Monthly Archives: April 2011

27 Apr 2011 Eggplant Scallopini

Adapted from Katzen, Mollie. Moosewood cookbook. (1977). Berkeley, CA: Ten-speed Press. p 168.

Eggplant Scallopini

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: Adrien and I disagree on mushrooms — I *LOVE* them; he puts up with them. This was a truly tasty dish (mine without the pasta) – how have I missed it in all the years that I’ve had the Moosewood Cookbook? I don’t cook with butter, so I’ve updated this recipe to use all olive oil.


4 cups cubed eggplant
1 lb. chopped mushrooms
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 TBSP olive oil and 2 TBSP butter
1 cup Marsala
1 bay leaf
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup tomato past
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
fresh black pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 medium tomatoes, chopped


1. Heat the oils in a large heavy skillet. Add the onions, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and bay leaf and saute 5 minutes.

2. Add the eggplant and another 1/2 tsp salt, stir and cook covered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add mushrooms, remaining slat, spices (except parsley), peppers, tomatoes, and paste. Mix well and simmer covered, 10 minutes. Add Marsala and parsley. Cover and simmer over low heat, about 15-20 minutes.

4. Just before serving, mix in the parmesan cheese.

5. Serve over pasta and pass around some extra parmesan.

Serves 4-6 generously.

Weight Watch Points to be determined.

26 Apr 2011 Crab Salad with Lemon Dressing

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Crab salad with lemon dressing. Downloaded from the web on April 21, 2011.

Crab Salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography

My Comment: Ok, I know fish is off the grid for vegetarians…. but sometimes I do like to eat it. Today our New England weather gave us about 4 hours of 75 degree temperatures — have we broken the back of winter? Too soon to tell, but I offer the weather gods encouragement with this summer-like salad. In this recipe, I freely substituted the less expensive imitation crab in place of the canned, previously frozen real “stuff”. 


For the crab salad:
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
2 dashes of hot sauce
2 TBSP mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1 TBSP finely chopped chives
Salt and pepper
8 oz. lump crabmeat

For the salad:
1 tsp Dijon mustand
1/2 shallot finely chopped
1 tsp champagne or white wine vinegar
1 TBSP chopped chives, more for garnish
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
1/3 lb. haricot verts or thin green beans, trimmed
1 bunch watercress, chopped coarsely
1 bunch endive, chopped in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 small celeriac, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks – or 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and cut into thin wedges
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and finely chopped


For the crab, stir together shallot, hot sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon jice and chives in a medium bowl. Add crabmeat and lightly toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

For the rest of the salad, whisk together mustard, shallot, vinegar, chives and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in olive oil until dressing slightly thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Steam Yukon god potatoes until tend when pierced with a fork. While potatoes are still warm, pour a tablespoon or two of dressing over them.

Steam haricots verts until tender. Transfer to a boil of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly. Combine haricots verts with watercress, endive, and radish. Toss with a tablespoon of dressing.

Toss celeriac with remaining dressing in a small bowl.

To serve, arrange greens on a platter or individual plates. Top with crab, celeriac and eggs. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Serves 2. (generously — we made 4 servings out of this. Weight Watcher Points = 10 with 4 servings) Nutrition: 750 calories, 46 g fat, 40 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber.

22 Apr 2011 Spinach Salad with Plums and Goat Cheese

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Spinach salad with plums and goat cheese. Downloaded from the web on April 21, 2001.

My Comment: Well, if the weather around here won’t cooperate and warm up, we can still have salad suppers!  This spinach salad from Whole Foods recipe collection calls for Humboldt Fog goat cheese – which I love, but which is very expensive. Substitute any goat cheese that will crumble. Also, we used a variety of plums which made for a colorful addition to the greens.


Spinach salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography

2 TBSP sherry vinegar
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBSP  extra-virgin olive oil
1 (5-oz) package baby spinach
3 plums, pitted and thinly sliced
3 oz. Humboldt fog goat cheese
2 shallots thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds


1. In large, serving bowl whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil until vinaigrette thickens.

2. Add spinach, plums, shallots, almonds and finally cheese — tossing gently after each ingredient is added to the bowl.

Serves 4:  Nutritional information:  240 calories, 17 g fat, 16 g carbs, 4 grams fiber, 8 grams protein

19 Apr 2011 Shallot & Fennel Flatbread

Adapted from Lusted, Jo. Cleaning Eating Magazine: My favorite onion-based dishes. (April/May 2011). Volume 4, Issue 4. Mississauga, ON, Canada: Cleaning Eating Magazine. p 69.

Fennel and Shallot Flatbread

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography

My Comment: This recipe originally calls for  4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast – which I did not use. As much as we love traditional pizza, this appealed to me because it lacked the red sauce. The lemon infused shallots were quite a treat!


Olive oil cooking spray
1 16-oz. whole wheat pizza dough ball
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP cornmeal (for dusting the pan)
3 TBSP whole wheat flour (for dusting the board)
2 tsp olive oil
6 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 TBSP fresh chervil
1 TBSP fresh dill


1.  Lightly mist a large bowl with spray. Place dough in the bowl and let rest, covered in a dampened towel for about 20 minutes.

2. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425 F. Arrange fennel on parchment lined baking tray. Mist with spray and season with salt and pepper. Roast fennel for 15 min. or until golden brown. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

3. Mist a 17×11 baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.

4. Roll dough out until it is about an inch larger than the pan. Brush top of dough with oil. In small bowl, toss shallots with lemon juice.

5. Evenly layer half of the mozzarella onto the dough. Then layer on the fennel, shallots, and olives and finally top with the remaining mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper and bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until golden. Top with chervil and dill.

Yield: 16 slices.  Nutrition Information (per 2 slices): Calories 324; Fat 10g; Carbs 42g; Fiber 6.5g, Protein 18g.

18 Apr 2011 “French” Onion Soup

My Comment:  What better to celebrate Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts than a lovely vegetarian version of French Onion Soup? After all, the French did prove to be very helpful with the Revolutionary War….

This adaptation is my response to taking the beef out of onion soup – it was an experiment of course… but one that we thought was delicious. I’m not a big fan of sticking my dishes under the broiler so technically this is not an onion soup in the French tradition, but it is close.


4 onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP flour for thickening
1 quart mushroom broth, I used Pacific brand
toasted crouton
mozarella cheese (or some other melty cheese)


1.  Heat oil in soup pan. Add onions and let them sweat for 30 minutes or so on medium high heat. Stir frequently, adding thyme and salt about half way through.

2.  Sprinkle onions with flour.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

3.  Add the mushroom broth and simmer. The mixture should appear thicker but not look like gravy!

4.  Serve. If desired add a toasted crouton and some shredded cheese to the bowl before ladeling soup over the top.

Serves: 4. Weight Watcher Points: TBD.

Apr 11 2011 School Night Tacos

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Meals for four under $15. (Spring 2011). Austin TX: Whole Foods Market.

My Comment:  While I’m sure these quarterly meal suggestions are produced by Whole Foods to dispel any notions that shopping in their stores is expensive, I often find something fun to cook — as in this quarter’s publication.  Originally, this recipe called for ground beef or ground dark-meat turkey; however, being a non-meat-a-tarian, I substituted soy crumbles (from Morningstar I believe) and found this to be very satisfying.  I also was adventuresome in the salsa suggestions. Stonewall Kitchens is distributing a mango salsa (fresh) in our local supermarket so, since it was on hand I used it instead of bottled salsa. And, finally, don’t feel obliged to buy the southwest seasoning suggested. I substituted a chipotle chile powder with a bit of garlic.

School Night Tacos

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.


1 TBSP canola oil
1 lb. ground (meat) soy crumbles
2 TBSP (Everyday – WF house brand) Southwestern Grille Seasoning
1/2 cup mild or medium salsa plus more for serving
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 romaine lettuce heart, sliced into thin ribbons
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt – nonfat)
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 package Corn Tortillas


1. Warm oil in a skillet. Add soy crumbles and seasoning. Cook, until it “browns” – about 5 minutes. Stir in the salsa, lower the heat and simmer another 5 minutes. Spoon mixture into a small serving bowl and keep warm.

2. Set out small bowls of salsa, shredded cheese, diced tomato, lettuce, chopped onion, yogurt and lime wedges.

3. Warn tortillas by steaming over a steamer basket OR by microwaving under a damp paper towel in a loosely covered container. Stack tortillas in a covered bowl or wrap in a clean kitchen towel.

4.  Have everyone build their own tacos – and add toppings as desired.

Serves 4. Weight Watcher Points =9

9 Apr 2011 Pasta Primavera

Adapted from: Whole Foods Market. Meals for 4 under $15. (Spring 2011). Austin, TX: Whole Foods Market.

Pasta Primavera

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

My Comment: Finally! A real spring day and temperatures climbed to the 60s. To celebrate, I cooked this pasta primavera from Whole Foods Market’s Spring 2011 Four Meals flyer.  I halved the recipe and found the servings size enormous – the full recipe easily will feed 6 moderately sized servings.


1 lb. whole wheat linguine, cooked, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 large spring onions or 4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 TBSP lemon juice
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped


1. Cook pasta according to directions on package a set aside with reserved 3/4 cup cooking water.

2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until just golden brown (3-4 minutes). Add garlic and onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in peas, salt and pepper. Immediately cover and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

3. In the same skillet over medium heat, toss the hot, drained pasta with reserved pasta water, cheese and lemon juice.

4. Gently toss mushroom mixture and tomatoes into the cooked pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to serving bowls. Top with basil and serve.

Serves 4 (I think it’s more like 6). Weight Watcher Points = 8 (4 servings) or 5 (6 servings)

08 Apr 2011 Back in the saddle with Carrot Soup

My Comment: March was a cruel month — too much to do at work, lousy weather, and one cold virus after the other. Did anyone notice 4N/W was MIA? But April… well with April, there comes new resolve: we ARE going to go back to our basics of eating well, eating healthy foods, and eating economically.

This recipe was one I winged.  I think I’d use less broth next time around. I’ve made other soups featuring carrots and ginger; this was the first time I thought to add in thyme.

Carrot ginger soup

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.


1 TBSP olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, halved and then sliced
About a 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
About a pound of baby carrots, chopped up into rounds
1 tsp thyme
6 cups water/vegetable broth (I used a combination — feel free to reduce this for a thicker soup)
dollop of plain nonfat yogurt


1. Heat the oil in a soup-sized sauce pan. Throw in the garlic and onions — keep the heat settings low enough to sweat the garlic and onions, not crisp them.

2. Throw in the ginger, stir, and allow to cook with the onions/garlic for a couple of minutes before you add the carrots.

3. Add the thyme; stir everything to coat.

4. Add the broth and allow all the veggies to cook until tender. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot.

5. Serve. Add a dollop of yogurt (I used Icelandic – you will want something thick).

Serves: 4. Points = 2

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