We all know that adequate vegetable consumption is one of the cornerstones of a healthy diet, and recommendations to increase vegetable intake is part of most dietary guidelines. However, with time demands and confusion about food choices during menopause, many women still fail to get enough vegetables into them each day. In Australia, for example, only 1 in 10 adult Australians manage to meet the dietary vegetable target advice. [Blekkenhorst et al, 2018].
Increasing vegetable intake is widely recommended for reducing Cardiovascular disease risk, along with other chronic diseases, and for women moving from menopause into post-menopause, the evidence is clear that adding more vegetables to our diet is beneficial to our long-term health.
One of ways to achieve increased servings of vegetables is to make this Italian Vegetable Cacciatore. My daughter has adjusted the recipe to make it ‘MyMT™ Friendly’ and got the tick of approval from her carnivore partner. I hope you can give this a go and enjoy the wonderful health benefits. Add fish or chicken if you prefer or flatbreads. The choice is yours!
The MyMT™ KITCHEN: Italian Vegetable Cacciatore
Makes enough for three people as a side dish. If you want to make more, just double the ingredients.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 courgette, sliced into circle pieces
- 1 eggplant, sliced into circle pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 capsicum, chopped
- 1 can of tomatoes (or 4 large tomatoes)
- 1 tsp honey
- Plenty of salt and black pepper
- Serving suggestions: Falafels, flatbreads, rice or fish.
- Turn the oven onto 180 degrees Celsius.
- Cut the courgette and eggplant into thin slices (so they stay in a circle shape).
- Now you are going to layer the eggplant and courgette into a baking dish that has high sides. I used a round one, but you can easily use one with a different shape. Do one layer of eggplant, then one layer of courgette and keep going until all the vegetables are used (see image of raw veggies). Drizzle 1 – 2 tbsp of olive oil onto the veggies and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place into the oven to start the baking process.
- While the veggies are baking, prepare your tomato sauce. Place the olive oil, garlic, thyme and rosemary into a pot and fry on medium heat for 3 minutes (until fragrant but not burnt). Then add the capsicum and fry for a further 3 – 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add the can of tomatoes, honey salt and black pepper to the pot. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the tomato sauce from the stove and pour it on top of the courgettes and eggplant, making sure they are completely covered.
- Bake for a further 10 minutes (or until the tomato sauce has started to look baked/crispy.
- Remove from the oven and serve with fish, flatbread or a salad.
Blekkenhorst LC, Sim M, Bondonno CP, Bondonno NP, Ward NC, Prince RL, Devine A, Lewis JR, Hodgson JM. Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Specific Vegetable Types: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2018 May 11;10(5):595.