Guest Post–Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat

Hello my dear readers,

Hope you’re all having a great start to the week! I wanted to direct you to Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat, where I’m subbing in for Angela today while she continues to enjoy her travels in Australia. I made stuffed grape leaves, and the result is easy, cheap, and ohmygod delicious!

Please check the recipe out—I swear the process is a lot less intimidating than you think! If you can’t find grape leaves, cabbage leaves can replace them.

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The recipe is a step-by-step picture tutorial, per usual, so consider it fail proof.

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Trust me – it’s a crowd pleaser. Enough for everyone (even with a few hoarders…ahem…in the room).

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See you back here tomorrow for another recipe. I have a sweet tooth these days…

xo Aylin

Vegetable Stuffed Eggplant

This dish is a Turkish mainstay pairing the Middle Eastern staple – eggplant – with the classic combination of peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Traditionally, you’ll find it stuffed with ground lamb and veggies, but the all-veggie version is just as juicy and delicious and oh so comforting!

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Eggplant: lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol with its chlorogenic compound, is anti-carcinogenic due to its antioxidant nasunin content, is a great source of dietary fiber, protects against colon cancer, and is a great source of vitamin A, B vitamins, folate and vitamin C.

Vegetable Stuffed Eggplant

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, skinned and chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh tomatoes and green pepper for garnish

Instructions

Place four eggplants on a baking sheet. Make a small, 2-inch long incision on the side facing up of each eggplant. This allows for steam to exit while they roast.

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Pop into the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the eggplant bakes down to a withered look and is soft all the way throughout.  Slice halfway through the flesh and pull open and to the side the eggplant to create a pocket for the vegetables.

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While the eggplant is cooking, cut the pepper, scallion, onion, and garlic.

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Sauté over medium heat with 1/3 cup olive oil and salt and pepper. When the onions begin to become translucent, add the tomato paste and chopped fresh tomatoes. Mix until thoroughly combined and cook until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated and the mixture begins to feel dry against the pan.

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Into the eggplant pockets, place the vegetable mixture evenly across all four.

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Top each with a slice of fresh tomato and green pepper.

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Bake for another 25-30 minutes in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven. The eggplant will absorb the flavors of the vegetable mixture and the juice from the fresh tomato and pepper will seep into the entire dish.

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So flavorful, so rich, yet so so so healthy! It only looks like you’ve labored in the kitchen for hours. Wow your family or dinner guests (and yourself, of course!).

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I guarantee you’ll enjoy these, even those of you who generally don’t like eggplants.

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Jasmine Stuffed Peppers

With even more jasmine rice in my pantry, I wanted to use it in a unique, Turkish-inspired way.

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Turkish Dolma (Stuffed Peppers)

by GK

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (6 stuffed peppers)

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 hot green pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 6 green bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Extra veggies — hot green pepper, zucchini, tomato — for sauce (optional)

*Note: In the outline below, I only make 4 servings, but there was enough rice to make 6.

Instructions

Begin by chopping the onion. Slice the hot green pepper length-wise and remove the seeds and inside skin and then dice it.

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Sautee the onions and pepper with olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat until the onion softens a bit – about 2 minutes.

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Add the jasmine rice and stir for approximately one minute.

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Once the onions have become transparent, put in the currants, salt, and pepper.

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Give the mixture a good stir and then add 3 cups water.

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Cover the pot and let simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water; however, the rice won’t seem completely finished, since it’ll go through some more cooking later when stuffed into the peppers.

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Speaking of peppers, it’s time to prep them.

Simply cut off the top of the bell pepper, about 1 inch from the top in order to preserve the cap. remove the seeds and “flesh” inside each pepper.

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Now stuff ‘em until full, but not burgeoning.

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In a small pot (that is small enough to hug the peppers so that they are able to stand up straight when places side-by-side), add about 2 cups of water and 2 tbsp of tomato paste and stir together on medium-low heat. When you put the peppers into the pot, you don’t want the water to exceed going 3/4 up the height of the pepper.

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Since my peppers tend to fall over when I try to place them upright in the pot, I like to add other things to the mix to help them hold their balance. In addition to pouring in the leftover rice, I also like to add hot peppers, tomatoes, and sometimes zucchini, depending on how much space I need to fill.

Atop each, upright-standing stuffed pepper, place a tomato slice.

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Cap each one off…

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Cover and let simmer on low or medium-low for approximately 30 minutes, keeping pace with the tenderness of the pepper.

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The house is going to smell pretty unbelievable. And then this happens:

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Serve with the sauce and other vegetables that were thrown in there. Garnish with parsley or mint. Generally, this dish is served cold, but I don’t really have the delayed appetite for that.

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Enjoy!

xo Aylin