What’s that one change you know will significantly impact your well-being if you make it? Different people are bound to give different answers. Some will say it’s starting to exercise, while others will say it’s veganism. It’s also likely some will claim going organic to be the change they need in their lives.
Organic vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, and fish are simply better. Organic produce is bound to have little to no chemical residues in and on them because its producers are forbidden from using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Meanwhile, organic meats, fishes and seafood have little to no antibiotic residues or are unlikely to be a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Their producers cannot use antibiotics as prophylactics or growth-enhancing aids.
If you are ready to go organic, read on for a few vegetable recipes from Organic Foods & Café, an organic supermarket in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Remember to use organic ingredients in these recipes whenever possible.
1. Jarjeer Salad
This is essentially a rocket leaf and walnut tossed salad. To begin, prepare the ingredients.
- Rocket leaves or arugula, about two handfuls
- Walnuts, 1 oz
- Ruby onion, ½ pc
- Ripe lemon, 1 pc
- Sumac, 1 tbsp
- Virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
Clean the rocket leaves by immersing them in cold water. Lift them out, and drain the excess water with a salad spinner. Grind the walnut coarsely and cut the onion thinly. Juice the lemon, and set it aside.
Once all the ingredients have been prepared, assemble the salad.
Follow these steps to put the Jarjeer salad together.
- In a bowl, prepare the dressing. Mix the thin slices of onion with the sumac. Add the virgin olive and lemon juice and then the salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir the mixture and let it stand for at least 5 minutes.
- Put the dry rocket leaves in a large bowl. Add the coarsely ground walnuts.
- Add the dressing to the rocket and walnut mixture. Combine well but gently to ensure you don’t bruise the leaves.
- Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper according to taste.
- Taste. If the salad requires more brightness, add a bit more lemon juice.
2. Fattet Makdous
This is a savory, meat-stuffed eggplant dish. It has three components: roasted eggplants, meat stuffing and yogurt sauce.
To begin, prepare the ingredients.
Yogurt Sauce Ingredients
- Yogurt, 25.36 fl oz
- Water, 4.23 fl oz
- Tahini, 3 tbsp
- Lemon juice, 1 tsp
- Garlic, 1 clove, finely chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
Meat Filling Ingredients
- Lean ground lamb, 1.5 lbs
- Onions, 2 pcs, chopped
- Garlic, 1 clove, chopped
- Roasted pine nuts, 2.3 oz
- Clarified butter or olive oil, 1 tbsp
- Cilantro, 1 tbsp, finely chopped
- Pomegranate molasses, 2 tbsp
- A mixture of paprika, cumin and pepper, ½ tsp
Roasted Eggplant Ingredients
- Small eggplants, 8 pcs, around 5 oz each
- Canola oil for frying
- Tomato sauce, about 42.27 fl oz
- Lamb or veal stock, about 4.23 fl oz
Base and Garnish
- Fried pita chips, about ¾ lb
- Pomegranate seeds, about 2 oz
- Roasted pistachios, about 2 oz
- Roasted pine nuts, about 2 oz
- Cilantro, about ½ oz, finely chopped
- Espelette pepper, 1 tsp
Proceed once all the ingredients are ready.
Prepare the Yogurt Sauce
Combine the yogurt, water, tahini, lemon juice, and finely chopped garlic in a bowl. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix well and refrigerate.
Cook the Meat Stuffing
Put the clarified butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, chopped garlic and the paprika, cumin and pepper mixture. Cook until the onions are soft, but be careful not to burn the spices.
Add the ground lamb. Use a wooden spoon to break up the clumps to ensure an even cook. Once the meat has browned, add the roasted pine nuts, cilantro, and pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set the cooked meat filling aside.
Stuff and Roast the Eggplants
Follow these steps:
- Wash and pat the eggplants dry.
- Peel the eggplants with a vegetable peeler, but let a few strips of peel remain to hold the eggplant together as it cooks.
- Remove the stem ends and cut the eggplants vertically in half.
- Using a knife, make a few shallow cuts on the eggplants and then use a spoon to remove the center to make room for the stuffing. The eggplant centers you removed, you can use in another eggplant dish.
- Put a wire rack over a baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven, with the rack in the middle, to 392 °F.
- In a deep fryer, heat oil to 356 °F and then deep-fry three to four eggplants at a time for three minutes or until they look slightly golden. Remove from the oil, and let them drain and cool a bit on the wire rack.
- Stuff the fried eggplants with the meat filling. Set aside.
- Combine half the tomato sauce with the lamb or veal stock in a large baking dish.
- Arrange the fried and stuffed eggplants on the dish and put the remaining tomato sauce on top.
- Cover the eggplants with foil or the baking dish’s lid.
- Put the dish in the oven, and roast the stuffed eggplants for 30 minutes or until tender.
- Remove the foil cover or lid, and roast for another 10 minutes.
Put Everything Together
Once all three components of the dish are ready, you can begin assembly.
Get a large serving dish and put the pita chips at the bottom. Drizzle half of the yogurt sauce over the chips.
Next, carefully arrange the roasted and stuffed eggplants on top of the yogurt-drizzled pita chips and cover the eggplants with the remaining yogurt sauce.
Finally, sprinkle the pistachios, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and cilantro on top, then finish with the Espelette pepper.
Going Organic: The Responsible Choice
Going organic is one of the ways you can keep unwanted chemicals, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic residues out of your family’s diet. Additionally, going organic is the responsible thing to do. Organic fruits and vegetables, livestock, and fish farming generally have a positive environmental impact; at the very least, they typically place a lesser burden on the environment than conventional agriculture does.
Start your organic journey. Get some organic arugula, eggplants and other produce and follow the above recipes.