Northwest NEWS

January 29,2001

Home & Garden

Green and Leafy

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Romanian Stew
   1/2 Spanish onion, diced
   1 large garlic clove, chopped
   1 medium white-skinned boiling potato, peeled and diced
   1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved and cut in 1-inch pieces
   1/4 medium head green cabbage, diced
   3 oz. white mushrooms, halved or quartered if 2 inches or larger
   1 bay leaf
   2 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
   1 medium celery rib, cut in 1-inch slices
   1 medium green bell pepper, diced
   1/2 medium cauliflower, in 12-13 large florets
   1/2 small unpeeled eggplant, diced
   1-1/2 c. shelled fresh lima beans, or frozen limas (not baby limas)
   1/4 c. coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
   4 oz. whole greenbeans, trimmed
   2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
   1 c. tomato juice
   Salt and ground pepper
   In a large Dutch oven, layer vegetables and seasonings in the following order: onion, garlic, white potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, bay leaf, carrots, celery, green pepper, cauliflower, eggplant, lima beans, parsley and string beans. Arrange tomatoes on top. Pour in tomato juice. Cover pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes.
   Uncover and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Or, cool completely and refrigerate. Reheat the stewbefore serving. This dish improves with sitting.
   Makes 12 servings.
  
   Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Strata
   3 large red bell peppers, halved and seeded
   3 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
   6 slices very firm whole wheat bread
   1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
   1 c. (4oz.) reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
   2 eggs
   2 egg whites
   1-1/2 c. 1% milk
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
   Heat oven to 40 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking oil spray.
   Arrange peppers, cut side down, on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until the peppers are soft and their skin is puffy in places. Place peppers in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside 20 to 30 minutes. Peel peppers.
   Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees. Spread 1/2 tsp. mustard on each slice of bread. Arrange 3 slices of bread to cover bottom of baking dish, cutting excess as needed. Cover bread with half the peppers.
   Squeeze excess water out of spinach and sprinkle half of it over peppers.
   Cover with half the shredded cheese. Repeat, using remaining peppers, spinach and cheese.
   Whisk eggs and whites together in a bowl. Whisk in milk, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over bread and vegetables.
   Bake strata 40 minutes or until eggs are set. Let sit 15 minutes. Cut in 6 rectangles and serve.
   Makes 6 servings.
  
   Stir-Fried Vegetables with Ginger and Garlic
   4 oz. fresh green beans
   2 carrots
   1 sweet red or yellow bell pepper, seeded
   1/2 small cauliflower, in small florets
   1 large broccoli stalk in small florets
   2 Tbsp. canola oil
   1 red onion, thinly sliced
   3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
   1 small Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced
   2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
   4 oz. sugar peas, topped and tailed
   1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
   1/2 Tbsp. Mirin (mild rice cooking wine)
   1/4 tsp. sugar
   Freshly ground pepper
   Slice beans and carrots on the diagonal. Cut pepper into 1-inch squares. In a large pot of boiling water, separately blanch beans , carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, just until tender-crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables from water to a colander and immediately rinse under cold running water to prevent further cooking. Drain thoroughly. Heat about 2 tsp. oil in heavy skillet or wok over medium heat. Add onion and 1 clove garlic, and stir fry 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggplant, some ginger, more garlic and stir fry briefly. Add peas and stir-fry 3 minutes longer, adding more oil if necessary. Add as many of the blanched vegetables, along with some of the garlic and ginger, as you can stir-fry at one time. If pan is full, transfer vegetables to baking dish and keep warm in an oven preheated to 250 degrees. Combine all vegetables in large serving bowl. In small bowl, mix together soy sauce, Mirin and sugar. Mix soy mixture into vegetables. Season to taste with pepper and serve.
   Makes 8 servings.
  
   Eggplant Ricotta
   2 small eggplants
   3 Tbsp. wheat bran
   1/2 tsp. dried oregano
   1/2 tsp. dried basil
   2 tsp. olive oil
   3/4 c. onion, finely chopped
   1 tsp. garlic, minced (may use less if desired)
   1 15-oz container non-fat rocotta cheese
   3 Tbsp. (about 2 oz,) low fat mozzarella cheese, grated
   Slice eggplants into thin circles. Salt lightly to help draw out excess moisture if desired. Arrange slices on cookie sheets that are lightly oiled or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 375 about 15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine bran, oregano and basil. When eggplant is done, sprinkle with bran mixture and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
   In a small saucepan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, stirring to prevent sticking and burning. Combine with cheeses in a medium bowl. Arrange half the eggplant slices n a 2-quart casserole or oblong pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with half the cheese-onion mixture, and spread half the tomato slices on top of this. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 covered, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Serve warm.
   Makes 4 servings.