Grilled Eggplant, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula Open-Faced Sandwiches

DSC_0288DSC_0289Sometimes on warm evenings it’s nice to take a break from the kitchen. These open-faced sandwiches make for a quick meal and are great served with fresh veggies and dip or a garden salad. If you don’t have a barbecue or indoor grill, try broiling the slices in the oven until they are slightly browned on each side and tender in the middle. If you like your eggplant on the crispier side, try sweating the eggplant before grilling it. To sweat the eggplant slices salt both sides and allow to sit for about 30 minutes (you will see beads of “sweat” appear). Then, rinse well with water and pat dry with paper towel.

Eggplant is a very good source of dietary fibre and manganese. It is in season in the summer and early fall.

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Grilled Eggplant, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula Open-Faced Sandwiches

Makes about 4 servings.

Ingredients:

1 eggplant (sliced into 1/2″ thick slices)

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

8 thin slices mozzarella di bufala (or bocconcini cheese)

3 tbsp light mayonnaise

1 1/2 tbsp pesto

4 whole wheat buns split in half or 8 whole wheat slices of bread, toasted

1 1/2 cups arugula

1-2 vine tomatoes, sliced

Balsamic vinegar (higher quality balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction is best!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat a barbecue or grill.
  2. Preheat an oven to 250 F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplants ~ 2 minutes on each side until eggplant is slightly browned and tender
  4. Place grilled eggplant on the baking sheet and top with a slice of mozzarella. Place in oven.
  5. Mix mayonnaise and pesto together. Spread on each slice of bread with.
  6. Arrange sandwiches with arugula, the cheese topped eggplant, and 1-2 slices of tomato. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

* Depending on the size of the buns or bread used, you may only need half the amount listed in the ingredients. If they are large portions, double up with two slices of eggplants, cheese, and tomato on each piece.

Recipe adapted from Thrifty Foods

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Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oatmeal Cookies

DSC_0349Oatmeal cookies are comforting, classic, and versatile. Once you find a base recipe that you like, you can play around with different combinations of chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts to create all kinds of delicious cookies. This recipe is currently my favourite cookie recipe as I love the combination of dark chocolate, coconut, and oatmeal! These cookies are best enjoyed with a glass of low fat milk.

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Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 1-2 baking sheets.
  2. Place oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and mix together.
  3. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients With the mixer running, beating on low speed until just combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and shredded coconut.
  6. Drop the dough by tablespoons, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies about 15 minutes.
  7. Cool the cookies for about 2 minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bevs_chocolate_chip_cookies.html

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