Healthy Recipes

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

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet with fat free cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Mix bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Beat egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Dip eggplant slices in egg whites, coat with seasoned bread crumbs.
  4. Place eggplant slices on prepared cookie sheet. You will have 2 different batches. Spray eggplant slices with cooking spray. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. Broil eggplant slices, 1 batch at a time for 3-5 minutes per side, until brown.
  7. 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.
  8. 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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  • Take one eggplant slice at a time and form a layer in an ovenproof 10 X 12 baking pan with half of the slices (they should cover the surface). The second layer should then be made with the rice mixture. Spread it gently and evenly. With the remaining eggplant, make another layer on top of the rice. Finally spread a thick layer of sauce on the top.

  • Place in a 425 degree oven and cook until the surface turns golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting into portions.
  • Serves 8-12.

    Adapted from Greek Vegetarian Cooking by Alkmini Chaitow (Inner Traditions, 1989).

    Posted January 2010 | Permanent Link

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