The word “vegetable” was first recorded in the English language in the early 15th century and was derived from the Medieval Latin word “vegetabilis”, which means 'growing, flourishing'.
Vegetables are part of our daily life with its everyday usage and eaten in a variety of ways, either raw or cooked. They play an important role in nutrition, as most vegetables are low in fat and calories but at the same time, bulky and filling.
They are an important source of dietary fibre and essential vitamins like vitamin A, K, C, E, and B6, minerals, trace elements and are also an important source of anti-oxidants.
Vegetables when included in the diet, have been found to remarkably reduce the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments.
Vegetable Recipe of the Day - The Vegetarian Moussaka
The English name for "moussaka" comes from Greek 'mousakás', which is derived from the Turkish 'musakka', which actually came from the Arabic word 'musaqqa‘ah (مسقعة)', meaning "chilled". Some even believe that the Arabs introduced moussaka in Greece, from where they brought the eggplant.
Moussaka is an eggplant (aubergine) or potato-based dish and often includes ground meat, in the cuisines of the countries of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variants.
The recipe here is simple and packed with lovely layered roasted vegetables and Feta cheese slices, then topped with yoghurt and Parmesan cheese.
|Potatoes (sliced)||2 large|
|Eggplant (sliced)||1 large|
|Onion (sliced)||1 large|
|Garlic (crushed)||2 cloves|
|Red peppers (deseeded, sliced)||2 pieces|
|Thyme (extra for garnish)||2 tbsp|
|Olive oil||4 tbsp|
|Cherry tomatoes (halved)||1 cup|
|Tomato puree||1 cup|
|Feta (sliced)||1 cup|
|Parmesan (grated)||1/2 cup|
|Zucchini (sliced)||1 piece|
|Salt & pepper||As required|
Method of Preparation:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Place the sliced potatoes in a roasting tray with the eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and peppers, then season the vegetables with salt & pepper.
- Sprinkle with thyme, drizzle with the olive oil and mix.
- Roast the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking process. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until tender and scorched at the edges. Remove from oven.
- Then for the next part of the cooking, reduce the oven to 160°C.
- To layer: Place half of the roasted vegetables in a casserole/ovenproof dish, then layer over half the tomato purée and all the Feta. Top with the remaining vegetables and tomato purée.
- In a bowl, mix the yoghurt, eggs and Parmesan until smooth and pour over the vegetables. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
- Make sure the yoghurt mix is firm before serving.
- Garnish with thyme leaves.