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AUGUST RECIPES

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Our recipes this month feature eggplant (or aubergine), which is in-season from August through October, the best time of year to enjoy this nightshade vegetable.  When preparing eggplant dishes, remember two things:  salt before cooking, to tenderize and remove bitterness; and avoid cooking in oil, as eggplant will absorb most of the oil.  Most importantly, remember to leave the skin on, as the skin contains a potent cancer fighting flavonoid known as nasuninNasunin is antiangiogenic, which means that it can prevent cancer cells from developing their own blood vessels and blood supply (angiogenic) which can cause cancer cells and tumors to grow.  The nasunin in eggplant also puts it on our “Smart Food” list, as it protects the lipids (or fats) in brain cell membranes, protecting the brain from “free radical” damage.  Eggplant also contains chlorogenic acid, which can protect cells from mutating into cancer cells, and can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.  For a good dose of this “Power Food”, try the Eggplant Rollatini for dinner one night – your kids will enjoy assembling them – then, use the extra eggplant to make the Purple Power Quesadillas for lunch the next day!

PURPLE POWER QUESADILLAS

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RECIPE for
PURPLE POWER QUESADILLAS

INGREDIENTS:
8" Round Flour Tortillas 
Monterrey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
1 cup eggplant, sliced, salted: then, cubed
Homemade Taco seasoning (see Below)*
 
INSTRUCTIONS:
1.  Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.  (Salting the eggplant will eliminate "bitterness" and will make the eggplant more tender). 
2.  Put eggplant slices in collander, rinse thoroughly and dry with papertowels.   Then, cut egpplant slices into cubes.
3.  Sautee cubed eggplant in a 9" skillet over Medium heat in scant water (covering just the bottom of the eggplant). NOTE:  Do NOT sautee in oil, as eggplant absorbs a lot of oil, which will increase the fat content of the dish.
4.  After 4 minutes, add 1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoing mix and sautee for 3 minutes more or until eggplant is tender.  Remove from skillet.
5.  Coat skillet with cooking spray, then add 1 tortilla to skillet.
6.  Add cheese and 2 Tablespoons eggplant mixture to tortilla in skillet.  Top with another tortilla, and spray top with cooking spray.
7.  Cover tortilla with lid for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden.  Flip tortilla, pressing down with spatula (or weighing down with another pan).  Heat until both sides are golden and crisp.
8.  Serve with salsa.

HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING:  Combine the following
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

EGGPLANT ROLLATINI

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RECIPE for EGGPLANT ROLLATINI

INGREDIENTS:
 
For Filling:
Sauteed tomatoes
16 oz. Ricotta Cheese, low fat
2 Tbsp. fresh Basil
1 egg 
 
For Rollatini:
1 Eggplant, sliced lengthwise in 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
 
INSTRUCTIONS:
 
1. Preheat oven at 375F degrees.  
2.  Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.  (Salting the eggplant will eliminate "bitterness" and will make the eggplant more tender). 
3.  Put eggplant slices in collander, rinse thoroughly and dry with papertowels. 
4.  Meanwhile, make filling.  Sautee 2 cups of fresh tomatoes (any type) in skillet over Medium heat, with scant water in the bottom of the pan.  Continue to heat tomatoes until all water (excreted from tomatoes) is absorbed.  Remove from skillet and set aside. 
5.  In medium bowl, add cooled tomatoes to Ricotta cheese and egg, and stir to combline.  Tear basil into pieces and add to Ricotta mixture.  Set aside.
6. Prepare 3 bowls with:  (1) flour and pepper, (2) eggs, (3) Panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip eggplant slices into each bowl in this order:  flour, eggs, Panko.
7.  Add Ricotta/tomato mixture to one end of eggplant slice, then roll up.  Place rollatini side by side in baking dish.
8.  Spray tops of rollatini with cooking spray.  Heat for 20 minutes.  Then, top with tomato sauce (or extra sauteed tomatoes) and bake for 5 minutes more. Top with Parmesan (optional). 
9.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
 
 
 
 

FOR RECIPE ARCHIVES, CLICK HERE

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