Wednesday, January 29, 2014

400-calorie dinners (ii)

Two more all-star recipes to add to the 400-calorie dinner collection this week:

Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant:

I bookmarked this recipe ages ago . . . what took me so long to try this?  Light yet filling, with a welcome burst of summery flavors to brighten up the bitterest of cold winter days.  (I can imagine how much tastier this would be when everything was actually in season!)  I did modify the recipe slightly, adding the eggplant pulp to the filling, instead of "reserving for another use."  (Huh?  What on earth would anyone do with just around a cup of eggplant goo?  Hm.)  352 calories, loaded with fiber, protein, A, C, calcium, and impressively high in iron.  John claimed he wasn't all that hungry prior to dinner this evening, but managed to gobble up his portion just fine.  Must have been good!

Sauerkraut & Sausage Casserole:

This dish is as warm and cozy as the previous was bright and summery.  (Hey . . . I crave variety!)  After making my own vegetarian kielbasa, this dish was a snap to prepare, and I love the combination of tangy, salty kraut, (homegrown, home-cultured, and home-canned at our house!), savory faux sausage, sweet onions and apples, and tender-crispy potatoes.  A bargain dinner at 297 calories, packed with protein and loaded with vitamin C, there's definitely room for a chunk of dark rye with butter alongside this entree, or alternately . . .


German Honey Cookies:

If you enjoy simple yet surprising sweets, this is a cookie you MUST try.  There is enough honey in the dough to be clearly present in the baked cookie, yet the copious amount of vanilla and ground ginger sneak in and hang out in the background.  The cookies are sweet but not cloyingly so, buttery without being overly rich, and friendly to the healthy eating plan at 97 calories each.  I made a few modifications to the original recipe, following a more traditional method of creaming the butter and sugar together by hand, then stirring in the honey, egg, and vanilla, before finally adding the dry ingredients, and I also subbed in half whole-wheat pastry flour for some of the all-purpose.  This is only the second time I've made these, but I much prefer this batch -- my first attempt (years ago) was soft, pillowy, and almost cake-like using the technique in the recipe; this batch is soft, toothsomely chewy, and dense -- a perfect cookie texture, in my opinion.  (P.S. watch 'em like hawks, and pull them out of the oven JUST as they begin to brown and are completely set -- over-baking these beauties turns them tooth-breakingly crispy in a heartbeat.  Or, if you like crispy cookies, by all means, over-bake away!  I bet they would make great dunkers, in that case.)  Someday, I'll try these with fresh ginger in lieu of the ground, and likely achieve cookie nirvana.  :)


Eileen said...

Oh man, that falafel-stuffed eggplant looks so good! I actually can see myself using eggplant mush in a few things, like pasta sauce, or in a filling for manicotti or something like that, but I also don't see why you can't just eat it here. Nom!

Catherine Weber said...

Eileen, the falafel-stuffed eggplant was AWESOME. It was even good leftover! (I stored the sauce and cucumber/tomato relish separately, though.)

I think the thing that confused me about the leftover eggplant was the smallish quantity -- baba ganoush could have been a possibility, but it was such a small amount!