Slow-cooked Eggplant and Potatoes

January 21, 2014 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe

12056351325_071c071fa5_b I totally sailed through preparation of this dish. I sliced the eggplants, potatoes and onions and then used my dicer-chopper device. I prepped all of the spices in a small bowl and just dumped them in. I also used pre-sliced jalepenos because, well, they were easy. The rice was thrown into the rice cooker when I uncovered the eggplant and it was done at the same time as the eggplant and potatoes.

A recipe note: I opted to use white pepper instead of chili powder because I’ve cooked a lot lately with chili powder and wanted to alter the flavor profile a little bit. Try it with chili power, I’m sure it will come out nicely!

Recipe: Slow-cooked Eggplant and Potatoes

By: Megabeth

Summary: A flavorful eggplant and potato dish with a blend of Indian spices


  • 1 medium eggplant, stem end removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice (approx. 10-12 cups)
  • 3 white new potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 jalepeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  • Combine everything but the salt and parsley into slow cooker.

slow cooker eggplant and potatoes

  • Cook on high for 2 hours. Stir once after about 45 minutes.
  • After 2 hours, cook uncovered on low for 30 minutes. (If the mixture does not have a lot of liquid, then leave the cover on.)
  • Add the salt and parsley. Serve over a fragrant rice such as basmati or jasmine.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s) 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 4


Eggplant Parmesan

December 29, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe

Eggplant Parmesean
Golden baked eggplant layered between four different types of cheese is not necessarily a diet dish but it’s comfort food at its finest. (To be honest, I did use a low-fat ricotta but its benefits were immediately cancelled out by the rest of the cheese.)

I made a roasted garlic pasta sauce the night before I made this. I’m glad I used it as it added a more homey flavor.

This eggplant parmesan was also much appreciated as lunch leftovers the next day.

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

Summary: Served with a homemade tomato sauce, this eggplant parmesan was divine!



  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Cooking spray


  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce (or use my roasted garlic pasta sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese


  • To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish.
  • Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish.
  • Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess.
  • Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesean

  • To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).
  • To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce.
  • Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  • Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina.

Eggplant Parmesean

  • Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina.
  • Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes



Vegetarian Vuelta a España: Pisto Machego Empanadas

September 10, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Snacks/Appetizers, Vegetarian Vuelta a España

Empanadas. If you stuff food into a pastry, I’m so totally there. The word “empanada” is derived from the Spanish verb empanar meaning “to wrap with bread”. Empanadas in Spain can either be made as small finger foods or similar to a pie that’s cut into slices.

These little savory pockets are so revered in Spain, that even a 12th century sculptor captured the food in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. From this carving, you could totally tell the upper crust really enjoyed their empanadas.


But, not everyone was allowed to enjoy them…in the same cathedral, these poor guys condemned to the pits of Hell forever tormented by not being able to eat their empanadas because of the leather straps around their necks.


I found many recipes for empanda dough but one thing remained the same – you have to really knead the dough. In fact, I came across this Galacian saying, ‘Making love and making dough for empanadas should never be rushed.’ Did Veggin’ just transfer from a PG to a PG-13 site with that? Uh, okay, moving on…

I put these empanadas together by adapting a couple of recipes. The pastry is almost biscuit-like when it puffs up in the heated oil. The filling is a traditional pisto a sort of Spanish ratatouille. The pisto recipe makes a lot, but don’t be afraid of freezing the leftovers to eat later. It goes well as a sandwich or thrown in an omelet.

Featured Recipes

Pisto Manchego Empanadas
Pisto in Authentic La Mancha Style from
Dough by Megabeth

Pisto Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Quality Spanish Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Eggplants, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Large Zucchinis, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, seeded and diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Large Ripe Tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 Teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Empanada Dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 egg


Directions for Pisto:

Heat the olive oil in a stew pot over medium heat. Saute the eggplant and onion together until the onion is translucent; about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers, and garlic. Saute slowly until all ingredients have softened.

Add tomatoes; stir.

Cover and cook on medium for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Set heat on low and allow to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding small amounts of water if necessary. The zucchini and eggplant should soften and break down and should form a lumpy mash. Add vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture cool slightly before moving on to make empanadas.

To make the dough:

Put all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in the shortening with two knives.

Whisk egg and vegetable stock. Then add into the flour mixture. Knead until you get a dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Flour a flat surface and roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 4-inch circles using a glass or a biscuit cutter. Place 1 Tablespoon of the pisto into the center of the circle (make sure you drain off some of the liquid before putting it on the dough).

Fold dough into a 1/2 circle. Press the edges together with your finger, then finish using a fork.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan (about a 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) to about 350 degrees. Place empanadas into oil and fry on each side for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown.

Vegetarian Giro d’Italia | Aubergine Caponata

June 19, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Giro d'Italia

Aubergine Caponata

Even though the Giro is over, I still have a few recipes left from Italy to feature. This Sicilian recipe, with Spanish origins, features eggplant which were first brought over to the island back to the ninth century.  It was introduced by people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia. Culinary scholars believe that using the eggplant in this fashion most likely dates back to the 1700’s and might possibly have been invented by a Spaniard on a ship that used the vinegar as a preservative.

The sweet and vinegary dish is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled. I’m usually a little hesitant to add celery because it tends to draw attention away from the rest of the dish. But, in this case, the sweetness counterbalanced that overbearing celery taste.

Aubergine Caponata
via Discover Italian Food

Ingredients for 4:

  • 1 eggplant/aubergines
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 plum tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • tender central sticks of a head of celery (about 3/4 cups once chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons of capers rinsed
  • 5 Tablespoons of green olives, pitted oil, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley


Wash the aubergines and cut into small cubes. Sprinkle with salt, and leave to drain in a colander for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Stir in the onion, and cook until soft. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes, and fry over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar and pepper.

Aubergine Caponata

Simmer until the sauce reduces, 10 minutes more. Blanch the celery sticks in boiling water until tender. Drain, and chop into 2 cm pieces.

Aubergine Caponata

Add to the sauce with the capers and olives.

Aubergine Caponata

Pat the aubergine cubes dry with paper towels. Heat the oil to 185 °C, and deep-fry the aubergine in batches until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Add the aubergine to the sauce. Stir gently and season. Stir in the parsley.

Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Aubergine Caponata

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