Entries – recipes
6 bay leaves
2 sticks cinnamon
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 lb ground beef
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1 (28oz) can tomatoes, crushed
8 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup GF flour
4 cups milk, hot
4 eggs, beaten
3 large eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch -thick slices
2 medium zucchini
1 cup grated Kerry Gold or Gruyere cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For Meat Sauce
Heat 3 tbsp. oil and a bit of butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add beef and cook until all liquid evaporates and meat is browned. Add tomato paste, ground cinnamon to taste (don’t over do it) and cook until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, tomatoes, and 1 cup of water (boiled).
Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered partially, until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 15 min. Remove from heat, discard cinnamon and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Heat 3 tbsp. oil and a bit of butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and onion, and cook until soft, which takes about 5 minutes. Next, add the beef and cook until all the liquid evaporates, and the meat is browned. Now, mix in the tomato paste and a small amount of ground cinnamon, being cautious not to overdo it, and cook until the mixture is lightly caramelized, approximately 2 minutes. Add sugar, tomatoes, and 1 cup of boiled water.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the saucepan, and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, which should take about 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat, and discard the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Finally, season the dish with salt and pepper to taste, and set it aside.
Eggplant and Zucchini preparation
First, preheat your oven to 375°F. Then, heat an iron cast skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Grill the eggplant and zucchini slices in the skillet until they achieve a golden brown color. After cooking, transfer the grilled vegetables to paper towels to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the grilled eggplant and zucchini according to your taste preferences. Finally, set the seasoned eggplant and zucchini slices aside.
Spread 1/2 cup to 1 cup of béchamel sauce on the bottom of your baking dish and sprinkle it with a handful of shredded cheese. Place the eggplant over the sauce. Pour half of your meat sauce over the eggplant, then add another layer of eggplant and zucchini together, topping it with the rest of the meat sauce. Pour the remaining béchamel sauce over the meat sauce and sprinkle the dish with the remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown, which should take about 30-40 minutes.
Cinnamon: is a powerful antioxidant that possesses anti-inflammatory properties and exerts an anti-diabetic effect by lowering insulin resistance. Additionally, it aids in fighting bacterial and fungal infections and shows potential as a protective agent against cancer.
Eggplant: contains certain essential phyto nutrients which improve blood circulation and nourish the brain. It is rich in fiber, minerals, iron, and calcium. It is low in calories, with just 35 per cup. It contains no fat and its high fiber content can help you feel full.