Eggplant Pizza Slices

Eggplant are one of those vegetables that either love or maybe not so much. This is one that I like to make and eat the same day. It seems the eggplants get too soft if you let it sit overnight.

eggplant pizza discs


1 large eggplant (peeled or unpeeled- some say the rind is too hard and slightly bitter- up to you!)

slices of provolone or mozzarella cheese

your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce (make sure it is thick and chunk)

Arugula or basil (fresh only)

finely chopped onions (about 1/2 cup)

3 garlic cloves (chopped)

thinly sliced deli turkey (depends on how many slices you get out of your eggplant.)

Cut the top and bottom off each end of the eggplant and slice into 3/4 inch slices. Place paper towels on counter or cookie sheet and spread the eggplant on the sheets. Salt both sides generously, cover with another layer of paper towels, let sit at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get sauce ready by adding some finely chopped onions and garlic to the sauce in a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Just get them soft, not cooked. Add the sauce and bring to a simmer. If the sauce is not thick add a bit of tomato paste and add some more seasonings.

Get cookie sheet ready by spraying with non-stick spray. Take eggplant slices and rinse with water to get salt off. Then pat dry with paper towel. Lay slices on cookie sheet and brush with olive oil, Sprinkle with some Italian seasoning.  Cook in over for about 20-25 minutes, do not let the slices get too soft. They should still hold their shape.

Take out of oven and spread with the sauce mixture. Top with a piece of fresh basil or arugula. Put a small piece of turkey on each.

Add a piece of cheese to the top. Repeat with remaining slices.

Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and slices are hot.

Take out of oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Eggplant Dip

Yes– another eggplant dip recipe. I decided to gather as many eggplants before it really freezes here in a few weeks. Grill them up and make another dip as they are easy and use lots of other garden veggies. I tripled this recipe and now have enough dip to share with friends and lunch eating all week!

eggplant dip tahini


1 large eggplant- grilled until soft on the grill

4 tomatoes medium sized- I used Roma, sliced into chunks

1 medium size red onion, grilled until soft on the grill

3 large cloves garlic, minces

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped medium fine

1/4 cup tahini paste, thinned with some olive oil to make it softer

1 large green pepper, 1 large red or orange pepper, chopped

1 lemon juiced

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

1-2 stalks garden celery (stronger than the grocery store variety), chopped fine

salt and pepper to tase

Pinch of cayenne

Scrape off the eggplant from cooked eggplant. Take out any large seed pockets. Place into large bowl and cut with knives to make into a paste.

Add rest of vegetables, then enough extra virgin olive oil to make a nice dip. Adjust by adding more tomatoes or other vegetables if you like. If the dip is too thick, simply add a bit more olive oil. If not enough garlic taste, add some powdered garlic. Add salt and pepper, cayenne pepper and adjust as necessary.

Let chill for a while, then serve with pita chips or your favorite chip

OR put in a tortilla with some fresh spinach and stuff with the eggplant dip!

eggplant roll up


This is a great tasting dish for all of those zucchini left in the garden. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



* 4 small zucchini, sliced into 1⁄4-inch rounds

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes

* 2/3 cup freshly and finely grated Parmesan

* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 2 tablespoons kosher salt

* 2 cloves garlic, crushed

* 1 pound cheese ravioli (preferably fresh)

* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat­leaf parsley


Preheat oven to 400° F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the zucchini in a large

baking dish in a single layer and drizzle with the oil, chili flakes, and 3 tablespoons of the

Parmesan, then season with the pepper and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the garlic and

roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until tender and just golden brown.

Meanwhile, add the ravioli and the remaining salt to the boiling water. Return to a boil,

stirring frequently to prevent the ravioli from sticking. Cook the ravioli for 3 minutes after

they begin to float. Drain and place in a large bowl. Toss gently with the roasted zucchini,

half the parsley, and half the remaining Parmesan. Serve immediately with the remaining

parsley and Parmesan.

Grape Salad

Refreshing-Grape-Salad(photo from

This is the easiest salad ever that has been posted several places online and now even pintrest. I am not sure where I found the original recipe from but you will love it! It is very easy and has very few ingredients.


2 pounds of grapes (take off the vines)

Use some red and green for visual appeal


1 package of softened cream cheese

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup toasted pecans

1 1 /2 teaspoons real vanilla.

Mix the dressing in a large bowl. Add the grapes and stir well. Chill well before serving.

avocado jalapeno dip

Avocado & Jalapeno Dip

Using up garden produce at the end of the season is always fun. I used my recently pickled jalapenos in this recipe.


3 nice and ripe avocados, chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cobs of corn (cooked) cut off cob

1 small red onion or 2 large shallots finely chopped

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped

1/4 cup real mayonnaise (or make your own)

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 lime juiced


Put all ingredients, except corn in bowl, mash avocados and mix well. Add corn. Add sour cream and mayo. Add more if needed. Store in tightly covered container in fridge for up to one week. Garnish with a red pickled jalapeno, or chopped red pepper.

Serve with large  tortilla chips (the scoop type work well, pictured above)

Eggplant Spread with a Kick

This recipe started out as one from a friend. I tweaked it and made it into a chunky spread that you can use for bruschetta, pita chips or spread on a  tortilla and add some lettuce, cheese and chicken.

spicy eggplant spread.jprg


1  very large eggplant or 4-8 smaller ones (finger varieties)

1 large clove or 2 small clove garlic, minced

1 lime juiced

1 heaping tablespoon tahini paste

1/2 teaspoon or more of salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried Chipotle pepper powder (or more if you like heat)

1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

1/2 medium onion

1 large pepper, coarsely chopped

1 large tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

Extra virgin olive oil

Rub eggplant with olive oil and set on grill until soft. Set aside, cover with tin foil. Let cool enough so you can handle and scrape off the eggplant from the peeling.

In food processor, put garlic, lime juice, tahini, salt, cumin, onion, chipotle, parsley and eggplant. Do not add the cherry tomatoes yet. Puree until fairly smooth. Add the cherry tomatoes and pulse to chop coarsely.

Take out of food processor, taste and adjust seasonings. Then add chopped pepper and tomato. Add extra parsley if desired, drizzle in about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.

The size of the eggplant may make a difference. Put more in if you feel there is not enough substance to the spread. If you cook too many you can always make another kind of dish.

This tastes better the second and third day as the flavors blend more.



Mango Black Bean Salsa

Salsa is one of my favorite things to eat in the summer with all the fresh garden vegetables. Mangoes are in season and fresh cilantro is abundant.

mango black bean salsa


2 mangoes, chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Mix all together. Serve with chips.

Puff Pastry, Strawberry and Cream Dessert

recipe adapted from:

strawberry fluff desssert


This dessert is very light and creamy. Served cold this is a very refreshing dessert when berries are in season.


1 package frozen puff pastry

5 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided

2 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1  small box instant vanilla pudding

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

chocolate syrup (optional)


  • Thaw one puff pastry sheet (save remaining sheet for another use). Unfold pastry; cut lengthwise into three 3-in.-wide strips. Cut each strip into thirds, making nine squares.
  • Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • Place 3 cups strawberries in a blender; cover and puree; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Add cream cheese and vanilla and pudding; beat until smooth.   Stir in the puree. Fold in whipped cream.
  • Split pastry squares in half horizontally. Line an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. dish with bottom pastry halves, cut side up; spread with half of strawberry cream. Top with 1 cup of sliced berries. Cover with pastry tops, cut side down.
  • Spread with remaining strawberry cream. Sprinkle with remaining berries.  Or heap with even more fresh berries and drizzle chocolate syrup over each serving. 
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.


Kale, Strawberry and Almond Salad

kale salad

Summers best fruit is here! Strawberries, well at least one of the best. Kale is up and ready to pick. Here is  a simple salad with an orange vinaigrette.

 Add a little feta or goats cheese if you like. I also tried this with a basil oil and it as good to me. Freshest strawberries make this salad taste the best. Pick your own

at a local grower or check your famer’s market for the kale and strawberries.


Bunch of raw kale

Fresh strawberries. sliced, use as many as you want

Toasted almonds, as many as you like


1 small orange, zested and juiced
1/2  lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp of honey
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a bowl or measuring cup and whisk well. Set it aside.

If using young kale, use the entire leaf. If larger kale, tear out the stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash in a salad spinner.

In a salad bowl or large bowl, layer the kale, sliced strawberries and sprinkle on toasted almonds, drizzle with vinaigrette.

You can also make this plate by plate. Just layer on a plate and drizzle with the vinaigrette, no need to toss.

Drop some cheese on if desired. Enjoy the taste of summer!


Artichoke and Mozzarella Cheese Bruschetta

artichoke bread
This is an  ooey, gooey tasty appetizer.


2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 (14 oz) can or jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar and/or  mozarella cheese blend
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 large shallot, finely minced
1 small loaf ciabatta bread
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh chives (from your garden)


Preheat broiler, and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter until foamy. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in artichoke hearts, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, sour cream and shallot until combined.
Slice the bread lengthwise. Place the bread halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up, and spoon the cooled cheese and artichoke mixture overtop, add a sprinkling of chives. Broil until cheese is melted and bread is hot.Sprinkle more fresh chives over each piece.


Cut each half into six pieces and serve right away, while the cheese is still warm.

Spring Salad with Asparagus, Radish, Fennel

asparagus radish salad

I am so happy to see the first asparagus spears popping through the ground. It won’t be long for fresh asparagus! I came across a recipe last year and adapted it with other  ingredients to make it a different kind of salad now. Here is the site:

This is one of my favorite salad recipes for raw asparagus. You can always cook the asparagus if you do not like it raw. But raw is better for you. So give it a try!


1 bunch of asparagus, sliced at an angle as thin as possible. You could also shave it with a mandolin.

about 8-10 radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced or shallots

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1/2 to 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Walnut Oil Dressing

zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or one lemon)

1 tablespoon pear infused vinegar or white vinegar

2-3 tablespoons walnut oil

2 -4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped (optional)

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Other options for add in to salad:

hard boiled eggs, avocado, micro greens

How to:

For salad: Rinse off vegetables well, chop off tough ends of asparagus. Using a knife or mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave asparagus or cut at an angle into small strips.  Add rest of ingredients to a large salad bowl.

Make dressing:

Put all ingredients into a mason jar and shake well or put into food processor and blend until smooth.

Toss salad with dressing, adding any other add-ins to the salad as desired.

So crunchy! The cheese adds a tanginess that blends well with the dressing and other vegetables.


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