Saturday, 24 May 2014

Recipe - Grilled vegetable and ricotta stack

After making the beautiful eggplant parmigiana two days ago I had grilled a little too much eggplant and had three slices left over - cooked and sitting in the fridge. I also had half a tub of ricotta cheese opened from that recipe. I hate throwing away perfectly good food so last night decided to put my thinking cap on and do something with it. 

Nutritional experts recommend we should be eating at least 5 servings of vegetables a day, yet less than 10% of Australians actually do (and the figures are similar for most Western countries). Increasing your intake of fresh vegetables is a simple thing you can do to decrease your weight, increase your health, reduce your risk for many chronic diseases and look and feel better. You will also find that if you fill up on vegetables you will be less hungry and less likely to snack on not so nutritious options! This is a very quick and easy 15 minute tasty meal and best of all, it's full of vegetables!

You will need:
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
A range of fresh vegetables such as eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, capsicum (bell pepper) tomatoes, mushrooms, squash or whatever else you can find in the fridge
Fresh spinach, rocket or other salad greens to form salad base
Ricotta cheese or if you prefer a sharper flavour, marinated feta or goat's cheese would be even tastier
Balsamic glaze (this can be bought in most supermarkets. It is sweet, so a little bit goes a long way. Otherwise just use regular balsamic vinegar)
Fresh herbs

Slice your vegetables in slices around 1cm thick for thick vegetables like large mushrooms, eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, capsicum. I steamed the sweet potato for about 2 minutes to soften it a little, but be careful not too cook too much or it will fall apart. Cut the woody ends off asparagus and top and tail beans. Cut whole tomatoes into quarters. 

Heat a griddle pan and brush your vetables with olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and a little sea salt if you wish.

Quickly grill your vegetables, watching and turning them carefully so they don't burn. Vegetables cook fast! This won't take long. Set them aside on a plate with kitchen paper until your batches are done.

When your grilling is complete, simply make a stack with salad greens at the bottom, larger sliced vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potato and eggplant first, topped with smaller vegetables. Remember to put some nice dollops of your ricotta, feta or goats cheese in the middle. When you are done drizzle with a little balsamic glaze, black pepper, top with fresh herbs and enjoy!! 

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

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