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Vegetarian Moussaka

By Ann C Wooledge
on August 02, 2016

Vegetarian Moussaka 

 

This blog post was originally posted in October 2012. We haven't had a garden for the past few years, but this year's garden has been amazingly bountiful. I looked at the amount of eggplants "coming on" and I was trying to figure out all of my options other than giving a lot away - which we have and will - but this recipe came to mind this morning. When I originally made it, Warren and I both were in love with it. This is my eggplant section of the garden. Not bragging, just feeling very blessed and enjoying planting and seeing things grow this year.

organically grown eggplant, lincoln, ne

My recipe records show that I first tried this recipe on July 7th, 2008, and that it was “really good!!” The recipe was adapted from “The Best Ever Vegetarian” published by Parragon Publishing, copyright 2003. I say all that because I don’t see authors listed which is interesting, and there are several other cookbooks with the same name. It is spiral bound, which I particularly like, and I have found this to be a useful guide. I like to scan the recipes and then I can write notes on the printed pages and put it in our family book of recipes.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be “meatless” and you can substitute approximately 12 oz of lamb to make it a truly traditional moussaka. You could also make it vegan by using a nut milk and cheese substitute. The original recipe called for a 10-1/2 oz can of green lentils. I didn’t use the lentils and if I had, I would have cooked my own since they are so easy. It would, of course, add some protein and make it an even healthier meal.

Ingredients:

Approximately ½ cup olive oil

1 onion chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

14 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of cinnamon and paprika

Salt and pepper

1 large fresh eggplant, sliced

Topping:

2 tbsp butter

2-1/2  tbsp brown rice flour

1-1/4 cup organic milk or milk substitute

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup (divided into ½ cup each) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in skillet and add the onion and cook until softened. Add the celery, garlic, the tomatoes and juice from the tomatoes, and the chopped parsley. Add the lentils here if you use them. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover this mixture and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until thickened.

2.  Meanwhile, heat a little of the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the eggplant slices, in batches, if necessary, and cook until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as necessary. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Eggplant has a tendency to soak up a lot of oil, so be sure to drain these well. Layer an ovenproof dish with the tomato mixture and the eggplant slices, ending up with a layer of eggplant. I actually used a 9 x 13 inch pan and was able to place one layer of the eggplant and one layer of the tomatoes. So – the size of your pan obviously will determine how many layers you will end up with. There is a cook’s tip that says to prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil during cooking, salt it first. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 20 minutes to let them dry out. In the “olden days” we would salt eggplant to prevent bitterness, but the newer varieties are without that bitterness.

3.  Topping: To make the topping, put the butter, flour, and milk into a pan and bring to a boil over low heat, whisking constantly. Season to taste with nutmeg, ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool slightly, then beat in the egg. Pour the sauce over the eggplants, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup parmesan cheese, and bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

This evening I’m thinking about using zucchini rather than eggplant, which of course, will make it something entirely different than a moussaka, but I think it will still taste good. I also think I'll add the lentils this time - red ones probably because that's what I have the most of. Let me know if you try this!

 

Thanks for listening!

 

ann wooledge, aromatherapist, holistic health practitioner, herbalist, soapmaker, health and wellness blogger

Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health and nutrition. Ann is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

 

GREEN RED ENERGY JUICE RECIPE

By Ann C Wooledge
on January 11, 2016

Morning Energy Juice Recipe Ingredients:

3 to 4 carrots -  tops removed, ends trimmed, scrubbed well, not peeled.
1 cucumber peeled
1/2 to 1 beet, scrubbed, may include stems and 1 to 2 leaves*
1/2 lemon (unpeeled if organic), seeds removed
1 inch finger ginger root, scrubbed or peeled if old.
4 stalks celery
1 apple (not peeled but seeds removed)
1 orange (peeled or not is optional and only use unpeeled if organic)
Kale, spinach, cilantro, parsley or any l
eafy greens of your choice (a handful) - my daughter loves to use fresh wheatgrass and I would too if I had any available. 


We do highly recommend that you use organic produce whenever possible. We have some new stores here in town that sell organic produce at very reasonable prices. I think this is true of most towns and cities these days. 

Cut produce to fit your juicers feed tube. Juice all ingredients and stir. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible. Serves 1 to 2

*We love the bright red color of the beet juice and the flavor, but other members of our family absolutely do not like the taste of beets in any shape or form, so this is an optional ingredient, but does add a lot of additional nutritional value.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE PULP?

I love to make crackers out of the pulp with a few additions. See that recipe here. Pulp leftover from juicing also makes an excellent addition to your compost pile. Here are more ways to use that nutritious pulp. 

This is my favorite, quick, classic juice recipe that is adapted from the classic book on juicing, Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life, Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets. by Cherie Calbom, M.S. Cherie also wrote Juicing for Life. The name of the recipe certainly is true. Nothing can give you quite the energy lift like a fresh raw unpasteurized juice such as this. If I have a long list of "things to do", I make this juice rather than sitting down to a breakfast of eggs and fake bacon.

Let me know if you try this or any variation of it - and how you liked it, if it made you feel energetic and healthy.

Thanks for listening!

ann wooledge, rn, ccap, certified aromatherapist, nutritional health and wellness coach

Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health, nutrition and skin care. Ann was a Critical Care Registered Nurse, is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

See our disclaimer statements here.

 

Raw chocolate coconut energy bars

By Ann C Wooledge
on July 18, 2013
4 comments

Raw Chocolate Coconut Seed and Nut Energy Bars


 

Warren and I have been on a sugar-free, gluten-free, and as raw as possible quest since November 2011 when Candida became a huge problem in our household. We've learned a lot and have come up with some pretty neat recipes and I think this goes into our file of keepers. I've been trying to make decent energy bars since 2011 and haven't been very successful. I couldn't think of a way to keep everything together without baking or using the ubiquitous agave nectar. 

Problem solved! I've recently discovered a very cool product called "Coconut Manna". It is available (from what I can tell) only from Nutiva and the first time I tried a spoonful I was hooked. They seem to run out of it quickly once they get it back in stock - so I'm not the only one who thinks it's a great product. I bought two jars this time!! I won't go into details about what this product is, but it is NOT considered raw and on their website they tell you why. So this recipe is not totally raw - just wanted to let you know that if you are really strict about being 100% raw. Check out their website for the details about this coconut manna. These are so easy and take only a minimal amount of time to make.

RECIPE:

1/4 cup raw organic sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw organic hemp seeds (also available from Nutiva)
1/4 cup raw organic pecans
1/4 cup raw organic walnuts
3/4 cup coconut manna (Nutiva)
1 tbsp cocoa - or raw cacao nibs
1 tsp vanilla extract
sweetener of choice and to taste - I used 2 packets of Nu-Stevia

Measure out all of your nuts and seeds. Preferably they should be soaked for at least 2 hours or longer. I always forget to soak mine but am trying to do better. Now measuring out the coconut manna can be an issue depending on time of year and temperature in your house. It is a hard solid and requires some effort in the winter time here in Nebraska, but this summer it is a gooey liquid that can be scooped up. It tends to separate like natural peanut butter and you have to mix it together - not really a big deal, but just to let you know. Warm it only enough to melt it so it can be stirred - not over 110 degrees preferably.  Add the cocoa to the manna along with the vanilla and then blend this with the nut/seed mixture. Spread evenly in a non-stick pan. I still spray the pan with coconut oil. Place in freezer. Once firm they can be kept in the refrigerator.

Now these bars will melt outside in warm weather and if you can think of a way to keep this from happening, I would love to hear from you. I like to just break off a little piece if I'm feeling hungry but not ready to eat a meal. The nutritional analysis of this recipe is impressive and with no sugar, no gluten, vegan and mostly raw. This is also a very good recipe for anyone suffering (and they DO suffer) from a Candida or yeast issue.

Let me know if you try it!

Thanks for listening!

 

 

Vegetarian Moussaka - Meatless Monday, October 15, 2012

By Ann C Wooledge
on October 15, 2012
1 comment

Meatless Monday - Vegetarian Moussaka

 

My recipe records show that I first tried this recipe on July 7th, 2008, and that it was “really good!!” The recipe was adapted from “The Best Ever Vegetarian” published by Parragon Publishing, copyright 2003. I say all that because I don’t see authors listed which is interesting, and there are several other cookbooks with the same name. It is spiral bound, which I particularly like, and I have found this to be a useful guide. I like to scan the recipes and then I can write notes on the printed pages and put it in our family book of recipes.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be “meatless” and you can substitute approximately 12 oz of lamb to make it a truly traditional moussaka. The original recipe called for a 10-1/2 oz can of green lentils. I didn’t use the lentils and if I had, I would have cooked my own since they are so easy. It would, of course, add some protein and make it an even healthier meal.

Ingredients:

Approximately ½ cup olive oil

1 onion chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

14 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of cinnamon and paprika

Salt and pepper

1 large fresh eggplant, sliced

Topping:

2 tbsp butter

2-1/2  tbsp brown rice flour

1-1/4 cup organic milk or milk substitute

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup (divided into ½ cup each) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in skillet and add the onion and cook until softened. Add the celery, garlic, the tomatoes and juice from the tomatoes, and the chopped parsley. Add the lentils here if you use them. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover this mixture and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until thickened.

2.  Meanwhile, heat a little of the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the eggplant slices, in batches, if necessary, and cook until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as necessary. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Eggplant has a tendency to soak up a lot of oil, so be sure to drain these well. Layer an ovenproof dish with the tomato mixture and the eggplant slices, ending up with a layer of eggplant. I actually used a 9 x 13 inch pan and was able to place one layer of the eggplant and one layer of the tomatoes. So – the size of your pan obviously will determine how many layers you will end up with. There is a cook’s tip that says to prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil during cooking, salt it first. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 20 minutes to let them dry out. In the “olden days” we would salt eggplant to prevent bitterness, but the newer varieties are without that bitterness.

3.  Topping: To make the topping, put the butter, flour, and milk into a pan and bring to a boil over low heat, whisking constantly. Season to taste with nutmeg, ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool slightly, then beat in the egg. Pour the sauce over the eggplants, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup parmesan cheese, and bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

This evening I’m thinking about using zucchini rather than eggplant, which of course, will make it something entirely different than a moussaka, but I think it will still taste good. I also think I'll add the lentils this time - red ones probably because that's what I have the most of. Let me know if you try this!

 

Thanks for listening!

 

 

Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health and nutrition. Ann is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

 

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