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Category: Vegetarian Dish

I have been on a roasted vegetable kick lately and roasting all kinds of vegetables I haven’t before, like radishes!

My usual way of eating radishes is very “un-dietitian” like of me: I dip the halves in salt! So addicting.

I can blame my preceptor from my dietetic internship up in Prince George (Northern BC) for this addiction. She told me she stopped eating radishes because this was the only way she ate them, so naturally, I had to try it.  Don’t do it.

Roasted Radishes5 Upbeet

We all need some sodium – 1500mg sodium per day to be precise. That being said, on average Canadians get about 3400 mg per day! Reducing our intake to 2000 mg or less per day may help lower blood pressure and improve our over all health.

Roasted Radishes2 Upbeet

The transformation that takes place from raw to roasted vegetables in just a few simple steps is amazing. The colour, flavour, and smell of the vegetables are wonderful. My diet is chalked full of all kinds of roasted vegetables, but roasted fruit is new to me – it is just as wonderful! Eating the rinds of the oranges in this recipe seemed a little odd at first, but they get nice and soft and sweet. The orange rinds are actually my favourite part of this dish!

Raw fennel is not my thing, but when it is roasted it is so much more subtle and delicious. I can’t believe it is the same vegetable. Fennel has many health benefits as well which I mentioned in a previous post here.

IMG_20140421_112653

Do you ever get home from a long day at work, open a bottle of red wine and think  “….lets just order take-out  tonight” or “lets have cereal for dinner”?

Then this is the recipe for you! It’s fast, has simple ingredients (plus, you already have the wine open), and it’s just so darn tasty! There’s also just something simply wonderful about a steaming pot on the stove on a chilly autumn day.

 

masala flatbread 2

Us dietitians LOVE to get together and cook deliciously healthy food! The more recipes we have on hand to convince our clients that healthy food can be wonderfully tasty the better! So, UpBeet Nutrition and Wealth of Health teamed up (our idea of an exciting Saturday night ;) ) to make a popular traditional Trinidad dish, doubles!

masala flatbread 4

Doubles are a common street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a sandwich made with bara (flatbread) filled with chana (curried chickpeas). Toppings usually include mango, shadon beni (cilantro), cucumber, coconut, and tamarind. This dish is the most popular fast food in Trinidad and Tobago. It is usually eaten for breakfast, or sometimes lunch… although, we’d consider it more of a dinner food!

Eggplant Parmesan

4 COMMENTS

eggplant

Photo Credit creativecommons.org

I never used to buy eggplants because I didn’t know what to do them. Then I came across this recipe, and that changed in a hurry! I realized how much I love them and just how versatile they are. I love pan frying them or throwing them in stir fries, lasagna, casseroles and pasta sauce.  They absorb sauce well and take on all the delicious flavors and are a great vehicle for cheese! :) Traditionally eggplants are used in moussaka and baba ghanoush, two dishes I also love.

Some recipes call for you to salt the eggplant and let it sit for an hour (!!) to draw out bitter juices before cooking it. This is an extra step, I never do because 1. no one needs more salt in their diet and 2. it’s a pain in the butt, who has time for that?! Also, newer varieties of eggplant are less bitter than they used to be and if you buy smaller eggplants they likely won’t be bitter at all. I have never noticed a bitter taste either way, so don’t waste your time!

I always challenge people to try out new vegetables. I hear a lot of parents say “my kids don’t like vegetables” … once I do a little digging, I found out that they are being offered plain steamed broccoli or raw veggie sticks! These are great options, but won’t peak any child’s interest (unless you’re lucky!). So, I love to have recipes like this one (or this one) on hand to show parents that if you put a little effort into it kids will love vegetables just as much as me (…well that might be a stretch, but you get the idea).

Be creative, have fun in the kitchen and stop focusing all your time and effort on that meat dish. Spice up those veggies to make them the star of your meal, your heart (and your waist) will be very appreciative!

Enjoy! :)

eggplant-parm

Eggplant Parmesan

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant (I used a longer skinnier one, but fatter one work too)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
  • 5 wasa or ryvita crispbreads; ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in the blender (or crushed in a bag with a rolling pin), crush more as needed
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce w/ Italian flavoring
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (as you can see I just used whatever cheese I had)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, etc.)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice ends off of eggplant, and cut it lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Use a paper towel to blot eggplant slices on both sides (to remove excess moisture). Grease a large baking pan. Season crumbs with garlic powder, salt, pepper and additional Italian seasonings to taste. Coat eggplant slices on both sides — first with egg whites, and then with the seasoned crumbs.
  • Place slices flat on the baking pan, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Then, flip slices over and bake until browned on both sides (about 10 minutes longer). Remove pan from oven, but leave oven on.
  • Spread 1/4 cup of sauce over the bottom of an 8″ X 8″ baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Arrange half of the baked eggplant slices evenly over the sauce. Continue to layer ingredients evenly in this order: sauce (1/4 cup), mozzarella and parm  (half of each), sauce (1/4 cup), eggplant (remaining slices), sauce (1/4 cup), and cheeses (remaining amounts). Cover dish with foil and return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated throughout. Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into quarters.

**note: using the crisp breads is an easy way to make high fiber, tasty breadcrumbs, but traditional bread crumbs can be used instead

I love this recipe.

It’s perfect to make with friends on a Friday night — cheap, quick and easy so you have more time to catch up (and have a glass of wine), instead of focusing on a complicated recipe! Although, if you are planning to go out after, just be aware that you may smell like curry, we learned this the hard way!

This dahl also freezes really well. I separated the left over dahl into old yogurt containers, labelled them, and threw them in the freezer. The rice doesn’t freeze very well so keep a cooked grain on hand in the fridge — I always do this anyway.

These were so perfect to grab for a healthy, warm lunch on a cold winter day…apparently it’s spring in Prince George, but there’s 2 feet of snow on my deck so I call it winter still!

butternut squash dahl

Butternut Squash Dahl

Source: 2013 BC Dairy Association Milk Calender

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dried red lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced gingerroot
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Indian yellow curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 3-4 cups (750 mL) chopped peeled butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro (or green onions)
  • Garam masala
  • Greek Yogurt

Directions

  • Place lentils in a fine sieve and pick through to remove any stones or grit. Rinse well and drain; stir into broth and set aside.
  • In a large, deep saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; sauté onion for 3 min or until starting to soften. Add garlic, ginger, curry paste (to taste), salt and pepper; sauté for 2 min or until softened. Add lentils in broth, squash and milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.
  • Cover, leaving lid ajar, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 min or until squash and lentils are soft and tender. Remove from heat and mash lightly with a potato masher. Sprinkle with cilantro, yogurt and garam masala (if using). Serve with papadum, brown rice, or naan.


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