Saturday, October 9, 2010

Low-Fat Caponata

While it was a small, oil soaked, and highly rewarding meal, I was left craving something healthy after my fried rice dinner. So, I turned to the ever-reliable VeganEpicurean for something to absolve me of my dietary sins. And it really did make me forget about the oily goodness of fried rice! Here’s what I did:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ fennel bulb, chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1 eggplant, diced small into small bite size pieces
  • 1 zucchini, diced small into small bite size pieces
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced into small bite size pieces
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/3 c. olives, chopped

Heat the pan with the water on high until it comes to a boil. Add the onions, garlic and fennel and cook, stirring often until they have begun to wilt.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the sugar and cook until the eggplant and zucchini have softened. If you want the caponata to be saucier add as much tomato sauce as you think is necessary. Next add sugar until the caponata is as sweet as you like. You want the caponata to have a sweet and sour flavor. Garnish with fresh parsley or torn basil leaves (if desired) and serve at room temperature or cold.

Comments: I was a little nervous at omitting oil from this recipe, as it is so traditional, but it actually worked fine! That said, I would probably use a tablespoon next time, and sub a cup of garbanzos for the pine nuts to get more protein. The nuts didn’t have much of a crunch, and felt like a waste. My picture isn’t great, but I ate this with quinoa the first day, and afterwards scooped up on crackers, for that added crunch.


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