Spinach Lamb Meatballs

Sometimes you get recipes from a cookbook, or online, or from a friend. This recipe for spinach lamb meatballs started in a cookbook in NY, bounced to the US West coast, and then back again to NY. It was a cross-country collaboration!

Here’s what happened.  A friend had some ground lamb and was looking for dinner ideas.  I mentioned a spinach lamb meatball recipe I had and gave her the ingredients.

She wanted to serve her meatballs with marinara sauce, so I suggested she might want to change it around a bit (the original recipe called for nutmeg, which wasn’t going to work with marinara sauce). Also, while the recipe I had fit her requirements, it was, honestly, a bit bland, and needed more punch.

She added her own spin, then told me what she did. I made a few more changes, and ended up with this recipe.

Red wine vinegar stands up to the lamb’s assertive flavor, while cumin adds a warm, nutty, slightly spicy bite. The spinach adds color, and those all important vitamins and iron too.

It’s pretty easy to put together too. First, you sweat the onions (cook them over low heat for a few minutes, until they become transparent). Then wash and dry the spinach (this is important, otherwise the meatballs will be too moist and won’t hold together). The rest is simply measuring, mixing, and rolling.




Spinach Lamb Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Meditteranean

one serving

spinach lamb meatballs

Rich with lamb, tangy vinegar, earthy spinach, and spicy/warm cumin, this spinach lamb meatballs recipe is ready in minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 C spinach, washed, drained, patted dry, and chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, diced
  • 1/2 egg (break the egg, mix with a fork, and pour off half into a container, save that for another use)
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1T breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat half the oil in a small skillet. Add the onions, and sweat them, cooking on low heat for about 5 minutes until they become translucent.
  2. Add the cooked onions to a large bowl, and then the remaining ingredients. Mix everything together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into meatballs, about one inch in diameter.
  4. Wipe out the pan you used for the onions, add the rest of the oil and heat on medium-high heat. Then cook the meatballs, turning gently so they cook on all sides. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and serve.

Notes

Note: it's easier to turn the meatballs if you use two teaspoons (one on each side) to rotate them)

Spinach Lamb Meatballs Substitutions and Variations

  • try red wine (say a Pinot Noir) instead of the vinegar
  • add an extra flavor punch and spice with some harissa
  • use ground beef instead of lamb
  • skip the cumin and have the meatballs with marinara sauce
  • serve the meatballs with Greek yogurt and cucumber

More Lamb Recipes

Turkish Lamb Burgers

Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe




Eggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

So here we are again with two major holidays on the same weekend.  And, they’re two holidays with entirely different food requirements!  One traditionally goes for brisket and matzo; the other gets lamb or ham. However, there are two common themes. The first one is eggs.  Lots and lots of eggs.  The second is everyone stuffs themselves silly at either one or two big dinners.  But, you still have to eat something in-between all of that. Eggs with spinach and chili peppers is just the thing. It’s quick, and easy to make. And, it’s not a big, heavy meal.  It’s essentially a sort of egg pancake or frittata, except with South Asian flavoring.

The other nice thing about this recipe, is it’s done in two stages, but you only need a single skillet to make it.  First you cook the veggies, garlic, and ginger, then add the eggs to the same pot.  Let those cook, and you’re done.  Add the yogurt (or not) to serve.  Depending on your affiliation, serve with toast, matzo, or just some fresh fruit. If your chili is super hot, the sweetness in the fruit will also help reduce the burn from the pepper.

Oh, and a third thing. It’s ready in about 15 minutes.  So, if you’re hungry, and it’s late (as it was the first time I made this), you don’t have to wait long for a hot meal.

I adapted this from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking.  In addition to reducing the amounts, I replaced the coriander with spinach. I don’t particularly like fresh coriander and I know lots of other people don’t care for it either.  And, since my jalapeño pepper turned out to be really, really super hot, I added a dollop of Greek yogurt to cool it off, even though that wasn’t in the recipe.  I found I liked it better that way too.




 

 

Eggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: Indian

one

eggs with spinach and chili pepper

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • two pinches of salt (divided)
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 T chopped spinach
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, sliced into thin rounds (keep the seeds if you prefer your food spicier, remove them if not)
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat them with a fork. Add one pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper.
  2. Pour the oil into a medium size skillet and set it over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot (it will sizzle if you add a drop of water), add the scallions.
  3. Stir the scallions in the pan with a wooden spoon and let them cook for a minute until they brown slightly.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds more.
  5. Once the garlic softens, add the spinach, jalapeño pepper, ginger, and turmeric to the pan and stir briefly.
  6. Add the lemon juice and the rest of the salt and stir that into the spinach mixture, spreading everything evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  7. Now pour in the eggs. Pick up the pan and swirl it around so that the eggs cover the pan from side to side. It should look like an egg pancake.
  8. Put a cover over the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Cook for two or three minutes, until the eggs are firm on the edges and cooked through.  They may be slightly brown and crispy on the edges.
  9. Cut into wedges (like a pie) and serve topped with yogurt (if you like).

Eggs with Spinach and Chili Pepper Substitutions and Variations

  •  use the coriander if you like it
  • add two or three sliced mushrooms to the vegetable mixture
  •  toss in 1/4 C diced canned tomatoes
  • if you’re not a spicy food fan, replace the chili with some bell pepper

 

More Egg Recipes

Egg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

Cherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Fried Egg Burrito

Egg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

 




Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko

Since it’s spring and everything is turning green (and yellow and pink), it’s time to take advantage and turn from heavy food to something lighter and fresher. Spaghetti with green olives and lemon panko hits all those buttons. It’s light, it’s green, and it’s a bit of a flavor bomb that will wake up your taste buds.

It’s got zesty garlic, and earthy fresh spinach, paired with tangy capers, briny olives and a burst of citrus. Crispy, golden-brown panko crumbs mixed with dill and lemon zest add a bit of crunch.

In fact, I shared it with some friends and one of them said, “Oh I want that! I want it now! But I’m at work! Sob.”

I hate that the internet doesn’t include a “push here for spaghetti option”!

I found the original recipe on Bon Appetit, but I changed it a bit.  First, it had anchovies. Nope! Nope!  Second, I swapped the original parsley for some spinach instead. One, I had lots of spinach. And two, I don’t like parsley all that much, so there’s no point in buying a whole bunch of it. The spinach I will use for other meals.

One more small thing. The recipe said to cut some of the olives in half and then chop up the rest. It may have said to chop up the capers too (the instructions were a bit unclear). I started to chop the olives and then decided it was silly, so I stopped.

It also occurred to me after I made it that I could prepare the pasta first, then keep it warm while I cooked the panko and mixed everything else together.  Just drain and wipe the saucepan, add the oil and panko, and proceed with the rest of the recipe. That way it’s only one pot!

I used ordinary green olives (because they were handy). I think I will try it next time with castelvetrano olives instead, since they are my favorite olive (and taste great with pasta).

Oh dear, I’m revising and internet commenting my own recipe! Ha!




Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Italian

one

spaghetti with green olives and lemon panko

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or 1 T fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 3 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1/4 C fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted, halved
  • 2 1/4 tsp drained capers
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium size skillet.
  2. Add the panko and cook stirring, over medium heat, for a minute or two. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn. Once the panko turns golden brown, remove it from the pan and spoon it on a paper towel so it will drain. Add salt and pepper and mix in the dill and lemon zest.
  3. Boil water in a large pot, add salt, and then add the spaghetti. Stir the pasta when you add it, so it doesn't stick. Once the spaghetti is done (about 8-10 minutes), remove from the pot and drain nearly all the water. Keep about 2 T of the water in reserve (this will help thicken the sauce).
  4. While the spaghetti is cooking, mash the garlic. Use the broad edge of a wide knife to smash it, and then smear it around on the cutting board with the side of the knife to make a paste. Put the mashed garlic, spinach, basil, olives, and capers in a large bowl. Now add the rest of the olive oil. Toss it all together and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the pasta and the half the reserved cooking water to the spinach olive mixture. Mix it all together so that the pasta is covered. If it's too dry, add more of the pasta liquid.
  6. Squeeze the lemon you used for the zest and add 1 1/2 tsp of juice to the sauce.
  7. Top that with the panko mixture and more Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko Substitutions and Variations

  • like anchovies and parsley? Go for it!
  • use castelvetrano olives instead, they are firmer and more buttery
  • top the whole thing with some red pepper flakes
  • add more garlic
  • use the sauce over cooked fish (such as cod or tilapia)

More Spaghetti Recipes

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce

Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil

Pasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers or Puttanesca

Summer Pasta with Green Olives and Feta Cheese




Quick Caldo Verde Soup

Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that’s made in one pot. And, it takes about half an hour to cook. It’s filling, spicy, and great for cold weather. The usual way to make this is with kale and linguiça, which is a garlicky pork Portuguese sausage. Except, I don’t like kale.  Some use collard greens instead, or cabbage. I didn’t have cabbage, but I did have spinach.  As far as I’m concerned, that works! It’s still a bitterish green and it takes less time to cook too.

This is good right away, but like many soups, it’s even better after it sits for a day or two.  I’ve cut the recipe from six servings to about 2 or 3, depending on how hungry you are.

It does come with a few minor cooking decisions.  You can cut the greens up roughly, or chop everything up into fine ribbons.  And, you can either purée the soup, or leave it as is. I went with rough chopping and skipped the purée this time, mostly because I was feeling lazy.  The last thing I made was pizza and I somehow got the tomato sauce everywhere: the stove, the floor, the cabinets, the sink.  I’ve had enough cleanup to last me for a while, so I didn’t want to clean one extra thing (even a stick blender).

Also, if you can’t find the Portuguese sausage, any other garlicky sausage will do just fine.




Quick Caldo Verde Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: soup

Cuisine: Portuguese

2

caldo verde soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp butter
  • 4-5 oz garlicky pork sausage, sliced (about a four inch piece)
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven.
  2. Add the sausage and brown for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the sausage and set aside.
  4. Add the onions and the garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add half the olive oil as necessary to keep the veggies from drying out.
  6. Add the chicken broth and the potatoes.
  7. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil.
  8. Turn the heat down and let the soup simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
  9. Add the spinach and the cooked sausage and cook for a minute or two until the spinach wilts.
  10. Add the second teaspoon of olive oil and serve.

Caldo Verde Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • Use a mixture of baking potatoes (Russett) and Yukon Gold potatoes for different textures
  • If you don’t have the linguiça, try chorizo or andouille, merguez, or any garlicky sausage you have; even pepperoni in a pinch
  • Try it with cabbage (or kale) if you prefer
  • Skip the sausage entirely, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and make it vegetarian. If you want it vegan, use olive oil instead of butter.

More Sausage and Spinach Recipes

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

Spinach and Feta Cheese Omelette

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce

 




Leftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad for One

Hot. Cold. Then hot again. Anyone else getting whiplash from this weather? The calendar says fall, but the thermometer reads summer.  To beat the heat, try a leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach salad.  You can use leftover lamb from my Greek lamb breast recipe, or just broil a lamb chop.

This salad is a festival of tastes, textures, and colors.  You get luscious lamb topped with tender golden-brown eggplant over earthy spinach, refreshing crisp cucumbers, and sweet tomatoes.  Then the whole thing is finished with a rich garlicky lemon mayonnaise.

I’ve sauteed the eggplant in a skillet (because I didn’t want to heat up the oven), but you can grill it if you prefer, or bake it in the oven (400 degrees for about 20 minutes).  Then just add spinach and your favorite salad ingredients.

I have adapted this from a Silver Palate cookbook recipe which called for pignoli nuts and olives.  I had neither, so I filled in with cucumber and tomato. You could also put in mushrooms, sprouts, experiment with different kinds of olives, or top it with toasted nuts.  See the “substitutions” section below for more ideas.

You can either make the mayonnaise from scratch (homemade mayonnaise is divine, just remember to use it up quickly), or just dress up some store-bought mayonnaise with a bit of garlic and lemon juice.  I like to “freshen” up commercially made mayo with lemon and olive oil whenever I use it.  It tastes more like homemade that way.

Have this for a quick dinner, or make it for lunch.  I think of it as an entree salad; it works for any time you want something filling without a lot of fussing (or waiting).




Leftover Roast Lamb Eggplant Spinach Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: entree salad

Cuisine: Greek

one serving

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach salad

A great way to use up leftover lamb or get a hearty meal without a lot of cooking. This works for dinner or for lunch.

Ingredients

    Salad
  • 1/4 lb. or so leftover roast lamb (or one lamb chop, broiled), cut into cubes
  • 5-6 slices eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • salt
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups spinach, washed
  • 1/2 beefsteak tomato, cut in wedges (or 4-6 cherry tomatoes)
  • sliced cucumber (about 1/4 cup)
    Lemon Garlic Mayonnaise Dressing
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    Salad
  1. If using pre-cooked lamb, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. If you are cooking a lamb chop, broil it for 7-8 minutes (turning once) and let cool while you prepare the eggplant.
  2. Spread the eggplant out on a colander or a cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes and then rinse.
  3. Dry off the eggplant with a paper towel.
  4. Heat the oil in a small skillet and add the eggplant slices. Saute until the eggplant turns golden brown.
  5. Add the spinach, eggplant, and lamb to a medium-size bowl.
  6. Add the cucumber and tomatoes.
    Dressing
  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Taste and correct seasoning and/or add more lemon juice if necessary.
  2. Pour dressing over the salad.

Leftover Roast Lamb Eggplant Spinach Salad Substitutions and Variations

 

  • Top with pignoli nuts, chopped almonds, or chopped walnuts
  • Add 1/4 C feta cheese and some mint
  • Add some sliced apples
  • Make some orzo and add that to the salad
  • Try different veggies like zucchini, bell pepper or squash

More Lamb Recipes for One Person

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

One Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

 




Sauteed Garlic Parmesan Spinach

In my head, this was Roman spinach.  Then I looked and realized that was a completely different recipe (with pine nuts and raisins). I was wrong about the Roman part, but at least sauteed garlic parmesan spinach is really Italian.

The recipe that inspired this called for blanching and baking the spinach and then broiling everything.  That was too much bother!  I’ve adapted it to make it simpler and easier.

This way, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to prepare.  It will go nicely, I think, with a simple pan fried fish, or grilled fish. Or, serve it with a steak.

Unlike the Roman spinach (which would have required a trip to get pine nuts), this sauteed spinach is made from everyday ingredients you probably already have at home.  No special shopping trip needed!

If you want, you can add additional ingredients to the basic recipe (see the substitutions and variations section below for more ideas).




Sauteed Garlic Parmesan Spinach

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

sauteed garlic parmesan spinach

Quick spinach side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil (or use part olive oil, part butter)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 handful spinach (about one cup)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash the spinach thoroughly, pat dry, and tear it into small pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a small frying pan on medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, until it softens.
  4. Add the spinach, sprinkle with salt and cayenne.
  5. Cook for a minute or two, on medium heat, until the spinach starts to wilt.
  6. Remove from heat to your plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

 

Substitutions and Variations for Sautéed Garlic Parmesan Spinach

  •  add a sliced mushroom or two (put that in before the spinach)
  • try some sautéed onions
  • add this recipe to some scrambled eggs and make it a main course for breakfast, lunch, or brunch
  • roast the garlic first
  • add some chopped fresh cherry tomatoes just before serving

More Spinach Recipes

Bacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich Recipe

Spinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

Spinach and Feta Cheese Omelette

Shakshouka for One

 




Shakshouka for One

Shakshouka doesn’t roll off the tongue when you try to say it.  Maybe it’s a Middle Eastern market?  Or a new folk dance?  It is Middle Eastern spicy poached eggs, either Tunisian or Israeli (depending who you ask, or which ingredients you use). If you make it with onions and bell peppers, it’s Israeli.  On the other hand, if you serve it up with feta or potatoes then it’s Tunisian.

This shakshouka for one recipe is actually two recipes that I mind melded together (one from column A and one from column B) to get what I wanted.

Also, for some reason, I thought it had spinach.  So, I washed and chopped 1/4 C of spinach. Only to find out there was no spinach in either recipe.  I added it anyway. Why waste perfectly good spinach? Besides it adds extra color and flavor, which I think worked out well.

The real recipe ingredients are poached eggs, tomato, onions, bell peppers, and some cayenne for kick.

I’m calling it lunch here, but it works well as a light dinner too. You can put the whole thing together in only 20 or 25 minutes.

So, easy, and no fussing. The hardest part is making sure you don’t break the egg yolks.

Serve it with lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.




Shakshouka for One

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

one serving

shakshouka for one

Israeli, Tunisian, I've even seen a Chinese version of the same idea. Whatever your preference, this meal looks like you worked really hard (even though you didn't).

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • generous pinch cayenne
  • 2 mini orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 C pureed tomatoes
  • 2 T water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C chopped spinach

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium size frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring every once in a while. The onion should be soft and slightly browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the chopped garlic, cumin, cayenne, and chopped bell peppers.
  3. Cook, stirring, until the garlic gets soft. This should take another minute or two.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the water to the pan. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until it gets a bit thick.
  5. After the mixture has cooked about 10 minutes, season with salt.
  6. Carefully break the eggs over the tomato mixture. Cook until the whites set (this should be about 5 minutes). Spoon the sauce over the white part of the eggs. Be careful not to break them.
  7. Sprinkle the spinach over the eggs and cook for a minute.
  8. Using a spatula, carefully lift the shakshouka from the pan onto a plate.

Substitutions and Variations for Shakshouka for One

  • Slice and fry up a potato in some olive oil, then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Add some sliced spicy sausage (merguez would work beautifully)
  • Sprinkle it with some feta cheese
  • If you do break the eggs, just scramble them

More Egg Recipes

Egg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

Cherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Egg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

Spinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

 




White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I spotted this white bean salad with sun dried tomatoes when I was shopping.  It sounded delicious: beans, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, spinach.  Healthy and tasty!

The price was a bit of a turn off though: $8.00 a pound?! For beans?  Nope.  I had dry beans at home, but it was too hot to start cooking them. So, I trotted over to the canned beans section. Instead of $8.00 a pound, I got a whole can of beans for 88 cents (on sale!).  Score!

The rest was easy (and no cooking needed on a hot day).

Just soak the sun dried tomatoes, pour the beans into a bowl, roughly chop the spinach, chop some onion, and let it sit for a while to let the flavor develop.




White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

one generous serving

white bean salad sun dried tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 can white beans (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in warm water) and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour the beans into a small bowl.
  2. Add the onions, spinach, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.
  3. Stir to combine.

Notes

This makes one or two servings (depending on if you're eating it as lunch or a side dish). For more flavor, let it sit for an hour. Even better, let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Substitutions and Variations for White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

  • Add some olives and mozzarella cheese
  • Substitute fresh basil for the dried oregano
  • Make it a dip: roast some garlic, add that to the salad, and put it in your mini-chopper or blender. Or, do this with the remaining beans.
  • Use different colored beans or several different kinds. Put the rest of the can(s) in soup or chili.

More Bean Recipes

Black Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

 




Bacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich Recipe

Mmmm bacon….We’re obsessed with it.  We have bacon appetizers, bacon cocktails, and even bacon ice cream.  And now, meet the bacon spinach tomato aioli sandwich, a slightly different twist on the tried-and-true BLT.

I made this with Trader Joe’s uncured bacon (which is delicious; get the bacon ends if you can and save some money).   I tend to use spinach far more than lettuce, because it’s more versatile. You can cook with it, as well as use it in salads.  So, I reached for that rather than lettuce.

Then, I added some mini bell peppers. The sweetness and crunch of the peppers makes a nice foil for the salty bacon.

Finally, I decided to ditch the standard mayo in favor of aioli (which is mayo with garlic, some lemon juice, olive oil, and a bit of cayenne pepper).

If you are ambitious, and want to make your own aioli from scratch you can do that.  It’s delicious, and freshly made mayonnaise is far tastier than the stuff in the jar.

On the other hand, it doesn’t keep nearly as well, and making (and eating) a whole batch is a bit much for one person. Of course, you can always use the leftover aioli for french fries (like they do in Belgium) or as a dip for crudités.

I like to take the jarred mayonnaise and then add fresh ingredients to brighten the flavor so it tastes a bit more like homemade. That way, there’s no leftovers to worry about.




Bacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Category: sandwich

Cuisine: American

one serving

bacon spinach tomato aioli sandwich

A new twist on the classic BLT. This is a bacon spinach tomato and aioli sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 slices of bacon
  • 2-3 slices of beefsteak tomato (or about five grape tomatoes, sliced in half)
  • 2-3 spinach leaves
  • 1 mini bell pepper (sliced)
  • 2 slices of bread (I used rye)
    Aioli Sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch cayenne

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a small frying pan.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, make the aioli sauce.
    Aioli Sauce
  1. Mash the garlic and salt together in a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, then drizzle in the olive oil.
  2. Add the lemon juice and the cayenne. Whisk it all together thoroughly. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. I'd go easy on the salt since the bacon is salty.
  3. Once the bacon is cooked, drain it on paper towels.
  4. Pile the bacon, spinach, tomato, and bell pepper on one slice of the bread. Spread the aioli on the other slice and put it on top of your sandwich.

Substitutions and Variations for Bacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich

  • Add more heat with sriracha instead of just cayenne
  • Chop some basil or cilantro and incorporate it into the aioli sauce
  • Make it a bit lighter by using half mayo and half Greek yogurt
  • Prepare the aioli in advance so the flavors have more time to blend

More Sandwich Recipes

Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person

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Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person

One of the things I like about cooking is that you can take one recipe or meal and transform it into something else entirely.  For example, this vegetarian eggplant sandwich is a variation on the sabich sandwich eaten in Iraq and Israel.  First, I made another batch of the Israeli salad recipe from two weeks ago (the original way, with lemon and bell pepper instead of the mint and lime), and then I added pita, fried eggplant, hummus, spinach, and a hard boiled egg.

And voila! A side dish is now a full meal. The spinach isn’t traditional, but I had some handy and I figured it would go well with the other ingredients.

It makes a great lunch (or light dinner), without a lot of fussing. You hard boil the egg, fry the eggplant and onion, and then just stuff everything into the pita.  You can even follow local tradition and eat it for breakfast on a weekend morning; it has eggs, it must be breakfast food).

Some versions of this sandwich use Israeli pickles and pickled mango sauce. These are both probably delicious, but I didn’t add them because I hate buying large containers of ingredients only to use a few spoonfuls. If you don’t mind that, or plan to eat a lot of sandwiches, you can find both on Amazon.




Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: sandwich

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

one serving

vegetarian eggplant sandwich

Vegetarian sandwich with eggplant, hard boiled egg, hummus, and chopped Israeli salad.

Ingredients

  • three slices eggplant, cut into strips
  • pinch or two of kosher salt (to draw out the moisture from the eggplant)
  • hard boiled egg
  • 2-3T olive oil
  • 2 tsp onion, diced
  • handful spinach (optional)
  • 2 T persian/israeli salad (cukes, tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, optional bell peppers, cut into tiny pieces; the full recipe is here)
  • 2 T hummus
  • one pocket pita bread

Instructions

  1. Salt the eggplant and let it sit while you boil the egg.
  2. Fill a small saucepan (preferably enamel or stainless steel) with water and add the egg. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the egg for 12 minutes (right out of the fridge, 10 if it was sitting on the counter for a while).
  3. Remove the egg from the pan with a large slotted spoon and hold it under cold running water (or plunge it into an ice bath). The shell will come off more easily if it's cold.
  4. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the eggplant. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Now add the spinach, if using, and cook for one minute until it wilts.
  6. Remove the eggplant mixture from the heat.
  7. Peel the egg and cut it into slices.
  8. Cut open the pita, and add the spinach.
  9. Add eggplant mixture, egg, salad, and hummus in layers.

Substitutions and Variations for Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich

  • Add the pickles and the mangos
  • Layer in some tahini sauce
  • Shred some cabbage and put that between the layers
  • Include bell pepper (about one mini pepper) in the Israeli salad
  • Try some jalapeño for extra heat

More Eggplant Recipes

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe for One

White Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce