Eggplant Involtini

I have discovered a new recipe that uses one of my favorite vegetables: eggplant! This recipe, called Eggplant Involtini, from Alexandra’s Kitchen is so delicious that I can’t stop myself from making it at least once a week. Make sure to prepare the eggplant (salt the slices so that the water drains) an hour ahead before rolling them with a cheese filling and baking.


Baked Fish Fillets and Mussels with Lemon, Tomato, and Red Capsicum Puree

Have you ever made a dish that was so flavorful that you wanted to make it again and again, and you think you won’t get sick of it? This recipe adapted from Baked Fish Fillets with Lemon & Red Capsicum Puree. I made a few changes, such as adding cabbage and mussels, and a roasted tomato to the puree. It goes great with fried potatoes or even rice.


1 large red capsicum (bell pepper)
1 medium tomato
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
6 fillets of white fish (approximately 4 ounces) each (I used tilapia)
10 half-shell New Zealand mussels
1 cup cut cabbage leaves
4 or 5 dried bay leaves
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley chopped finely
salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Cut the capsicum into quarters, removing the membrane and seeds. Place capsicum and tomato onto a baking tray skin side up and roast until the skin has darkened.
2. Place the capsicum, tomato, garlic, olive oil, coriander seeds, lemon juice, salt and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
3. Place the cabbage leaves in an oiled baking dish. Season fish fillets and mussels with salt and black pepper, and place on top of cabbage. Pour the capsicum and tomato puree over the fish, scatter the bay leaves, and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 400˚C (200˚F). Test fish is ready by inserting the point of a knife into the center of a fillet. If the fish is white and flaky, it is ready. If not, place back in the oven for another few minutes.
4. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the fish and serve at once.

3 servings

Cauliflower Cheese

This recipe is adapted from Real Simple’s Cauliflower Gratin. I didn’t have a few of the ingredients, so I omitted them and it still turned out great.

1 medium sized cauliflower head, cored and cut into small pieces
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for the baking dish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Heat oven to 375° F. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and bring the water to a boil. Place the cauliflower and carrots into the pot and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
2.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle with the  flour and stir for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Whisk in the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and cook until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and gently fold in the cauliflower, and transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle on top the chopped parsley. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

3-4 servings

Baked Fusilli Pasta with Cheddar Cheese

When I was living in England, this was all I ate, every single day. Pasta and cheese is a few of the cheapest things you can buy in England, and this dish is simple to make.

1 cup uncooked fusilli pasta
1/3 cup pasta sauce (either store bought or handmade)
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Coat ceramic dish with thin layer of butter or oil.
2. Boil pasta until firm but not hard, or al dente.
3. Mix in pasta sauce, butter, hot pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and dried basil.
4. Pour pasta into ceramic dish. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes, until cheese has melted. Take out to cool and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

1 serving