Judy E. Buss
Whether you live alone or with loved ones, nothing says “home sweet home” more than home cooking. Add to that healthy cooking and you will be richly rewarded, spending more time living your life enjoying vibrant health, and less time and money at the doctor’s office. Stews, made with fresh ingredients, served over cooked brown rice (or another whole grain), potatoes, sweet potatoes, or whole grain pasta, are among the easiest dishes to make. They are a cut above commercial, chemical-laden, processed, packaged or canned stews.
Stews cooked with fresh ingredients are brimming with nutrition, and offer better flavor, color, and texture. Flavoring stews with herbs and spices reduces the use of salt and fat. You can double the recipe and refrigerate the “leftover” for up to 3 days. Freezing is not recommended; some of the ingredients could undergo undesirable changes and even cosmetic surgery will not work to revive them…
Stews are chunkier than soups. They can be made from meat or seafood and vegetables, or different combinations of veggie medleys. When meatless vegetable stews include beans and served over whole grain, they provide complete protein without the cholesterol and fat content present in animal flesh. White rice, white pasta, and processed grains are practically devoid of nutrition and should be avoided.
Thickening stews is not necessary. However, if thickening is desired, include a potato in the stew, mash it or another vegetable and return it to the dish. Do not cook the stew longer than the recipe calls for. Vitamins and some of the other food compounds are fragile and will be rendered dead on arrival if subjected to prolonged cooking. When using dry herbs, add them to the stew in the beginning. Fresh (chopped) herb leaves should be mixed in at the end.
Cooking healthy cuisine changes the atmosphere in your home from “let’s-get-it-over-with” meals, into a nurturing, and health-boosting act! Presented below is an easy-to-make, lean, and scrumptious vegetable stew recipe. Enjoy!
1 small eggplant, (about 3/4 pound)
2 cups water
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
TO CUBE THE EGGPLANT: Wash and dry the eggplant and trim its stem-end. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Make parallel cuts, 1/2-inch apart in one direction through 3 slices at a time. Carefully rotate the 3 cut slices 90 degrees, and again make 1/2-inch apart parallel cuts through all 3 layers resulting in small cubes.
Place the cubed eggplant and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook about 12 minutes, until the eggplant begins to turn translucent.
Mix in the onion, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook 12 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oil and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from the stove and mix in the lemon juice.
“Mission Nutrition” Tips and Recipe from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
Excerpted from Judy E. Buss’ article, first published in the “Feeling Fit” Magazine, Sun Coast Media Group newspapers, Florida.
Stay tuned for more Judy E. Buss’ “Mission Nutrition” words of wisdom and recipes.