Tomato sauce

Eggplant, Tomaoto and Garbanzo Summer Stew – Lebanese Moussaka

mskaka

This is a delicious Middle Eastern vegetarian dish that should be eaten at room temperature and the flavor gets better over time. This desh can be served as a side dish or the main meal (makes a great on the go food).

Recipe:

2 long Japanese eggplants, approx ½ lbs. (or other if you don’t have)

Coconut oil or cold pressed Sunflower oil for frying

……

4 Tbs. coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced thin

1 ½ tsp. sea salt

1 Cup garbanzo beans that have already been soaked, cooked and drained

2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed

Instructions:

Peel the eggplant in strips as seen in photo, then cut into rounds about 1/2 inch. Next, lay out a paper towel on the counter and place eggplant on it, then generously sprinkle sea salt; this is done to remove excess water in the eggplant and it won’t absorb much oil when fried. Leave for about 30 minutes, then pat dry.

Fry eggplants on medium heat until golden, remove on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

mousakka

Meanwhile, sauté onions in oil on low until limp and golden. Add salt and garbanzo beans and heat for about a minute, and then add tomatoes; simmer covered for about 15 minutes.

Tthen arrange the fried eggplant over the top and cover again; simmer for another 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. If the sauce is too runny; gently boil uncovered until the excess liquid has evaporated.

When ready, add mashed garlic, carfully blend in, turn off heat, and cover pot for another 2 hours or more to let it cool to room temperature.

Notes:

You can either let it all mix together, or make a nice arrangement by carefully placing cooled eggplants on a serving dish first, then put the tomato sauce in between.

Eat with a side of white or brown rice.

This is a great lunch to take on the go packed in a cooler.

Stuffed Quinoa Squash

quinoa stuffed squash

Stuffed Quinoa Squash 

This stuffed squash came out great using quinoa instead of rice. I was always worried to try it, but I’m glad I did because there is not a very noticeable difference. This was a simple stuffed squash that is originally a Lebanese stuffed squash.

Basic Recipe:
½  Cup quinoa
¼ lb ground beef
1 small onion
2tsp salt

Instructions:

Scoop the inside of the squash out and save the insides for squash hummus or breakfast fritters (there is a special tool for coring that can be found at middle eastern stores).                                                                                                                                  Mix all together in a bowl, then stuff the squash 3/4 full. 
Pour water to cover and tomato paste or use tomato sauce and 1 tsp salt. Boil for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.

NOTE:

That is a very simple version. Parsley, mint or other Herbs and spices and tomato could be added to the mixture or sautéed garlic to the boiling water when it’s almost ready.

Quinoa Meatballs

 quinoa meatballs

Quinoa Meatballs                                                                                                                                              

 This is a recipe that I made by accident one day.

 Basic Recipe:                                                                                                                                                                     

½ part quinoa
½  part grass fed ground beef
Salt to taste
1 small chopped onion

*Optional; add lots of herbs and garlic for Italian style.

You can add spices and whatever else you like.

 Instructions:

Mix all in a bowl, roll into balls and cook (I did mine in a tomato sauce).

These cook fast about 20 minutes or longer if needed.  They should be firm. Make sure they are firm when rolling, if not, soak a little bit more quinoa in hot water for a few minutes, rinse well, then add to mixture.

NOTE:

*Quinoa should be soaked overnight then rinsed very well in a few changes of water the next day before use to get rid of the copper taste and help the digestion process while neutralizing the phytic acid.
 
The insides of the squash can be used to make breakfast fritters or squash hummus; another recipe to try with quinoa is  stuffed quinoa squash.