Set It and Forget It Vegetarian Slow-cooked Chickpea Curry

February 03, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Fine. I’ll admit it. I’m now a slow cooker convert. How do I know? Well, as I turned the dial on the cooker I said out loud to an empty kitchen, “Set it and forget it!” Somewhere in the world, Ron Pompeil’s ears perked up and he smiled.

There’s minimal prep to this dish – save some chopping of onions followed by a quick saute. Otherwise, you throw all the stuff in the crockpot, mix it all up and 6-8 hours later, you’re left with a spicy dish that’s interesting and delicious. Best of all, you can easily use organic ingredients. Supermarket shelves are now stocked with organic chickpeas and tomatoes. Grab a few cans next time you’re in the store and you’ll be able to whip up this dish any time you want.

Set It and Forget It Vegetarian Slow-cooked Chickpea Curry

by Megabeth

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt salt
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 15 oz cans chickpeas, washed and drained
  • 2 12 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Heat olive oil in saute pan on medium. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook until tender (about 5 minutes)

Add all ingredients, except garam masala, into slow cooker.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once ready to serve, add garam masala.

Vegetarian Russian Eggplant

January 30, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

This dish really surprised me. I, honestly, wasn’t expecting it to come out so good. This dish is all vegetable – eggplant, tomatoes and onions. When I stacked the ingredients casserole-style, I was convinced it would be suitable as just a side item…but then came the sour cream. Wow, did that that transform the dish.

I used fat fat free sour cream and it worked great. I’d almost think that the full fat version would overwhelm the dish and make you walk away from the table with an overly full stomach. (I hate it when that happens!) I also added a few extra steps from the original recipe which called for just adding raw sliced onions. I, instead, only used one onion instead of two but sauteed it in some olive oil and chopped herbs to add a little more depth to the flavor.

Finally, I was only able to taste one serving of eggplant as the rest was consumed heartily by my in-house taste tester. The next day, I was ready to eat the leftovers, and was faced only with the empty serving dish in the sink. I guess that was his implicit seal of approval.

Russian Eggplant

Adapted by Megabeth from AllRecipes

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 cups water (enough to cover eggplant slices in a bowl)
  • 3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (oregano, basil, thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • paprika to taste

In a bowl large enough to hold the sliced eggplant, combine the lemon juice and water. Place the eggplant slices into the lemon water to soak while you bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Drain and rinse the eggplant slices, then place them into the boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes, or until barely tender. Drain.

Saute onions in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add chopped herbs and a sprinkle or two of paprika. Cook onions until tender.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Layer the eggplant slices, tomatoes and onion in the dish, sprinkling each layer with a little flour as you go.

In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, garlic, salt and pepper.

Spread this over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle generously with paprika.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is nicely browned and there is a bubbly sauce.

Russian Eggplant

Russian Eggplant

Pecan-Stuffed Eggplant

September 17, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

This dish was featured in the September 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. It does take a little bit of time to make, not because it’s complicated, but there is some time to get some of the moisture out of the eggplant. You can skip the salting step if you’re short on time or watching your sodium. This is a very versitile recipe. Due to a walnut allergy in our house, I substituted them for pecans. I used panko instead of breadcrumbs and a whole tomato chopped up instead of grape tomatoes. Next time I make this, I may substitute the feta cheese with crumbled goat cheese.

When we sat down to eat this eggplant, we both declared we had never tasted something like this before. The cinnamon added a unique twist to what could have been another mundane stuffed zucchini recipe.

Pecan-Stuffed Eggplant
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

  • 3 medium eggplants (3 lbs)
  • 2 T plus 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions, diced (3 cups)
  • 1 tomato, diced (or 1/2 pt. grape tomatoes, halved (3 cups))
  • 3/4 cups roughly cut pecan pieces (or walnuts)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup panko (or whole wheat breadcrumbs)
  • 2/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • Lemon wedges, optional, for garnish

Halve eggplants lengthwise, and scoop out flesh and seeds, leaving 1/2-inch-thick edges on eggplants’ shells. Cut scooped-out flesh into 1/2-inch pieces, and set in acolander. Sprinkle eggplant pieces and inside of eggplant shells with salt. Let stand 25 to 30 minutes, or until beaded with moisture. Rinse eggplant shells and pieces in cold water, and pat dry. Bring large pot of slated water to a boil. Drop eggplant shells in water, and simmer 5 to 8 minutes, or until barely tender when pierced with fork. Drain in colander, cool, and pat dry.

Vegetarian Pecan-Stuffed Eggplant

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add eggplant pieces, tomatoes, pecans, cinnamon, oregano and 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 8 minutes, or until vegetables are softened and browned, stirring occasionally.

Vegetarian Pecan-Stuffed Eggplant

Preheat oven to a broil. Toss panko (breadcrumbs) with 4 tsp olive oil in bowl. Brush each eggplant shell with 1/2 teaspoon oil, and place cut-side up on baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes, or until tender and starting to brown. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.

Vegetarian Pecan-Stuffed Eggplant

Divide filling among eggplant shells. Sprinkle each stuffed eggplant with breadcrumb mixture, and top with feta cheese. Bake 35 minutes, or until heated through and browned on top. Serve with lemon wedges, if using.

Vegetarian Pecan-Stuffed Eggplant

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

July 04, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Main Dishes

The 2009 Tour de France has officially begun and so shall the vegetarian culinary tour! To start the tour, we are going to get crunchy, zesty and fried with these Spinach Parmesan Croquettes. (I wouldn’t, however, recommend eating these prior to attempting your individual time trial.)

If you have some precooked rice on hand, this recipe takes no time at all to make. And, as a bonus, you get to get your hands all goopy forming the croquettes into little cylinders. I was able to form 14 croquettes using this recipe below. We almost ate all of them in one sitting.

Spinach Parmesan Croquettes
Adapted from: The Best Vegetarian Recipes

  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup/8 oz frozen spinach, cooks and drained (or fresh, cooked and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups rice, cooked
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese and/or Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • canola oil for frying

Add oil to a pan and set to medium high heat. Add onions in oil until light golden and translucent. Add cooked rice, spinach, spices, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Add cheese.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Turn heat to low and add egg making sure that it doesn’t cook too quickly. Remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Once mixture is cool enough to handle with your hands. Crack two eggs in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add bread crumbs to another bowl. Form spinach mixture into small, cylindrical rolls.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Dip into egg mixture…

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

and then into breadcrumbs.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Place uncooked croquettes on a plate until all are breaded. (I placed mine on a sheet of parchment paper.)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with oil and turn heat to on medium high. Add croquettes into oil and fry until all sides become golden brown.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Place on plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Serve with a tomato sauce for dipping.

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