So I was wondering, after seeing someone else do it... how does one FRY goat cheese? Let me assure you, it's a cinch! I didn't bother to look up a recipe for a roasted red pepper balsamic vinaigrette; I just threw one together. I thought of doing a creamy dressing, but then decided that that would be too much dairy in one dish. The vinaigrette is nice! But I may try more of a lemon juice/olive oil and herb option next time.     
     Above are pictured very thinly sliced yellow onions, but I would have preferred green onions... You work with what you got, right? This salad would also have been AWESOME with some bits of bacon.
     You know, the fried goat cheese could be a really cool party appetizer with an interesting dipping sauce... Hmmm... Maybe I'll be inventing that soon!

     Frying tip: I chose not to use (and therefore waste) a lot of oil. When the oil was hot, I tipped the frying pan over so that the oil was about half an inch thick, and I fried two little balls of goat cheese at a time, turning them every 10 seconds or so to fry evenly. Worked fine.


     SPINACH SALAD WITH FRIED GOAT CHEESE 
        AND ROASTED RED PEPPER VINAIGRETTE

2 red bell peppers, roasted
1 large garlic clove, roasted
3-4 oz goat cheese
1 lemon
about 3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 egg
1/3 cup brown rice flour (or panko bread crumbs)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted 
2-3 big handfuls fresh baby spinach
2 green onions, minced
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup oil for frying (I used sunflower oil)


Cut bell peppers in half and seed them. Brush with a small bit of olive oil and bake, along with your clove of garlic (still with its skin) at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the bell peppers' skins begin to rise and blister. Allow to cool and peel off skins.

While peppers are baking, grate the peel of the lemon and combine with parsley and goat cheese. Roll goat cheese into 1/2" to 1" balls and freeze for 20 minutes.

When bell peppers are removed from the oven, turn the oven off, but set walnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven on the leftover heat.

Place bell peppers, garlic, thyme, and balsamic vinegar in a food processor and process about 20 seconds... stream in olive oil until smooth.

Whisk egg in a small bowl, dip goat cheese into egg and dredge in rice flour. Fry at medium to medium high heat until light golden brown. If using panko, this will happen more quickly.

Arrange spinach, green onions and walnuts on a plate. Scatter fried goat cheese and drizzle with dressing.

Voila!
 
 
Due to popular demand, I present you with my latest diet treat! I posted a picture of this on Facebook and everyone seemed to go crazy over it, so here we are! 

A word of warning: this recipe is still in its perfecting stages. While it is delicious as it is, I'm looking to amp it up this week, so stay tuned!

Baked Garlic Eggplant Fries with Avocado and Herb Dip

1 eggplant
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
sunflower seed oil, coconut oil or olive oil
1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 green onions, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
ground red pepper

Peel skin from eggplant with a peeler or "skin" it with a knife. Slice ends off and cut in half lengthwise. 
Picture
Cut lengthwise again into 1" sections. Cut each section in to 1" slices.

Arrange slices on a large baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Toss slices to coat, then sprinkle garlic throughout.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then with a metal spatula, flip eggplant and bake another 15 minutes. Bake longer if needed.

Avocado & Herb Dip:

Peel and seed avocado. In a bowl, mash avocado well. Add yogurt, green onion and cilantro. Sprinkle red pepper on top, or mix into dip, if desired.

Bon Apetit!
 
 
     Goodness! It has been a month since I posted the last recipe! I really HAVE to stay creative with my better eating regimen. 

     Well, this one should keep me interested! This was amazingly easy to put together and it has such a simple yet textured taste. I ate six of them and called it lunch!

     As for the ingredients: the crackers are a gluten-free, store-bought cracker made with rice flour and pecans called Pecan Nut Thins. They have a really great crunch!
     The mozzarella came from my grocery store's deli section: a REAL mozzarella not found in the regular cheese section. It is water-packed and so soft, with a very simple and mild flavor.
     The prosciutto I bought came in strips about 2 inches wide by 6 or 7 inches long. I sliced each piece lengthwise and then cut each strip in half. So one strip turned into FOUR and I wrapped each piece around one cracker.

     Some would choose to drizzle a balsamic vinegar over the top, but for a party, this may end up a little messy. It also adds another flavor that you may find will 'compete' with the other simple ones in the dish. I opted for olive oil and a bit of cracked black pepper, and all the ingredients complemented each other!

     Make this a party staple, guys. It's a winner! It's also a great afternoon snack...


CAPRESE & PROSCIUTTO - ITALIAN AMUSE BOUCHE

box of Pecan Nut-Thins or other cracker (about 65 crackers) 
leaves of fresh basil
3-4 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 ounce package mozzarella, sliced into bite-size pieces
6 ounce package prosciutto 
olive oil
cracked black pepper to taste

Arrange crackers for assembling. 
Layer: basil leaf, slice of tomato, slice of mozzarella. 
Wrap with small slice (about 1 inch by 3-4 inches) of prosciutto. Drizzle with olive oil and grind cracked pepper over the top.
 

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-28908030-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();