As more people become aware of the benefits of a plant-based diet, vegetables are taking a more prominent place at the dinner table in many households. Whether vegetables are served as a side dish or as the main course, they are a healthful, delicious part of any meal. Looking for ways to include more vegetables in your diet? See the suggestions below from Recipes Remembered, a publication of the Star Journal that highlights three decades of readers’ recipes.
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1 lg. eggplant
1 c. drained ricotta cheese
1 c. drained cottage cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (fresh grated)
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
2 c. prepared spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed
Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch disks (cut across, not the length of eggplant). You should get about 14 slices. Layer the disks in a colander, salt generously in between layers and leave for about 30 minutes. This process will sweat the bitterness out of eggplant. In the meantime, prepare a sauce by combining drained ricotta, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese (reserve some to sprinkle or just use more), basil, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic. Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a large skillet and spray with vegetable oil coating. Do not use butter or oil, because eggplant will absorb these. Brown eggplant slices lightly; may have to do two batches, seven at a time. In a 9 x 11-inch lightly buttered pan, put the first 6 or 7 eggplant disks, scooping 1 to 2 tablespoons of cheese sauce on each disk. Follow with the same amount of prepared spaghetti sauce and sprinkle on a little extra Parmesan cheese. Put the last eggplant disks on top of the ones in the pan and repeat the process. Bake, uncovered, at 350o for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until it all looks bubbly hot. Makes 2 to 3 servings.
African Sweet Potato Stew with Red Beans
2 tsp. olive oil
11/2 c. chopped onion, 1 garlic clove, minced
4 c. 1/2-inch cubed, peeled sweet potatoes
11/2 c. cooked sm. red beans (I use garbanzos)
11/2 c. broth
4.5-oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. grated, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 T. creamy peanut butter
1 T. chopped dry roasted peanuts
Heat oil. Add onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes. Place in slow cooker with sweet potatoes, red beans, broth, green chilies, red bell pepper, diced tomatoes, water, ginger, cumin and pepper. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until tender. Spoon 1 cup cooking liquid into small bowl. Add peanut butter, stir well with whisk. Add to stew. Top with peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.
Creole Vegetable Casserole
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
2 T. margarine
1 T. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1-lb. can tomatoes, whole
1 lb. short cut green beans
1 cooked med. size cauliflower, separated into pieces
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
Saute onions and green pepper in margarine. Add flour and salt, then tomatoes. Pour over beans and cooked cauliflower in an 8-inch Pyrex dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350o for 25 minutes.