(from "Canadian Living's (Alison Kent) The Vegetarian Collection")
Is your mouth watering like mine does everytime I see this photo?
That's because it's DELICIOUS!
This recipe takes quite awhile to make, however is sooo worth it in the end.
I made this while I was working on my Sally List inspired by Susan over At My Place to Yours.  Part of my list was to feed my neighbour & her husband dinners for 2 weeks after she had major surgery.  I did almost 2 weeks and then her sister was back in the picture and took care of her from there!  One item done on my Sally List!  Yay!

Onward to Mouthwatering Bliss

Eggplant & Spinach Lasagna

Prep: 1 hour, Stand: 40 minutes, Cook: 1-3/4 hours, Makes: 8 servings.

Ingredients
2 large eggplants (about 2-1/2lbs total)
1 tsp salt
12 lasagna noodles (I used the fresh ones you can buy at the deli section of grocery stores)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 bags (10oz each) fresh spinach, trimmed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 can whole tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano.

Peel eggplants; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Sprinkle both sides with salt.  Layer in colander; let stand for 30 minutes.

Tomato SauceMeanwhile, in saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic and hot pepper flakes, stirring until onion is softened, 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and oregano, breaking up with spoon; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes (or in my case with the fresh...a quick dunking for 1 minute!).  Drain and chill under cold water; drain.  Arrange in single layer between damp towels.

Press eggplant slices to firmly remove liquid.  Transfer to paper towels; let dry.  Brush with 2 Tbsp of the oil; place in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake in 450F oven, turning once, until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.  (I think this should be more like 15-20 minutes myself and watch them closely so they don't burn!)
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Pre-oven drying out.
Meanwhile, rinse spinach; shake off excess water.  In large pot, cook spinach, in batches, over medium heat, stirring once, until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Drain; squeeze out moisture.  Chop coarsely.  Mix spinach with remaining oil and pine nuts.

Mix together eggs, ricotta, 2 cups of the mozzarella, 1-1/4 cups of the Romano cheese, pepper and nutmeg.

Spread half of the tomato sauce in 13"x9" glass baking dish.  Top with one-third of the noodles in single layer, half of the spinach mixture, half of the cheese mixture, and half of the eggplant slices, overlapping if necessary; repeat noodle, spinach, cheese and eggplant layers once.  Top with remaining noodles and tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Romano cheeses.  (If not baking right away, let cool for 30 minutes; cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.  Add 10 minutes to covered baking time).

Cover loosely with foil; bake in 375F oven for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake until bubbly and cheese is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Wow right?!  Imagine this succulent bite heading towards your mouth!
Are yah hooked and trying this or what?
Don't forget to use the "Printable Version" below!
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Printable Version

Okra

11/12/2011

0 Comments

 
(transferred from previous "Health" tab...originally posted 2011/08/13)
_      We planted okra this year in our garden because Dan loves it, but I always thought it was rather....bitter...but it was delicious.  This was a WeightWatchers recipe and I promise, next time I make it...and I will....I'll put photos in to the cooking category (which I know has nothing in it yet...but I'm just getting warmed up with this blogging thing, don't yah know?!)  Here's the recipe and all the details about okra are under it!  Fabulous!

Roasted Okra
Points value: 1
Prep: 4 minutes - Cook: 10-15minutes

Purchase firm and brightly coloured okra pods that are less than 4 inches long; they will be more tender than the larger ones.

1-1/2 lbs okra pods
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Combine okra and next five ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well to coat.  Spread okra in a single layer on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until okra is crisp-tender.  Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size about 1 cup)
per serving: Cal 61 (35% from fat); Fat 2.4g (sat 0.3g); Pro 2.4g; Carb 9.1g; Fib 3.7g; Chol 0mg; Iron; 1mg; Sod 305mg; Calc 96mg.
(From WeightWatchers "five ingredient 15 minute cookbook"

____________________________________________________________________________

The world's most beautiful women, Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China loved to eat okra according to the history record.

Cleopatra of Egypt Yang Guifei of China When we visited the world's most productive land of okra in a rural area in Kami, Kochi Prefecture, Japan, the young and old all look very healthy. When we asked their secret in having good health in that area, they graciously answer “okra”.

Okra has a long history, with its beginnings in Egypt where it is cultivated before the time of Cleopatra. The okra plant spread to many parts of the world during the Atlantic slave trade. During World War II, the shortage of coffee beans made them use okra seeds as a substitute for coffee. This incident made the word “okra fever”. Since then, okra's popularity never disappeared from local markets to convenience stores throughout the world and throughout the year.

Nutritional Information Okra contains vitamins A and C and is a good source of iron and calcium. It also contains starch, fat, ash, thiamine and riboflavin. No wonder, Cleopatra and Yang Guifei maintained their beauties.

Health Benefits of Okra
  1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize the blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
  2. Okra's mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.
  3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra's mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most individuals unlike over-the-counter drugs.
  4. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.
  5. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
  6. Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
  7. Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  8. Okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.
  9. Okra is good for summer heat treatment.
  10. Okra is good for constipation.
  11. Okra is good in normalizing the blood sugar and cholesterol level.
  12. Okra is good for asthma. Okra's vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which curtail the development of asthma symptoms.
  13. Okra is good for atherosclerosis.
  14. Okra is believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer.
  15. Eating okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
  16. Some information shows that eating okra lowers the risk of cataracts.
  17. Okra is good for preventing diabetes.
  18. Okra protects you from pimples and maintains smooth and beautiful skin. We understand the reason why Cleopatra and Yang Guifei loved to eat okra.
There are other medicinal uses of okra, like its protection against trans fats.

I myself planted about 25 stems of okra in my backyard garden throughout the year for over 20 years now. I can pick up about 20 pieces of okra pod every morning. All okra pods are consumed by my family. There are hundreds of recipes that can be done. You can either: cut it raw and mix with vinegar and pepper; cut it raw and mix with mayonnaise; steam, cut, with mayonnaise dressing; or, cook with stew or soup.

Okra is easy to grow anywhere during summer season in cold countries and throughout the year in tropical areas. You can even plant it in a container garden at the terrace in condominium buildings.


For 1/2 cup sliced, cooked okra For 1 cup raw okra Calories – 25
Dietary Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 1.52 grams
Carbohydrates – 5.76 grams
Vitamin A – 460 IU
Vitamin C – 13.04 mg
Folic acid – 36.5 micrograms
Calcium – 50.4 mg
Iron – 0.4 mg
Potassium – 256.6 mg
Magnesium – 46 mg Calories – 33
Fiber – 3.2g
Total Fat – 0.1g
Protein – 2.0g
Carbohydrate – 7.6g
Vitamin A – 660 IU
Vitamin C – 21mg
Folate – 87.8mcg
Magnesium – 57mg

Inventor of PYRO-ENERGEN, the author, Mr. Takano himself picks up Okra in his backyard garden

To tell you the truth, I did not know that okra seed was used as a substitute for coffee beans during World War II. I have about 500 grams of okra seeds, so I roasted one-half of it using an iron cast pan, and pulverized it. I made okra coffee with it, and it tasted like real coffee although it was darker in color. When I offered the okra coffee to my staffs and visitors who did not know the real thing, they replied "Oh, you got a new blend of coffee, taste is good". I blended it with real coffee, too. It tastes all right. We do not know, however, what nutrients okra coffee gives.


About the Author: Junji Takano is a Japanese health researcher involved in investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases. In 1968, he invented PYRO-ENERGEN, the first electrostatic therapy device for electromedicine that effectively eradicates viral diseases, cancer, and diseases of unknown cause.
Click here to find out more: http://www.pyroenergen.com/about.htm
Free health newsletter: http://www.pyroenergen.com/newsletter.htm

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Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article within your website, blog, or newsletter as long as the entire article remains the same as well as the “About the Author” box.
 
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            If you love curry, you will certainly love this dish and it will quickly become a favourite, as it has in our household!

            We had a park trailer up north until a few years ago and friends of ours (Shelley and George) made this for me one night and gave me the recipe.  Since then, we haven't stopped making it!  (well...not every night silly!) 

            This is the best recipe for getting rid of all the food in your fridge that's leftover in the veggie, meat category.  All you need to have on hand is two cans of cream of mushroom soup, and some Patak's Mild Curry (we always add Thai Red Curry Paste too....cuz we like it HOT!).

         I'll give you the ingredients we had on hand last night for this, but you can switch it up to whatever you have, which is the beauty of this recipe!

Ingredients

Chicken, cubed & cooked
Red & Green Peppers, chopped
Onion, chopped
3-4 Garlic cloves, sliced thin
Mushroom pieces
2 cans Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
Patak's Mild Curry Paste
Thai Red Curry Paste (for heat, optional)
cauliflower, cut into small florets, blanched
broccoli, cut into small florets, blanched
1 cup or so of water
Cilantro
half of a lime

Basmati Rice

Cook the chicken, cubed with a sprinkle of salt & pepper, first and set aside.
Blanch the cauliflower and broccoli, drain and set aside.
Add some olive oil to the pot (we use a big cast iron dutch oven), but have used a cast frypan in the past) and             saute your red & green peppers, onion and garlic cloves.
Add in the mushroom pieces next and saute a little longer.
        (you want to saute the harder pieces of veggies first and add the more tender ones afterward)
At this point, scoop the cream of mushroom soup in...both cans and add about 1/2 cup water and stir.  The
        consistency should be like a thick gravy...add more water as required.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer.
Add in the chicken, broccoli and cauliflower at the end to warm them up.

            Your taste is completely personal in this dish.  Last night, for the first time, I added some lime and cilantro and loved it!  Don't forget to cook your rice alongside as you prepare this!  You can have this with chicken, pork, fish, beef....whatever you like and whatever veggies you have, whether they be cooked already (add at end to warm) or raw!  The flavour comes out as strong or as mild as you like and is always excellent!  Be sure to have bread on hand, especially if you make it spicy! 

            Thanks George & Shelley for an awesome recipe!


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PRINTABLE RECIPE
 
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    These were picked within one hour prior to cooking.  Truly, only pick the ones that are approx. 3-4 inches long....they are most tender.  When they get larger than that, they start to get woody.

Purchase firm and brightly coloured okra pods that are less than 4 inches long; they will be more tender than the larger ones.

Points value: 1
Prep: 4 minutes - Cook: 10-15minutes
Ingredients

1-1/2 lbs okra pods
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Combine okra and next five ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well to coat.  Spread okra in a single layer on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until okra is crisp-tender.  Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size about 1 cup)
per serving: Cal 61 (35% from fat); Fat 2.4g (sat 0.3g); Pro 2.4g; Carb 9.1g; Fib 3.7g; Chol 0mg; Iron; 1mg; Sod 305mg; Calc 96mg.
(From WeightWatchers "five ingredient 15 minute cookbook"

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PRINTABLE RECIPE