The King of Vegetables and My Eggplant Caponata

As a child, eggplants were my least favorite vegetable, much to my mother's disappointment.  The only exception was Baba Ghannouj, a must at every Lebanese appetizer table.
You see, in the Middle East, the Eggplant is referred to as the King of Stuffed Vegetables due to its versatility and the large number recipes that feature this violet beauty.
When I was in my preteen years, I decided that every couple of weeks or so I would force my self to eat one food item that I did not like. When the eggplant's turn came around, it took a while, but slowly I grew to love that little bit of creamy bitterness it offers.  Soon my favorite recipes included 4 eggplant dishes... 1) Eggplant rounds pan-fried in olive oil and topped with a Spicy Tomato-Onion medley; 2) Eggplant stuffed with Rice, Lamb, Onions, Tomatoes and Spices; 3) Eggplant-Beef boats with Pine Nuts; and 4) Baba Ghannouj.
The recipe below calls for the Caponata to be served cold as an appetizer.  Since it is versatile, I have heated it up and spooned it over hot whole wheat couscous that has been cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, for a wonderful meal!

Recipe

Serves @ 10 as an appetizer
  • 2 lbs. organic Eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic White Onion, small diced
  • ½ c. organic Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c. organic Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and small diced)
  • ¼ c. organic Basil, fresh chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. organic Lemon, squeezed
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 small Green Chili, minced (opt.)
  • ¼ c. Green Olives, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 Head of Green leaf Lettuce
Sauté diced eggplant in olive oil until lightly browned; removed from pan. In the same pan, sauté onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for 2 minutes (vegetables should still have some texture, and garlic should not brown). Mix everything else together in a large bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Refrigerate overnight.
Serve a large scoop of pate over a bed of lettuce and surround with toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, or scoop onto whole wheat Tuscan bread that has a light smear of Vegenaise.

~ Buon Apetito!

Make it Fruity

I'm sifting through my Hot Weather recipes to gather them for reference in the upcoming weeks of Summer.  

Fruit is the main feature in a number of tasty meals I am planning for many reasons... its nutrition content, its ease of preparation, its tastiness and its cooling effect, not to mention the gorgeous colors it brings to our table.

I replaced the dairy I used to use with Tofu here.  It's possible to serve this without the topping, and just sprinkling the mint on the fruit.  Watermelon and grapes have high sugar content, so don't overdo those two fruits.  Also make sure you bananas are firm and a little on the green side, since they too are overly loaded with sugar when ripe.

 

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Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 c. seedless organic Red Grapes
  • 1 c. organic Strawberries, halved
  • 2 c. organic Soft Tofu, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. organic Mint, chopped

In a bowl combine Vegenaise, lemon juice, and Stevia; stir well and set aside.

In a large bowl combine fruit, and spoon into serving dishes. Mix Tofu with mint and divide among dishes. Serve with the dressing.

Enjoy!

To Fish or Not to Fish...

What's for Lunch?

salmon salad lunch
salmon salad lunch

Yesterday was a warm, sunny day...which put me in the mood for a cold lunch plate.

I made Hummus the day before, and had steamed cabbage with mint and garlic, so two features of my lunch were ready.

The little animal protein i eat comes mainly from fish... cold water, wild-caught fish...which, by the way, has less mercury and nasty stuff than Farm Raised or Atlantic.

Salmon is a favorite, and I am sure to have a couple of cans of Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon in my pantry for the time I am out of the fresh version.  So I decided to make my Salmon Salad to compliment the Hummus and cabbage.

Hoda's Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad
Salmon Salad
  • 2 cans wild caught Pink Salmon
  • 2 organic Celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 3 organic Green Onions, chopped fine
  • 1/4 c. organic flat leaf Parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Spicy Brown Mustard or Dijon
  • 2 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Flake the Salmon, and add rest of ingredients. Combine well in a medium bowl.

Serve over whole grain wheat-free toast or in a lettuce leaf, alongside avocado slices sprinkled with lemon juice.

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

Fruity Coleslaw

This is a refreshing warm weather salad.  It has good for you low-sugar fruits, and our cruciferous friend the green cabbage.  4 cups or 1 16 oz. package shredded green organic cabbage 2 carrots, grated or strips 1 Granny Smith organic apple, cut into matchsticks 1 just ripe organic pear,  cut into matchsticks 1 c. sliced organic strawberries 1/3 c. lemon juice 2 Tbs. Vegenaise 1 Tbs. Xylitol or 2 packets Stevia 2 tsp. poppy seeds 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. salt

Combinethe cabbage and fruit in a large bowl.  Whisk lemon juice and the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Pour dressing over slaw and toss gently.  Serve immediately.

Makes about 7 cups

~ Buon appetito!