Palestinian Musaka’a

If there was a reason for me to consider vegetarianism, this would be it.

Unfortunately, pulled pork exists, so that’s not really an option. But hey, a girl can dream, right?

In all seriousness, I am a huge advocate for incorporating vegetable-based meals in your regularly scheduled dining. They’re low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol, and high in nutrients, fiber, and (when done right) deliciousness.

Yes, I do realize this advice is exactly the opposite of cheesecake brownies. But it does fall under my general motto of “If you’re going to eat it, it’s got to be the good stuff.”

Everything in moderation, and eat real food. That’s the secret to why I’m not a billion pounds. Well, that and hungry coworkers.

I’m also a huge fan of trying cuisine from different countries. So many flavor combinations and new ways to use the same old ingredients. Middle Eastern food isn’t something we have in spades here in Minnesota, but after tasting this dish, we should all jump on that bandwagon!

So head to your local farmer’s market and give yourself a pat on the back – your stomach is learning all about new cultures today.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium summer squash, sliced
  • 1 jar tomato sauce, or 4 cups of homemade sauce
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant together with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Directions:
  2. While the eggplant is roasting, slice the zucchini and summer squash. Rinse the chickpeas and stir the veggies and chickpeas together in a large bowl.
  3. Place the eggplant in a 9×13 inch baking dish and pour the zucchini, summer squash and chickpea mixture over it. Top the whole thing with tomato sauce.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbling through. Remove and serve hot or at room temperature.
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