Over and over again I get requests from followers to publish recipes that are healthy for sufferers of diabetes. What many don't realise is that a healthy dish for the diabetic is what every person should adopt eating as part of a healthy lifestyle. Many of my recipes are diabetic friendly, and I am in the process of publishing a category specifically for that on my website.
NOW, just to clear any confusion, the Levantine moussaka has nothing to do with the Greek moussaka other than having aubergine as the star ingredient. But also, within the Arab cuisine, the preparation differs slightly from region to region, the traditional recipe calls for frying the aubergine but, I prefer to just layer all the ingredients without the need to add more calories which frying the aubergine would bring.
I have had many debates where people would claim that without frying the aubergine dishes are tasteless; I must disagree. When you opt to use aubergine as is, you end up with a light, soft, fluffy and delicate dish packed with nutritional goodness for the body and you can eat heaps of it without leaving the stomach to suffer. This dish is truly super healthy and super diabetic friendly.
WHY you may ask is it super healthy?? Keep reading……
· I want to highlight how nutritious chickpeas are. Yes, we should eat it more often as it is rich in minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron and folate which helps form new cells. A perfect natural supplement for pregnant women…so ladies, if you are expecting, please eat more of it. It is also high in vitamin Bs, has a low GI which helps regulate blood sugar, a good source of fuel, fibre which maintains a healthy gut and regularity, and protein (although it lacks the amino acids found in meat), so a squeeze of lemon helps the body absorb them better. Although chickpeas are not low in calories, they promote the feeling of being full, and in return reduce one's appetite. Everything in moderation is okay.
· Peppers are over 90% water and at 20 calories per 100g grams with vitamin C content higher than that contained in oranges.
· Tomatoes too are 95% water and at 18 calories per 100g, packed with vitamin C and K and rich in anti-oxidants.
· Apart from being delicious, aubergines are healthy and packed with vitamin C, K and B6. They are also loaded with dietary fibres, antioxidants and minerals which are essential for regulating the gut and blood sugar.
Incorporating Aubergine into a calorie-controlled diet is excellent as it is considerably low in calories. 100 g equals around 25 calories only, so get cooking. I love Aubergine so if you are a fan too you may be interested in these recipes: Mutabal, Mediterranean vegetable and beef stew, vegetarian maqloubeh, Damascene tabakh rouho, spicy quima and aubergine cooler, rolled kufta aubergine fatteh, smokey Indian spiced aubergine dip and basically learn the easiest way to grill aubergine.
At 160 Calories per portion, I can eat half the pot and not feel guilty. My favorite way of eating this is with a chapati wrap, hummus and a lot of lettuce.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour 20 minutes
baking: 1 hour
700 grams eggplant, peeled and sliced 2 cm discs
1-kilogram fresh tomato, sliced 1 cm discs
2 sliced onions
9 sliced garlic cloves
3 bell pepper, sliced 1 cm discs
1-2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tin cooked chickpea
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
· Preheat oven to 180 C fan setting.
· Peel the aubergine in an alternating mode where part of the skin is still there.
· Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent then add the tomato paste and fry for further minute then add ½ cup water, bring to the boil and season with salt and pepper.
· Place a layer of aubergine in an oven proof casserole dish then add a layer of peppers, season with salt and add a layer of sliced tomatoes and again season with salt. Repeat the process making a second layer.
· Scatter the cooked chickpeas as seen in the video and pour in the fried onion sauce.
· Cover with foil and bake for 3/4 hour or so until cooked. Adjust the salt and bake uncovered for a further 15 to 25 minutes.
· Use this as an appetiser or a main dish with brown rice or an accompaniment to a summer BBQ.
· The dish can be prepared in a shallow pot on the fire.
· For best flavour eat it cold.
· Store in an airtight container for up to five days.
Per Serving: 160 Calories; 4g Fat (19.6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 43mg Sodium.