This heartwarming veggie delight for Greek Style Braised Eggplant is cold-weather comfort food that takes your taste buds around the world! #KitchenTravel.
If you are looking for a vegetable power packed disk, look no further! The Greek Style Braised Eggplant is perfect for chillier months while still being incredibly healthy and tasty. This dish is very versatile as well, since it can be served as an appetizer with Italian bread, or as a side and main course depending on your crowd!
This plant based dish combines ingredients such as chickpeas, canned tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers that are sure to satisfy your Mediterranean cravings. Additionally, the chickpeas will help satiate as they are packed with protein! With the addition of garlic, turmeric and black pepper it will be a party in your mouth while providing your body with incredible anti-inflammatory benefits.
While this recipe has many delicious components, the real star is the addition of canned tomatoes. Not only do they add great flavor, but they also include plenty of nutrients! Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene, which gives the tomato its vibrant color; it is also great for your skin, heart health, decrease risk for cancer and lung health. Additionally, they provide essential antioxidants that have been found to positively impact hypertension. Research suggests that this is because fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of antioxidants that work together and create a powerful chain of antioxidants. That’s why we love canned tomatoes! They are rich in antioxidants, and contain lycopene in addition to other phytochemicals (like beta carotene) that can work together to prevent disease.
So, what are you waiting for? Try out this recipe for maximum flavor and health!
Yield: 6 servings
Greek Style Braised Eggplant
This heartwarming veggie delight is cold-weather comfort food that takes your taste buds around the world! #KitchenTravel.
Cook Time20 minutes
Prep Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour15 minutes
1 ½ lbs. eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
salt, as needed
¼ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and diced
1 carrot, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 dry bay leaves
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried oregano
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomato
2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained but reserve the canning liquid
parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Place the eggplant in a colander over the sink. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant and set it aside for 20 minutes. Rinse the eggplant with water and pat dry.
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe pan over medium high-heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper, and carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add in the garlic, bay leaves, paprika, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, and salt to taste. Continue cooking for 1 minute.
Add in the eggplant, tomatoes, chickpeas with reserved chickpea liquid. Mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover the pan and transfer it into the oven. Bake it for 45 minutes until the eggplant is very tender.
Remove the pan from the oven and uncover. Drizzle olive oil on top and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
For other delicious tomato-based recipes, check out some of our favorites:
Meatless Monday just got a whole lot tastier! If you are looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, this Vegetarian BBQ Walnut Meatloaf recipe is sure to impress any meatloaf lover.
Including more plant-based meals and foods in your diet is a great way to incorporate more vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients. For example, the lentils and walnuts present in this recipe provide protein and healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied. Plus, you won’t even miss the meat! One of the other key ingredients in this nutrient-packed meatloaf is canned diced tomatoes—another fan favorite food found in various dishes around the globe. The incorporation of canned tomatoes enhance the flavor and juiciness of the meal itself, making it something the whole family will enjoy. Since this dish contains canned tomatoes (which are a wonderful source of the antioxidant lycopene) and other vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, you have a great source of nutrients and protein for your next meal!
Not only is this meatloaf healthy and delicious, but it can be easily prepared in no time at all. The best part about this dish is that those who aren’t huge fans of mushrooms will be able to genuinely enjoy it because they are hidden. This goes to show that adding more plants to your diet is not as difficult as you may think it is!
Easy Mediterranean Artichoke Chickpea Bake from Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, for Tomato Wellness
This easy casserole bake can be whipped together in minutes! Plus, this completely plant-based (vegan) Easy Mediterranean Artichoke Chickpea Bake is based on foods you can keep on hand in your pantry: spelt (an ancient form of wheat kernels), canned chickpeas, canned marinated artichokes, marinara sauce, and olives. It’s savory, hearty and a one-dish meal. And with only 8 ingredients (not including pantry staples), this healthy, no-oil, no-salt, no-sugar whole foods, plant-based recipe is a cinch to turn to on your busiest nights of the weeks. With the Mediterranean flavors of chickpeas, ancient grains, artichokes, olives, tomatoes, and herbs, this recipe is powerful in flavor, and packed with important nutrients, such as plant protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Whip it up for a one-dish meal, and pack up the leftovers for work the next day. You can swap out the ingredients easily, too—try quinoa instead of spelt (which makes this recipe gluten-free), white beans instead of chickpeas, and green beans instead of peas, for example.
Yield: 6 servings
Easy Mediterranean Artichoke Chickpea Bake
This completely plant-based (vegan) Easy Mediterranean Artichoke Chickpea Bake is based on foods you can keep on hand in your pantry.
1 ½ cups cooked spelt (according to package directions)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained
1 12-ounce jar marinated artichokes, drained
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup olives, drained (i.e. Spanish, Kalamata)
½ cup marinara sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Mix all ingredients together and place in a medium casserole dish.
Place in oven, on top rack, uncovered, and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, until golden brown and heated through.
To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute a gluten-free grain (quinoa, sorghum, brown rice) for spelt.
Ratatouille with White Beans from Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, for Tomato Wellness
A harvest from your summer vegetable garden or trip to the farmers market—and rummage through the kitchen cupboard—never looked so delicious! With one large saucepan and a few simple ingredients, this mouthwatering plant-based Ratatouille with White Beans is sure to satisfy any hearty appetite. The classic tradition of ratatouille takes full advantage of summery, sunshine-loving vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. The roots of this dish come from 18th century France in the Provence and Nice area. This Mediterranean recipe follows along with the principle of “making something of nothing.” Essentially, you create cuisine out of all of the beautiful things that grow in the region during a particular season. And those vegetables when paired together create absolute magic, though this is considered a humble, plant-based dish. But the best things in life are simple, rustic, and unassuming. Such as ratatouille!
I’m a huge fan of this dish, as I live in a Mediterranean grown region myself. I always have an abundance of zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and herbs in my garden every summer. So, it’s a cinch to whip up this recipe a couple of times a month during the season. I added a flourish of pine nuts and a can of white beans to boost the nutrition value of this dish. It is essentially a one dish meal, balanced with protein, healthy carbs, and nutrients. Pair it with some crusty, whole grain bread.
Yield: 4 servings
Ratatouille with White Beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small eggplant, sliced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (may use 2 cups fresh, chopped tomatoes)
1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed well (or 2 cups cooked)
1/2 cup olives, drained
2 teaspoons fresh chopped or dried oregano
1/4 cup pine nuts
Salt to taste (optional)
Pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Add garlic, onion, zucchini, and eggplant, and sauté for about 8 minutes.
Add tomatoes, white beans, olives, and oregano, stir well, and cover.
Continue to cook for about 10 minutes (longer if using fresh tomatoes), stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, and mixture is thick and bubbly.
Season with salt (optional) and pepper to taste. Garnish with pine nuts.
I’m not Italian, but I aspire to be. This recipe for Penne Puttanesca has been tweaked and, I like to think, perfected over the course of a decade. We even searched for a better one in Italy and couldn’t find it. It’s quick, easy and the robust flavor will knock your socks off!
Puttanesca is a classic Italian sauce consisting of anchovies, tomatoes, olives, and capers, creating the perfect balance of salty and savory. Canned tomatoes are the star of this dish, providing bright color and flavor, as well as being a nutrition powerhouse. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, a cancer-fighting compound, as well as vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Plus, canned tomatoes actually have a higher lycopene content than fresh, as the cooking and canning process enhances the availability of the nutrient, making it easier for your body to absorb.
Switch up your pasta routine this week with this quick and easy Puttanesca Pasta. It's the perfect meal for any weeknight, and your family is sure to love it!
12-16 oz penne pasta
1/2 c high-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp anchovy paste
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried oregano
24-28 oz plum or diced tomatoes
1/2 c pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
2-3 tbsp capers, drained
1/4 c fresh, Italian parsley, chopped
Get your pasta water boiling.
Now start your sauce by putting high-quality extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan with red pepper flakes. Heat to medium heat and stir for about 2 minutes to infuse your oil.
Now add chopped garlic, dried oregano and anchovy paste (it’s not overwhelming, I promise). Mix well to get the paste dissolved and now add your tomatoes, along with Kalamata olives and capers. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
When your pasta is al dente, drain thoroughly. Pour pasta into sauce mixture and parsley. Mix and serve very hot.
Wowsers–so good! I like to serve with grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp on top. If you’re not feeling like pasta, it’s fantastic as a sauce over grilled chicken, pork or fish.
For other delicious pasta recipes, check out some of our favorites: