Fresh Mamas Cooking Club Week 2

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, yesterday. Here in New England it was absolutely frigid, which made it a perfect day to stay cozy inside and enjoy a nice, big Thanksgiving meal. Here are a couple recipes you might want to try if you have the next few days off. The granola is a great recipe to make with the kiddos and if you don't have any Thanksgiving leftovers in your house, the Eggplant Casserole makes an easy, satisfying dinner.
After having a blast getting together for our first FMCC, I was so excited to share more recipes for our next club! This week we made Maple-Pecan Granola, Eggplant Casserole and I gave a quick demonstration on how to freeze greens (blog post coming soon).
 I have been making the granola for a while and it is a big hit in my house - I just knew the ladies and their families would love it! The feedback from all the FMCC families confirmed my suspicions -- no one can say "no" to the granola.
Watch out, because once you start eating it, it is very hard to stop! If you have a nut allergy, please leave out the pecans and let me know what you substituted.
I created the Eggplant Casserole recipe last year when we were getting eggplant after eggplant from the CSA and I had to think of new ways to serve it. This casserole is great because it makes a perfect make-ahead meal! According to all the FMCC members, it was a big hit with the husbands -- a certified, man-pleasing  dinner.
photo updated 07/12/2014

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1.5 cups pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1. Melt butter, honey, maple syrup over medium heat in small saucepan
2. Mix dry ingredients well
3. Pour liquid ingredients over dry and mix well to coat thoroughly
4. Bake in a 300 degree oven 20-30 mins until golden brown. Stirring and rotating 2-3 times while baking.

Eggplant Casserole (Printable version)
1 medium  or large eggplant, sliced thin, lengthwise
3/4 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded or sliced mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
handful fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Spray 9x9 casserole with olive oil and preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Heat large frying pan or griddle over medium (350 degree) heat, spray generously with oil
3. Cook eggplant slices for 4 mins on each side until slightly browned and softened
Nora, browning the eggplant
4. While eggplant is cooking, brown ground beef and onion in another frying pan
5. Once meat is browned add tomato sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning and simmer for 5 minutes
6. Once sauce is heated and bubbly, add cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat
7. Start making casserole by placing a layer of eggplant slices along the bottom of casserole dish
8. Spread 1/3 of meat sauce, then 1/4 cup mozzarella
9. Repeat another 2 layers, topping the final layer with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan, then sprinkle with fresh parsley
10. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 mins until hot and bubbly and cheese is nicely browned. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

The lovely ladies of today's FMCC!


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