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You want me to eat TOFU!?

By Sherry Schie, Chef/Owner of Jazzy Cooking

I love meat. Chicken, pork, duck, beef (though it’s not my first choice of meat) and pig. OK, I also admit that I like squirrel and rabbit too! But, sometimes I really have a hankering for a VEGETARIAN dish.

Now, every time I would say “vegetarian” anything, my family would say, “You mean that tofu stuff?” (even as I re-read those words, I’m laughing). Just because you say “vegetarian” doesn’t mean tofu. It also doesn’t mean bad flavor, lack of flavor, boring flavor, or no flavor. It simply means no meat.

Last year, I made some significant changes in my diet. No, I didn’t become a vegetarian, but I did make changes in preparation of food, portion sizes, and yes, even more fruits and veggies… and a little less meat. I called this new way of eating (which is basically the healthy way of eating), Clean Eating.

I started to lose weight and feel better. I told my hubby that I actually felt like I could think more clearly too! Yes, he got his chuckles in on that one. But, I did! I felt less foggy, less tired, less stressed, happier, more motivated, more energy… I felt great, not to mention I lost about 40 pounds!

So during that time of Clean Eating, I kept a journal of what I was eating and how I was feeling, and I’m SO glad I did! Now I can share one of my favorite recipes with all of you. I also shared this recipe with a great group of friends earlier this year.

I invited my friends over and we did a Clean Eating Cooking Class in my home. We had SO MUCH FUN! There was lots of laughter, lots of chopping veggies, lots of sharing stories, and then, lots of phrases such as, “Oh my goodness, I never knew cooking like this was so easy!” and, ”Seriously, this is delicious, and good for me!” and, “This is definitely something my family would eat!”

So, even though you might be a meat lover like me, there are times that a good vegetarian meal hits the spot! I challenge you to try this dish, as well as other vegetarian meals and see how you feel. Making slight changes to our diets can improve our overall health and well-being.

Until next time,
Chef Sherry

1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick
1 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick
2 Portabella mushroom, cleaned with stems removed
1 small eggplant, sliced 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick
1 small red onion, sliced 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup tomato, fresh or canned, chopped
1 medium pepper, cubanelle or your choice, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, to brush on vegetables
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Rosemary stems or bamboo skewers, to hold Napoleons together for presentation

Clean and slice zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion, and mushrooms. Lightly brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and roast in preheated 450 degree oven for approximately 8-12 minutes or until tender. Be careful not to overcook vegetables! You don’t want them soggy and limp. Remove from oven and set aside.

While vegetables are roasting, in saucepan, add tomatoes, cubannelle pepper and wine. Simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes and peppers are tender. Slowly and carefully pour tomato mixture in food processor or blender and pulse. You don’t have to totally puree this sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside.

Now you can begin to make Napoleons by stacking vegetables; eggplant on bottom, onion, zucchini, squash and mushroom. You can stack in whatever order you so choose! Skewer with fresh Rosemary stems or bamboo skewers to hold together.

Pour 1/2 of tomato sauce on serving plate. Mound 1/2 cup cooked quinoa in middle of serving plate. Carefully place Napoleon on top of quinoa. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Wed, Aug 22nd 2012, 14:45

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