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This traditional dish hails from Sicily, and it?s packed to the brim with scrumptious veggies. Eggplant and zucchini melt in your mouth after they?ve been baked to perfection, and the red pepper makes everything pop with color. To top it all off, we?ve got nutritious green and lentils tucked into warm pita, where all the flavors and nutrients can meld together in a warm pocket of Italian goodness. (Tip: Make a big batch and freeze them for a delectable home-cooked meal later.)
1 eggplant 1 zucchini « red pepper 4 garlic cloves 2 celery stalks 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 can no-salt diced tomatoes 2 teaspoons dried oregano « cup green lentils 2 teaspoons capers 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 4 whole wheat pitas Salt & pepper to taste ÿ ÿ
Produce Prep:ÿWash all the veggies. Remove the tough ends and stemsÿfrom the eggplant and zucchini. Chop each into bite-sized chunks. Remove the stem and seeds from the red pepper and chop into bite-sized chunks.ÿPeel and roughly chop the garlic. Dice the celery stalks. You will need 3 cooking dishesÿfor this recipe: 1 baking dish that can be covered with a lid or aluminum foil, 1 large frying pan orÿcast-iron skillet, and 1ÿsoup pot with a cover. Lay the eggplant, zucchiniÿand red pepper pieces on a baking dish or pan. Choose a pan that can hold the rest of the veggies later, and can be covered with a top or aluminum foil.ÿLine the pan withÿolive oil or parchment paper to prevent sticking. Broil the vegetablesÿfor 5 minutes or until lightly browned. In a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil or water, saute the dicedÿcelery stalks for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic, canned diced tomatoes, driedÿoregano and chili powder. Stir and heat for about 1 minute. Then, stir in the broiled eggplant, zucchini andÿred pepper. Transfer the veggie mixture to the back into baking dish with the parchment paperÿandÿbake the veggie mixture (covered) atÿÿ400øF/200øC. Bring water and green lentilsÿto a boil in a pot with a lid. (Your water measurement should be 2.5 times the lentilÿmeasurement.) Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, andÿsimmer for 20-30 minutes, or until water is absorbed and green lentils have softened.ÿAdd more water if needed. After 10 minutes of the green lentils cooking, add capers or olives and balsamic vinegarÿto the veggie mixture in the oven. Stir and return the pan to the oven.ÿThe veggies are done when they are soft throughout. When the green lentils and veggies are almost done, warm the pitas by wrapping them in aluminum foil and putting them in the oven. Pull them out when you?re ready to eat. Season the green lentils and veggies with salt and pepper to taste. Add optional ingredients, likeÿchili pepper flakes, now. Stuff the pita with the green lentils and veggies and enjoy!