Posts Tagged With: fruits and vegetables

The Traveling Foody – Crispy Eggplant and Portobello Mushroom and Cheese Sandwiches

Welcome Foody fans and travelers.  A few Traveling Foody family members have been Island hoping in Hawaii.  Well, some of us are enjoying our time in the test kitchen.  The weather has been stormy here in Seattle.  What a perfect ambiance for cooking in the test kitchen.  Here is a nice Italian recipe to share with the people you love.  Enjoy.


Crispy Eggplant and Portobello Mushroom and Cheese Sandwiches


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Four 1/2-inch-thick eggplant slices (1/2 a medium eggplant)
  • Four 4-inch diameter Portobello mushrooms, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional
  • Four 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices country wheat bread, toasted or grilled
  • 3/4 cup jarred tomato-basil sauce
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups arugula


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray 2 heavy baking sheets with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with silicon baking mats. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper. Place the eggs in another medium bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a third medium bowl. Toss the eggplant slices and mushrooms in the flour mixture to coat. Working in batches, dip the eggplant slices and mushrooms first in the eggs and then into the breadcrumbs to coat. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, if using, and roast until brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread each slice of bread with 2 tablespoons of tomato-basil sauce. Place the mushrooms on top. Add 1/4 cup of cheese and 1/2 cup of arugula. Place the eggplant slices on top. Spoon 1 tablespoon of tomato-basil sauce on top of the eggplant. Repeat for the remaining sandwiches and serve.

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Good day to all!  Welcome to this week’s The Traveling Foody blog.  It’s Amer I “can” not Amer I “can’t.”  Why am I talking this way?   Well, today many of us American’s are celebrating the adoption of our independence.  With the invention of the internet we are able to share what this day means to us and to other nations.  It’s an awesome feeling to be free and be able to open up and share knowledge and culture between people from all nations.  I like to invite all our travelers and Foody lovers all over the globe to celebrate with us the joy each other’s stories and recipes which will bring all of us closer together.  I must add that I am grateful for my life on this beautiful earth and being able to share this earth with you, my family and friends.


North American food is as diverse as the land. In recent years North America has seen more sustainable farms popping up and pushing away from corporate and government subsidized farming.  People are willing to pay a little more for quality local foods.  The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries brought to light an influx of immigrants who developed a rich assortment of food preparation throughout the region.  From the Pacific coast to the Atlantic, North America has been a melting pot of cultures.  The vast rich farmland of North America provides people the perfect conditions for farming various fruits, grains, vegetables, and livestock.  The Pacific and Atlantic oceans also provide people with bountiful treats from the sea.  The combination of the North American topography and culture will astound the traveler.  North American cuisine will continue to fuse new and old traditions.

I would like to share with you some strange facts about food and about America.  Included in this week’s blog are recipes from the North American section of my book, Around the World in 80 Recipes.  Thank you to my good friends, Ben and Rachel Shelton, for letting us use their kitchen and for the beautiful photos they were able to capture for the book.

You can purchase the book at  For more information on upcoming books visit


Strange facts:

Apple rock!  Why?  They are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

There were 57 varieties of pickles Heinz ketchup produced.  Now you know why there is a 57 on the bottle.

Wrigley’s gum was the first product to have a bar code.

Charles Jung invented the fortune cookie in 1918 in America.

If you chew gum while peeling onions you shouldn’t tear up.

California and Arizona produce 95% of America’s entire lemon crop.

In the American Civil War, acorns were used as a substitute for coffee.


Grilled Salmon

Serves 6


  • 1 ½ lbs salmon fillet
  • lemon pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil



Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt.  In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved.  Place fish in a large sealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill for medium heat.  Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.



Crock Pot Bison Chili


  • 2 ½ cups dry red kidney beans (soaked overnight in 2 quarts of water)
  • 4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onion (2 medium)
  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 1 can diced plum tomatoes (28 oz – 796 ml. size)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (23 oz – 680 ml. size)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (5.5 oz – 156 ml. size)
  • 1 teaspoon salt



Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and set aside.

Put vegetable oil in large saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat, add onions and sauté for 2 minutes.  Sprinkle in set aside spices, stir to combine with onions.  Let sizzle for a minute or two, or until the aroma from cooking spices becomes quite noticeable.

Immediately add the ground bison.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the meat has completely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Transfer saucepan contents to the crock pot.  Drain the kidney beans.

Add kidney beans to the crock pot along with the plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.  Sprinkle in salt.  Stir to combine all ingredients.

Cover and set on high heat.  Serve in a bowl.
For light red kidney beans, cook the chili a minimum of 8 ½ hours; for dark red kidney beans no less than 10 hours is required.

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Going to Market

I hope that everyone is having a grand week so far.  Last weekend was a very exciting weekend for The Traveling Foody Crew.  We started filming various locations around Seattle, Washington for our Youtube channel.  One of our favorite filming moments was at the farmers’ market. The University market to be specific.  The University District farmers’ market is said to be one of the largest and oldest “farmers-only” market in Seattle and is open all year around.  We met with so many producers and representatives and sampled some of the best products.  What I like about going to the farmers market is being able to connect with the producers and being able to talk about how and where the products are being produced. Plus, we take out the middleman and give our money directly to the farmer or the producer.

There are more farmers’ markets popping up all over the America and around the globe.  Not only are these farmers’ markets hot spots for locals but for travelers of all types.  An excellent farmers’ market consists of a snapshot of the region and informs the customers on what is going on with the animals and plant life and their conditions.  A draw to these markets is the social aspect where many of the markets have speakers and booths with information on their community and sustainability within.

If you have a chance on your travels to visit the local farmers’ market then you should venture out and experience what the region is producing.  I know for my family a visit to the farmers’ market makes our cooking and eating experience more enjoyable. I like to leave you with a few recipes we like to make using products from our local farmers’ market.


Below like to leave you with a farmers’ market finder link for the United States.


Don’t forget to check out my book Around the World in 80 Recipes.  And please let your family and friends know about it.  You can purchase it paperback or Kindle.  More information can be found on our “Books” page on our website at


Strawberry Soup

Serves 4


  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ¼ to ½ cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup crème fraîche
  • ¼ cup light cream



Rinse the berries and then remove their caps.  Transfer the berries into a blender.  Add the sugar, juice and crème fraîche and blend until the berries are finely chopped. Add the cream and purée.  Transfer into a glass bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate overnight. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a bit more lime juice, if needed.  Serve chilled.


Braised Baby Bok Choy with Celery and Ginger


  • 8 clusters baby bok choy
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • ½ cup celery, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • ½ cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce



In a pan large enough to hold the bok choy in one layer, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the celery and onion and cook for several minutes.  Add the ginger and cook until the ginger becomes fragrant.  Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the baby bok choy clusters in a single layer.  Simmer over medium low heat for 5 minutes, and then turn the clusters over.  Simmer for another 5 minutes, and then turn again.  Simmer for another 5 minutes, turn and sprinkle soy sauce over the bok choy.  Serve hot.


Cucumber Soup with Mint


  • 2 ¼ cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup plain yogurt, I use a thicker full-fat variety like Brown Cow
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup mint
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil



Place cucumbers and garlic in food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add yogurt, vinegar, salt and a few cracks of black pepper and combine.  Chop the mint and add. Stir in the olive oil. Chill for at least a half hour.


-Damien- The Traveling Foody

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I hope everyone is having a fantastic week so far.  The gang at The Traveling Foody is gearing up to finally start filming this weekend.  We will be filming at the Magnolia and University Farmers Market in Seattle, Wa.  We look forward to sharing our ventures with you via The Traveling Foody Youtube page.

This week is about the leftovers.  I was reading about the report from last week that was produced by the UN food and Agriculture Organism that 1/3 of the food produced for Human consumption is wasted each year.  In the report the organization talks about the different regions and how the waste occurs in each region.  The report also talks about how the regions might be able to solve these issues.  Now I know that some of you might be thinking that reports have some issues with reporting data and other various factors that might not have been accounted for.  I know in my past I have wasted and have seen other countries waste food.  I have seen produce be thrown away due to lack of infrastructure with transporting the food in developing countries.  In North America I have seen markets throw their old produce away due to the rise in prices and people are not willing to pay.  Bottom line is setting up better ways of not wasting.

Now that we got you all thinking and probably a little irate, let’s move on to some cool tips for our leftovers.


  • Seed spices can be planted and grown
  • Seeds from your potatoes, peppers, apples, onions and various fruits and vegetables can be planets and grown.
  • Fresh herbs and spices and be planted and grown after seeding.

Leftover meals:

  • Leftover backed potatoes can be used with garlic and onion for some yummy hash browns.
  • Leftover beef, vegetable and chicken broth can be frozen and used later on.
  • Leftover pasta and rice can be used with your leftover broths for a quick meal.
  • Stale breads can be used with oil and garlic baking at 400 degrees until brown to make yummy croutons.
  • “If you have any” leftover bacon you can use it for soups, beans, salads and much more.
  • I Ziploc and freeze many items from my garden for the winter months.
  • Canning is a wonderful way to preserve your food.

There are many options for preserving and utilizing leftover food that is both fun and exciting to do.  These are just a few tips to think about.

Remember that we should always be exploring Earths great paradise.

-Damien – The Traveling Foody.

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