Grilled Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich with Halloumi

Grilled Eggplant and Red Pepper Sandwich with Halloumi

Up next for my homemade roasted red peppers was to use them in a sandwich along with some grilled eggplant and halloumi. Halloumi is a Greek Cypriot cheese that fries well, retaining its shape rather than melting and gets 'squeaky' once fried. Simple fried halloumi with a splash of lemon juice is amazing all by itself but it also makes a great addition to a sandwich such as this one! I am still a little conflicted as to whether I should be diving into fall dishes or relishing the final days of summer and summer won out with this sandwich and I finished it off with field ripened beefsteak tomatoes and some fresh homemade basil pesto!

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo Pasta
Another thing that I really like about this time of year is all of the red peppers that are around. Not only are they plentiful but they are also cheap and every year at this time I head down to the farmers market and pick up a large basket full of them. By far my favourite thing to do with red peppers is to roast them and luckily roasted red peppers keep well in the freezer so I roast most of the basket and freeze them for use throughout the year. Since I was roasting up a bunch of red peppers anyways it seemed only natural to use some of them right away and I was thinking that a creamy roasted red pepper and goat cheese pasta was a great way to go!

Recipe Box Feature

A while ago I added the Recipe Box feature, the My Recipe Box link in the menu at the top of Closet Cooking, that allows you to easily save recipes to your recipe box, create meal plans and automatically generate grocery lists. These features are provided by ZipList and they have an app so you can take your recipes, meal plan and grocery list with you on your phone when you go shopping!

For those of you that have been using these features, I would love to hear your opinions on it! Do you like it? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? What would you like to see improved? etc.

For those of you that have not used these features, try adding a few of your favourite Closet Cooking recipes to your recipe box with the Save Recipe button, make a meal plan and create a grocery list. Once you have added the recipes to your box you can see them in the My Recipe Box menu item at the top of Closet Cooking.


BELT (Bacon Egg Lettuce Tomato) Sandwich

BELT (Bacon Egg Lettuce Tomato) Sandwich
I certainly have been enjoying a lot of BLTs these days with all of the beautiful local, field ripened beefsteak tomatoes around! It can sometimes be difficult to imagine improving on an already amazing sandwich like the BLT but adding an egg is a good place to start! There are a lot of ways to add an egg to a BLT but the first thought that comes to my mind is in the form of a quick and easy egg salad made with creamy mayo and a touch of a tangy mustard. I guess that once you add egg to the mix it is no longer a BLT but it becomes a BELT sandwich! Of course an even easier way to add an egg to a BLT is to simply add a fried egg and with that runny yolk it is very hard to resist!

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce
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Chicken and avocado enchilada recipes have been making their way around the food logging sphere lately like these spicy avocado chicken enchiladas on the novice chef, these chicken and avocado enchiladas on gimme some oven and these avocado cream and chicken suiza enchiladas on foodie crush and given my obsession with both Mexican cuisine and avocados it was only a matter of time until I made some of my own! For my recipe I wanted to get as much avocado into the dish as possible so I stuffed the enchiladas with big chunks of avocado in addition to using avocados in the creamy enchilada sauce. Another goal that I had with the recipe was for it to be really quick and easy to put together and if you have the salsa verde and cooked and shredded chicken on hand already then you can whip these super tasty enchiladas up in about 30 minutes!

25 Fabulous Fall Recipes

Fall Recipe Collage

Fall is here and with it, some cooler weather! When fall rolls around, menus start to change due to the cooling weather, different produce being available and to the fact that we are no longer as concerned with having the oven on. This means that things like roasts, soups, stews and other comfort dishes will be back on the menu! Lets also not forget about all of the great fall produce including apples, pears, pumpkins, squash, brussels sprouts and cranberries that are now available and just begging to be enjoyed! I thought that I would share with you a few of my favourite recipes for this time of year:

Bacon Double Cheeseburger Soup

Bacon Double Cheeseburger Soup
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Fall is officially here and as if on cue the cooler weather rolled in which is good because I can now get into all of those fall dishes that I have been holding off on like soups! This is quite a relief in that I have had the idea for this bacon double cheeseburger soup burning a hole in my mind pretty much all summer and I was just waiting for things to cool off a bit before making it. The idea for this soup is quite simple in that it contains all of the flavours of a bacon double cheese burger in soup form, and who doesn't love a bacon double cheese burger?

Corn and Black Bean Huevos Rancheros with Roast Zucchini Salsa

Caramelized Corn and Black Bean Huevos Rancheros with Roast Zucchini Salsa

When I made the corn and black bean tacos with roast zucchini salsa a while ago I made sure to make enough that there would be leftovers because I always like using leftovers to make other dishes. One thing that I had on my mind when I made the tacos was to use some of the leftovers to make a breakfast version inspired by the idea of huevos rancheros. These huevos rancheros are pretty similar to the original tacos with lightly the corn and black beans being served on some lightly toasted tortillas topped with a fried egg, the ever so tasty roasted zucchini salsa and some crumbled queso fresco. Add some sliced avocado and you have a hearty, tasty and pretty healthy breakfast that will not fail to impress!

BBQ Chicken and Peach Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken and Peach Quesadillas
Peach season is quickly fading and I have been trying to enjoy them as much as I can before they are all gone for another year. In fact this week I may have gone a little overboard and gotten a few too many of them! Not to worry though as I have been happily coming up with new ways to use them including in these tasty peach quesadillas. The recipe could not be simpler, you just need some leftover cooked and shredded chicken mixed in with some BBQ sauce, cheese, tortillas and optionaly, some cilantro, in addition to a fresh peach. Once everything is assembled you just need to cook it until the cheese has melted and then you are in a peach and melted cheesy heaven! The sweet, spicy and tangy BBQ chicken goes really well with the juicy peaches and ooey gooey melted cheese! What a great way to enjoy some peaches!

BLT Grilled Cheese (BLTGC)

BLT Grilled Cheese (BLTGC)
I have really been enjoying all of the fresh, perfectly field ripened tomatoes a lot these days, especially in BLTs! I guess it was pretty much inevitable that at some point I would think about combining a BLT with a grilled cheese sandwich and this BLT grilled cheese, aka the BLTGC, is the tasty results of my wild musings! The recipe pretty much just wrote itself taking the buttered bread and cheese from the grilled cheese and the bacon, lettuce and tomato from the BLT and grilling it up until the outside is golden brown and all of the cheese has melted. For the bacon you could use either strips of whole slices and for the lettuce you could go with either whole leafs or shredded and you could use either whole tomato slices or you could dice them. One trick that I learned when using green tomatoes in sandwiches is that it is good to lightly fry them in a touch of bacon grease to warm and soften them up a bit which I applied to the tomato slices in this sandwich. I was kind of hesitant about using lettuce in a warm grilled cheese sandwich but it worked like a charm without getting nasty like lettuce can when it is cooked! I have to say that this BLT grilled cheese sandwich turned out amazingly well, easily as good as if not better than either of the sandwiches that gave it birth!

Crispy Baked Eggplant Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce (aka Eggplant Parmesan Fries!)

Crispy Baked Eggplant Fries
After the recent extraordinary success of the crispy baked portobello mushroom fries I was thinking about what other vegetables could be turned into fries and with the abundance of cheap eggplant these days, it seemed like the perfect candidate to try next! I was a bit worried about using eggplant to make fries as eggplant can have a lot of moisture, and no one want soggy fries, but given how addictively good roasted eggplant is, I just have to give it a shot! Once again the recipe for the eggplant fries is extremely quick and easy! You really just need to slice the eggplant, coat it up in the breadcrumbs, parmesan and seasonings and bake it until crispy. (There is really no excuse for reaching for that bag of chips all the way at the back of the cupboard!) As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about as the eggplant fries came out perfectly crispy and golden brown and as you can see from the photos, I have made several batches already! Snacking just got so much better!

The Best of Closet Cooking 2012 eBook Now Available on Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble Nook

Cover: The Best of Closet Cooking 2012

Due to popular demand the The Best of Closet Cooking 2012 eBook is now available on the Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble Nook for your viewing pleasure. Ever since I published The Best of Closet Cooking 2012, a collection of the 25 tastiest and most popular recipes on Closet Cooking up until 2012, I have received requests to make it available on different readers in addition to requests for a printed version. It took a while to figure out how to get everything done and do it but I finally got the eBook approved on all three readers and I have set up a softcover version on Lulu.com that you can order.

May I present The Best of Closet Cooking 2012 eBook on:
Amazon Kindle
Apple iTunes/iBooks for the iPhone & iPad
Barnes & Noble Nook

Softcover print version:
Lulu.com Softcover

Of course you can still get the The Best of Closet Cooking 2012 eBook for FREE if you subscribe to the Closet Cooking email newsletter and this will also ensure that you never miss a new recipe as they will be delivered right into your inbox.

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini is still plentiful and cheap these days and I have been trying to enjoy as much of it as I can while it is still available. I recently came across a recipe for chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini on Gina's Skinny Taste that sounded so good that I just had to try it! It has been a while since I last made stuffed zucchini and a chicken enchilada style stuffing sounded amazingly good! Don't let the time that it takes to make these chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini put you off as they are actually quite easy to make and well worth the effort!

Tomato and Melted Cheese Open Faced Sandwich

Tomato and Melted Cheese Open Faced Sandwich
Although the BLT usually steals the spot light at this time of year with all of the field ripened tomatoes around, another great way to enjoy them is simply in an open-faced sandwich covered in melted cheese. It is really hard to beat the tomato and cheddar combo, especially if that cheddar is all melted and good but throw a touch of tangy mayo and fresh cracked black pepper and you've really got a winner in under 10 minutes!

Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas with Roast Zucchini Salsa

Caramelized Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas with Roast Zucchini Salsa

When you make the corn and black bean tacos with roast zucchini salsa be sure to make a double batch as the leftovers are great in other dishes like these quesadillas. You really cannot go wrong taking the sweet caramelized corn along with the creamy black bean and the fresh and tasty zucchini salsa with a nice spicy heat and wrapping them all in a toasted golden brown tortilla along with plenty of melted cheese! Once the corn and black beans and zucchini salsa are made these quesadillas only take a few minutes to make which is good because you will want to make them all the time! What a great way to enjoy some of the last of summers produce!

Fig and Gorgonzola Crostini with Honey

Fig and Gorgonzola Crostini with Honey

Sweet figs and tangy blue cheese is a fabulous flavour combination and when I came across the idea for these fig and gorgonzola crostini on Tartlette I immediately knew that they would be amazing! In addition to the figs and gorgonzola, these crostini also have walnuts, thyme fresh cracked pepper and a drizzle of honey for even more sweetness to balance the tangy gorgonzola. The crostini are as easy to make as assembling them and then broiling them until the gogonzola just starts to melt and gets nice and creamy. Despite being so easy to make these fig and gorgonzola crostini are definitely a crowd please at a party and they also make for a nice light meal.

Guacamole BLT

Guacamole BLT
This has to be one of my favourite times of the year with all of the fresh field ripened tomatoes! I am a big fan of tomatoes and it is hard to beat a field ripened tomato so I have been picking them up by the basket full lately. Of course one of the best ways to enjoy some tomatoes is in the ever so simple and yet ever so good, BLT! BLT's are great with just the bacon, lettuce and tomato but I always have fun adding different things and this time it was a cool and creamy guacamole. Guacamole and bacon are a fabulous flavour combo and the tomato and avocado combo is hard to beat so you know that this guacamole BLT sandwich is going to be a winner!

Caramelized Corn and Black Bean Tacos with Roast Zucchini Salsa and Roasted Poblano Crema

Caramelized Corn and Black Bean Tacos with Roast Zucchini Salsa and Roasted Poblano Crema

Summer is quickly coming to an end and although I looking forward to seeing all of the fall produce, I am not quite ready to let go of summer. In particular, I have really been enjoying a lot of corn on the cob and zucchini and I figure that I should get my fill of them while they are still plentiful! I had been thinking about using both the corn and zucchini combo in tacos for a while but I kept bouncing back and forth on how exactly to do it until the idea of using a zucchini salsa hit and I knew what I wanted to do. I was thinking that sweet corn and creamy black beans would make a perfect taco filling when paired with the zucchini salsa and a tasty roasted poblano crema would finish the tacos off nicely along with some crumbled cotija cheese.

Roast Zucchini Salsa

Roast Zucchini Salsa

Not too long ago a made an absolutely fabulous swiss chard pesto that was really more of a combination of a pesto and a salsa, and I have been fascinated by the idea ever since. With all of the zucchini around these days I was thinking that a zucchini salsa/pesto would be a great way to enjoy some! At its base this zucchini salsa looks like a basic pesto with the basil being replaced by zucchini, the pine nuts replaced with pepitas and the lemon juice replaced with lime juice. From there some more salsa like ingredients are added including some spicy jalapeno peppers and fresh cilantro. Of course I decided to roast the zucchini first to tenderize it and bring out more of its flavour! Because of the roasting, this salsa takes a bit of time to make but well worth it! The roasted zucchini goes amazingly well with all of the flavours in this salsa and the creaminess of the pureed pepitas adds a whole new dimension of texture.

Roasted Poblano Crema

Roasted Poblano Crema

Sour cream, Mexican crema or if you are looking for a healthier alternative, Greek yogurt, are great condiments that can be used in all types of Mexican style dishes from tacos to burritos and beyond. Although it is super easy to just grab a spoonful of sour cream right from the container, why not take the opportunity to add more flavour to the dish by making a flavoured sour cream? With this in mind I decided to make this roasted poblano crema to go on the tacos that I was making. Poblano peppers have a mild heat that makes them perfect for something like this and roasting them mellows them out an bit and adds a nice smokiness to them. In addition to the roasted poblano peppers I added some garlic and green onion to the crema for even more flavour and some cilantro and lime juice for a bit of brightness.

Top 25 Sandwich Recipes

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of sandwiches! A sandwich is defined as two or more slices of bread with one or more fillings and there are just so many possibilities! At this point I have shared well over a hundred sandwich recipes with you and it was about time to gather up the best of the best, nothing but the tastiest, the top 25 sandwich recipes on Closet Cooking!













































































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Still looking for more tasty sandwich recipes? Check out my Sandwich Pinterest Board

Or browse through all of the sandwich recipes on Closet Cooking.

Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa

Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa

One of my goto side dishes is a cheesy broccoli rice which is super easy to make and downright tasty. Ever since I discovered that quinoa can be a good substitute for rice in a lot of dishes I have been slowly remaking a lot of my favourite rice dishes with quinoa and it was time to try a cheesy broccoli quinoa. Well my intention was to make a cheesy broccoli quinoa but I really couldn't justify buying broccoli when I already had a bunch of zucchini in the fridge just waiting to be used in something and so I ended up making this cheesy zucchini quinoa. This side dish is just as easy to make as the original where you simply need to cook the quinoa and mix in the grated zucchini and cheese. Many different cheeses would work in this but I am rather partial to a nice sharp cheddar or gruyere.

Bacon Jam and Guacamole Quesadilla topped with a Fried Egg and Bacon Jam Vinaigrette Drizzle

Bacon Jam and Guacamole Quesadilla with Fried Egg with Bacon Jam Vinaigrette Drizzle

Thoughts of bacon jam have been haunting me ever since my first batch ran out a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it ran out long before I had finished using it in all of the things that I wanted to and I figured that that was the perfect excuse to make another batch! The next thing on my list to try were these quesadillas with bacon jam, guacamole and plenty of melted cheese. Despite the fact that the bacon jam is extremely versatile and can be used in a lot of different ways I seem to keep thinking of it in terms of breakfasts and it seemed only natural to top the quesadillas with a fried egg and have them for breakfast! I was thinking that the fried egg might be a little lonely sitting there on top of the quesadilla all by itself so I jazzed it up a bit with a drizzle of a bacon jam vinaigrette.