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In keeping with our feature article, Healthy Mediterranean Nutrition, we have two Mediterranean recipes for you this month. The first is a Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole and the next is a vegetarian version of Classic Eggplant Moussaka.
Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced
1 cup dry bread crumbs, seasoned
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 large or 2 1/2 pounds eggplant, peeled and cut crosswise into 3/8" thick slices
- Prepare a cookie sheet with fat free cooking spray and set aside.
- Mix bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Beat egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Dip eggplant slices in egg whites, coat with seasoned bread crumbs.
- Place eggplant slices on prepared cookie sheet. You will have 2 different batches. Spray eggplant slices with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic. Cook until softened. Add oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook for one minute. Add tomatoes, increase heat to high and cook until thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil.
- Broil eggplant slices, 1 batch at a time for 3-5 minutes per side, until brown.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Layer eggplant slices in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with tomato mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake uncovered until cheese is bubbly, 10-15 minutes.
Classic Eggplant Moussaka
A sort of creamy Greek lasagna that serves a crowd - and freezes beautifully. This vegetarian version of the great Greek classic uses brown rice, grated cheese, currants, and seeds instead of meat for great taste and healthy nourishment. Enjoy!
3-4 large eggplants
Olive oil for frying
1 1/4 cups short-grain brown rice
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup dried currants
3 tablespoons grated cheese
1 recipe Bechamel sauce (see below)
- Cut each eggplant lengthwise into slices just under 1/2 inch thick. Place these in a container with plenty of water and sea salt-1 teaspoon sea salt to 1 pint of water. Allow them to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes to remove any bitterness. Rinse well, dry with paper towels and then fry them in olive oil until tender.
- Wash the rice well, cover by about 1 1/2 inches of cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes, onion and parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally. When the water has evaporated, remove from heat and add the seeds, nuts, currants, and grated cheese.
Make the Bechamel sauce:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
8 tablespoons butter
3 1/2-4 cups warm milk
1 whole egg and 5 yolks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 pound hard cheese, grated (preferably Kefalotyri, or if Kefalotyri isn't available, try Parmesan or Romano)
Place flour and butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until smooth. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. The sauce should be thick, but not solid (add a little milk if it gets too thick). Remove from heat and add egg, yolks, salt, pepper and cheese. Mix well and use immediately.
Source: Care2.com Adapted from Greek Vegetarian Cooking by Alkmini Chaitow (Inner Traditions, 1989).
Posted January 2010 | Permanent Link
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