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Eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, bell peppers and

Eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, bell peppers and chickpeas simmer together with aromatic seasonings to make a hearty main course vegetable ragout. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLE RAGOUT

Serve over polenta or couscous.

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander

1 red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 1⁄2 pound eggplant, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomato

8 ounces zucchini, cut in 1-inch pieces

8 ounces yellow squash, cut in 1-inch pieces

10 ounces baby spinach

2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

 

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring 30 seconds. Add the oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander and red and green peppers and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add the eggplant, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until it no longer looks raw, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

2. Working in batches, add the spinach, stirring until wilted. Stir in the chickpeas and cook 2 minutes to heat through. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 262 calories, 12 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 577 mg sodium

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CLASSIC BEEF STEW

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut in 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped onion

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1⁄2 cup red wine

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

8 ounces baking potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

4 medium carrots, sliced

 

1. Combine the flour, salt, pepper and rosemary in a bowl; toss with beef until it is evenly coated.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 3 minutes until somewhat softened. Add the thyme and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet; add the beef and cook, turning occasionally, until the beef is browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushrooms.

4. Add the wine to the pan and stir, scraping up bits from the bottom; bring to a boil. Add broth, reduce to a gentle simmer, and stir in potatoes, carrots and beef mixture. Simmer, uncovered, until beef is tender and liquid is thickened, about 1 hour. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 295 calories, 24 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 497 mg sodium

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QUICK CHICKEN PAPRIKASH

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut in 1-inch pieces

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon paprika

1 1⁄2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

1⁄2 cup white wine

1⁄2 cup lite sour cream

 

1. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Melt the butter in the skillet; add the garlic, celery, carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is no longer visible; stir in the paprika. Add the broth and wine; bring to a boil, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 315 calories, 22 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 15 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 446 mg sodium

TIP: Stews freeze well and all may be easily reheated in the microwave or on the stove.

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