Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Midweek Meals: Healthy, Quick Mediterranean Vegetable Saute

Vegetables are amazing.  In looking up nutritional content for the ingredients for a midweek meal, I learned some very nifty things about what I was eating...

Eggplant - Is a fabulous "diet" veggie.  It's low in fat and calories, high in thyroid-supporting manganese and a good source of fiber.  Another interesting thing about eggplant?  It has more nicotine than any other edible plant!  Though you'd have to eat a bushel of eggplant before you reached the concentration of nicotine found in just one cigarette, so it's probably not the best idea to light one up, sorry.

Cauliflower - Considered a "nutritionally dense" food, cauliflower is a happy place to find vitamin C and a host of phytochemicals to fight cancer.  There are also studies that show it may work as a estrogen regulator (due to indole-3-carbinol) and glucosinolates that could help your liver detoxify.  Happy news for pub crawlers!

Chickpeas (garbanzos) - A nice low-fat source of protien and fiber.  Tossing a can of these precooked babies into your veggies gives your 29% of your protien in every serving.

Green (or French) beans - Great for your bones as they contain 25% of your vitamin K in each serving (helps fight osteoperosis), and a good amount of calcium.  Many sources believe that green food sources of calcium are betterfor the body then dairy sources, too, by the way!  I know my favorite clinical professor way back when I was in school as a bodywork therapist always paraded that theory.

In 2010 I'm making efforts to revive an old way of eating that worked really well for me, but I just got away from.  On the weekdays, I would focus on vegetarian and seafood meals only and enjoy meat only on the weekends.  I always felt like I had great energy when I followed this with care.  The problem came in when I was too busy to make proper meals and ended up eating potato chip dinners.  Bad, bad!  That's where having some nice pre-planned recipes that I love come in handy.  For me, it's motivational to know why the foods I'm preparing are good for me, too, so I've been doing my research!

Essentially, these recipes are going into a sort of food journal for me to improve my eating habits.  In doing so, I figured why not share them with all of you, too?  I'm planning to add some recipes that are based on fun healthy foods lists (if such a thing can be called fun?) such as the recent New York Times article on The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating (thanks to Cheryl for printing that out for me!).

So what do you think?  Would you like to see more recipes like this one?  What are some of your favorite healthy foods to include in weekday meals? 

Recipe: Healthy Quick Medditerrean Vegetable Sautè

What you need...

1 can chickpeas
3 cups chopped eggplant
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 pound whole fresh green beans
3 cups chopped cauliflower florets
2/3 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dry dill (or small bunch of chopped fresh)
1 tablespoon dry oregano (or small bunch chopped fresh)
1 tablespoon dry mint (or small bunch chopped fresh)
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 cup vegetable stock or water
Olive oil for sauteing
Salt and pepper to taste

What to do with it all...
  • Heat (on medium) enough olive oil in a large heavy bottom sautè pan to coat it
  • Add your onions and cauliflower florets and allow to sautè for 3 mins or until they get a fragrant
  • Add eggplant, red pepper and green beans and cook for another 5 - 8 minutes on medium, stirring occassionally
  • Add all the rest of your ingredients, toss/stir to combine and cook on medium-low until cauliflower is just fork tender (about 10 mins)
  • Serve over rice!


    1. yum, I just wrote a post about how I ate almost a whole head of cauliflower by myself the other night!

    2. Molly, I've been know to do the same thing! I'll have to check out your post now!

    3. I used to eat whole heads of broccoli for dinner when I lived in Japan and it was Summer. Sometimes you can't be bothered to cook for real.

      I love the image of smoking an aubergine by the way. And that aubergine is going to be the colour of my new kitchen!

    4. wow how healthy and very nicely arranged this is love the chick pea's sounds like something I would be able to eat healthy!!! and perfect for watching your weight at that!

    5. Your bog looks yummy... I think it is because of the weather, the slump of fresh vegetables that we start craving nutrient dense foods and end up eating whole head of cauliflower to ourselves!

    6. I'm all about the simple midweek meals; sometimes you just don't have time to make something complicated! And yes, I've been putting chickpeas in everything -- soups, stews, salads -- great thickener and makes things extra hearty!

    7. This sounds really yummy! I need to try this next week.

      P.S. Lovely pictures. As always :)

    8. @Mr. P - An aubergine kitchen?? Oh, you'll need a matching stand mixer!

      @pegasus - Yes, chickpeas rock my world :)

      @megan- Thank you! You're right, I think the cold makes us hunt down veggies and gorge!

      @denise - I find meals like this take the stress out of my evenings!

      @dhaleb - Thanks, much! A great compliment coming from a great photographer!

    9. I love chickpeas - they are my fav...I also love anything Mediterranean. Great pics :)

    10. very savory... and this is very healthy recipe...

    11. Mmm. This looks great, PLC. I'd add a handful of curry, but then I like it spicy... Thanks for a great post!

    12. @Sortachef - Just between you and me, I did add curry to this batch! It's just not included in my normal recipe ;)

      Thanks everybody!

    13. Great piece and I love the diagram. Congrats also on the top 9! Go over to my website I have something for you

    14. I love how you displayed this dish with the little tidbits of nutrition info. Very creative! This is my kind of meal. Beans, maybe a grain or two, vegetables, and bold spices. Quick, easy, nutritious and always satisfying. Looks great!

    15. Can't wait to try this; looks like it will make the kitchen smell wonderful too!

    16. Delicious! And a great gluten-free option. Thanks so much.


    Thanks for commenting - I'm always happy to hear from you!


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