Eggplant & Pepper Stir Fry

One of my favorite things about summer is the copious amounts of fresh garden food I get from my parents. My father has the most amazing garden ever! He plants just about everything and I get to reap the benefits! Here’s a shot of what it looked like early summer and now.IMG_4612IMG_6309

Crazy right! I wish we could have a garden but unfortunately the amount of trees we have doesn’t allow for enough sunlight in our yard but we are working on a plan. For now the only thing we have going on are some tomato plants that we did in containers and have up on our deck. I wasn’t feeling very hopeful that they would grow but they are looking pretty good! We even have one that’s starting to turn red! IMG_6313IMG_6314 Now with a garden like the one my parents have you can imagine what they bring when they stop by to visit. A few weeks ago I got a pretty sweet delivery when my mom came up.

I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes with you guys. Growing up my mom used to make this all the time and it’s super simple and great to have in the fridge. All you need is eggplant, peppers, and garlic. That’s it, that’s all!

DSC01718The first thing you need to do is cut up the eggplant (long strips), place them on a baking sheet, and cook them at 400° for about 25-30 minutes. 
DSC01720In the meantime slice up your green peppers into strips and placed them in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. You can use red, yellow, or orange peppers if you prefer but I find them to be too sweet for this dish. 
DSC01727I added the tiniest bit of water and covered the pan and continued to cook until they became tender.DSC01728DSC01729Once the eggplant is done, remove them from the baking sheet and add it to the pan with the peppers. DSC01731Last but not least throw in the garlic. Don’t be shy! Also, don’t talk to close to anyone after you’ve eaten this.DSC01733Mix it altogether and bam! I love to eat this on freshly baked bread! eggplantDSC01747

Something about the flavor of the peppers and garlic, mixed with the texture of the eggplant just gets me! You can always add sauce to this as well and maybe some crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little kick! 
If you give it a try let me know what you think! 

eggplant

If you’re on Instagram you can follow me @Cindy_Made2Style or follow the hashtag #M2Sinthekitchen for all the dishes I post. If you’re a Snapchat fan I have a tendency to turn my snaps into a cooking show when making dinner so you can follow along @Cindyrella818.

 

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M2S in the Kitchen: Minestrone Soup

It’s Fall ya’ll!! Ok I’m not sure if I can really pull off saying ya’ll being the New Yorker that I am but I am so excited for the cooler temps! Although these days it’s more like sweater mornings and tank top afternoons! Either way there is a lot to look forward to and one of my favorite things about the Fall is Fall cooking! Mainly lots of soups, stews, and hearty food! 

Today I wanted to share with you one of my absolute favorite recipes and is pretty much a staple in this house. Minestrone soup! It’s chock full of veggies and so incredibly tasty! I’ve seen minestrone cooked a few different ways but this is a fool proof way to get a delicious warm bowl of goodness in your hands.  Now every once in awhile I like to be naughty and add some bacon. I mean why wouldn’t you add bacon to it? Bacon is an extremely flexible ingredient and often can be a major part of a recipe. In this case the bacon creates a beautiful base that saturates all of the veggies and gives it the perfect kick that it needs! 

The beauty of this recipe is that you can throw just about any vegetable that you have in your fridge into it! 

Minestrone Soup I Made2Style

I’m cooking for a crowd tonight so I’m doubling the recipe but here’s the normal one! 

2 cloves of garlic
2 large onions
2 celery stalks
2 large carrots
2 large potatoes
2 large handfuls of green beans
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c. olive oil
2 strips of bacon
6 c. vegetable or chicken broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3 1/2 oz. small pasta (I use Ditalini)
salt and pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Remember, you don’t have to use these specific veggies.  If you wanted to throw in some kale or white beans you absolutely could!

Instructions:

1. You’ll want to chop the garlic, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, squash and bacon.
Minestrone Soup I Made2Style
2. Heat the oil and butter together and then add the bacon.  These three work beautifully together to make a coating for all the veggies. Cook for about 2 minutes.Minestrone Soup I Made2Style

3. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the celery, carrots, and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the beans, zucchini, and squash for 2 minutes.
Make sure you are mixing the veggies you add into the bacon butter goodness!
Cover the pan and cook all the veggies for 15 minutes.
Minestrone Soup I Made2Style
4. Add broth and tomato paste. Bring to a boil the lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour.

5. Add your pasta to the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

6. Serve in a large bowl, because you’ll want a lot, and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Minestrone Soup I Made2Style

Here are some links to some other favorite soups I love!

White Bean and Kale Soup
Carrot and Ginger Soup
Hearty Lentil Soup
Butternut Squash Soup

Let me know what you think if you give it a try!