by Cara Oslager
Although summer is coming to a close…. and that really hurts to say…. it does NOT mean that your seasonal selections become slim! In NY, into September and October, there is still an abundance of fresh, seasonal, veggies that are healthy and delicious. This week, I chose to share two seasonal dishes that are quick and easy to make…. not to mention so great for you!
Watermelon Cool Down:
This beverage is a super refreshing, sweet drink that won’t put your calorie count over the edge. It is simple, as it only requires a few ingredients and it is packed with vital nutrients. I recently even read that watermelon juice cuts down on muscle soreness… read here
If you want the drink extra cold, add ice (this works better in a high powered blender but will work in other blenders as well… it just may be a bit more like a slushy).
4 cups of watermelon, deseeded and cut off the rind (chilled works best)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon diced mint
1/2 cup of ice (if you want the drink slushy-like)
Blend all ingredients together, best enjoyed right away!
I was inspired by the Soslu Patlican meze (appetizer) from Turquaz Grill, a wonderful little Turkish place in the back of town in Riverhead. If you ever get a chance to go, you should. The food is inexpensive and totally delicious. I used all fresh ingredients. You may substitute fresh tomatoes for canned in the off season!
1/2 small onion, diced
1-2 cloves (depending on size) garlic, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 medium size eggplant, peeled and diced
1 medium size green pepper, diced
2 cups tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 tsp. salt
4 basil leaves, julienned
1/4 cup kalamata olives, take out pit and chop
freshly ground pepper to taste
- Prep all ingredients.
- Heat olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and let cook until translucent. Then add tomato paste and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes constantly stirring as to not burn garlic.
- Add green pepper. Saute for 4 minutes.
- Add eggplant. Saute for 4 minutes.
- Pour diced tomatoes over top pepper onion mixture. Do not mix. Cover pan and let simmer for 10 minutes. After, begin to stir, adding in basil and kalamata olives. Stir for another 3-4 minutes until eggplant is tender.
- Serve hot over rice or pasta. Serve cold as a dip with pita or crostini.