mediterranean stew

This stew has a good blend of flavors and textures. Serve over polenta, rice, or couscous.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained
1 Tbs. rosemary, chopped
1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

1. Heat oil in a large pan. Sauté onion and pepper until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, and eggplant. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is softened but not mushy, about 15 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, olives, garbanzo beans, and rosemary. Simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley. Makes


I tasted hummus for the first time when I moved to Los Angeles and began frequenting a local Middle Eastern restaurant known for huge rounds of pita bread, heaping platters of salad, and the three rambunctious brothers who owned the establishment. I’ve been hooked ever since.

2 15-oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbs. tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Place first five ingredients in a food processor and combine. Add olive oil while mixing until a smooth paste is achieved. Add salt to taste. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and serve as a dip for raw vegetables or with wedges of pita bread.

southwestern veggie salad

Southwestern Veggie Salad is a colorful side dish that’s perfect for a potluck or any occasion that calls for a quick recipe. You’ll make this salad again and again.

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 medium Vidalia or red onion, finely diced
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 15-oz. can corn, drained
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup picante sauce

Mix all ingredients together and chill. That’s it!

vegan moussaka II

vegan moussaka

vegan moussaka II

There are as many versions of moussaka recipes as there are vegetables to add to this hearty dish (see another version here). Some versions of this dish are made with potatoes instead of eggplant, and some add zucchini. In England, sometimes a layer of mashed potatoes is used on top instead of cheese. This vegan version is filling and delicious, especially when served with a chunk of crusty bread. It’s great for an early fall supper when the nights start getting cooler.

1/2 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bay leaf
Olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 14-oz can garbanzo beans
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated non-dairy cheese (optional)
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

1. Place lentils, stock, and bay leaf in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. While lentils are cooking, oil an 8″ x 8″ baking pan; set aside. Drain lentils and set aside.

2. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan. Slice the eggplant into 3/8-inch slices. Cook the slices until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Set slices aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. In the same saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sautè for about 5 minutes. Add lentils, mushrooms, garbanzos, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper.

4. Place half of the eggplant slices in the baking dish. Spoon half the lentil mixture over the slices. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and lentil mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is bubbling. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Variation: If you’re not a fan of non-dairy cheese, try the English version of moussaka and add a top layer of mashed potatoes before popping in the oven.

ceci bean salad

Ceci beans, a.k.a. garbanzo beans or chickpeas, are a great source of protein. More ceci bean trivia: according to Italian rules for vowels following the letter C, “ceci” is pronounced “chay-chee.”

1 14-oz can ceci (garbanzo) beans, drained
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped fine
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs. chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix and allow flavors to marry for an hour before serving.

italian vegetable stew

A chickpea is a garbanzo is a …cece bean, if you’re in Italy! Thanks to Sue for this stew recipe.

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 14-oz. can vegetable broth
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 16-oz. package frozen cut Italian green beans (or fresh)
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 15-oz. can cece beans (chickpeas)
Pinch of sugar

Sauté potatoes, onion, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until onion is transparent and soft. Add broth and cook for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, green beans, seasoning, salt, and pepper, and simmer over low heat. Cook 10 minutes, and then add cece beans and sugar. Simmer another 10 minutes, stir, and serve.

pasta salad with tofu

Baked tofu is a good way to incorporate isoflavones into our daily diet. It’s pre-cooked, pre-seasoned, and therefore instant (fast and easy), healthy food.

2 1/2 cups rotini pasta, cooked al dente and drained
15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
2 1/2-oz can sliced black olives, drained
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 oz. baked tofu, tomato-basil flavor, cubed
1/3 cup vinegar and oil salad dressing (or balsamic vinegar and olive oil combined)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix cooled pasta with remaining ingredients. Chill.