sense because it lacks meat but you could add meat if you wish. I put the ragu over quinoa because it packs a serious protein punch and it chock full of amino acids, vitamin and minerals.
Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant Ragu
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of chives (optional)
2 tablespoons basil, sliced in thin strips
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 large eggplant, cubed
1/2 onion diced
1 clove of garlic
3/4 cup of your favorite tomato sauce… I love Newman’s Own Tomato Basil
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Stir occasionally. One cooked, remove it from heat and let cool. While it is cooling, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, add in onion and garlic, sauté 2 minutes, then add in eggplant and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked through. Turn down to low and add in sauce.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in another large frying pan. Then add the cheese, egg, half the basil and chives to the cooled quinoa. Stir together. Form patty shaped cakes with the quinoa mixture and place them in the warm oil. You will probably have to do two batches. Cook about 3-4 minute on each side until golden brown. Remove from the heat and plate. Once the sauce is warmed through, spoon over the quinoa cakes, top with remaining basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
The cookies were a late night creation. They are “healthy” in the sense that they don’t have white flour or butter in the cookie but crumbling up left over Reese’s might have tipped them back towards the not so healthy end of the spectrum… but hey we had to get rid of the Halloween candy somehow.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
2 cups of unbleached whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
dash salt (optional)
1 cup of crunchy peanut butter plus a little bit extra
1 cup maple syrup
scant 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-6 Reese’s peanut butter cups, crumbled up
Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Mix together baking soda, flour and salt in a small bowl. Warm the peanut butter until slightly melted (you can microwave or use the stove top… we only have a sketchy microwave that the previous people left so I used the stovetop.) Combine the peanut butter, maple syrup and olive oil. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Then stir in the Reese’s. Let it sit for about 3-5 minutes so the baking soda can react. Then drop onto a greased or line baking sheet. Cross hatch with a fork if so desired. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown