News & Events

October 30, 2021

Biblio Bistro: Feta, Garbanzo, and Eggplant Pita Sandwiches

This episode of Biblio Bistro features eggplant pita sandwiches, which highlights fresh eggplant and mint. Eggplant is usually available at Farmers Markets in mid-to-late summer through early fall. Mint is usually available at Farmers Markets throughout the summer.

 

Biblio Bistro Eggplant Pita R1

 

About Feta, Garbanzo, and Eggplant Pita Sandwiches

This Mediterranean-inspired dish is a creative way to try eggplant and is completely vegetarian! The lemon juice lightens this meal, while the feta adds some creaminess. Protein and fiber are plentiful with this dish, between the chickpeas, eggplant, and whole-grain pita (if using).

In total, this recipe was only $11.40 to prepare, or $1.90 per serving!

Healthy Eating Tips from Dietitian Meghan

  • Vegetarian-Friendly Option – This recipe is completely vegetarian and can easily be made vegan if the feta is left out. The protein content from this dish comes from the chickpeas and feta (if using).
  • Packed with Fiber – The dish is abundant in fiber between the chickpeas, eggplant, and whole-grain pita! 1 cup of raw eggplant contains about 3 grams of fiber alone! Current recommendations for daily fiber intake is at least 25 grams.
  • Eggplant –The skin of the eggplant is edible and contains much of the fiber found in eggplant. The skin can be bitter, so leaving it on vs. peeling comes down to personal preference.

Cooking Tips from Chef Michael

  • To safely cut an eggplant, the first step is to create a flat surface. To do this, remove the stem by slicing off horizontally. Lay the eggplant cut-side down (flat surface). If peeling, begin to slice along the contour of the eggplant. If you are uncomfortable with this method, you can also use a veggie peeler. Cut the eggplant length-wise into large “steaks”. To cut down on time, you can hold the eggplant steaks together, and begin slicing downwards to create smaller strips. This will speed up the dicing process. If uncomfortable with this, you can cut into small strips by sections of the eggplant vs. the entire eggplant all at once.
  • Eggplant is a veggie that tends to be more absorbent, which means it will generally soak up a lot of oil. If you need to cook other items in oil (like onions), cook those first so you don’t end up using an excessive amount of oil. It’s also a good idea to plan to use a little extra oil compared to what the recipe calls for in case the eggplant ends up absorbing more oil than anticipated.
  • Cumin is a unique flavor and tends to be rather bold. You may want to try a small amount sprinkled on something first before using in the dish, if you’ve never had it before.
  • Toasting the pita prior to eating is recommended! 😊

Farmers Markets in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula

Screen Shot 2021-10-30 at 10.00.22 PMFrom Calumet to L’Anse there are several great farmers markets in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Our friends at the Western U.P. Food Systems Collaborative have put together a great resource on this that gets updated regularly. Check out a full list of farmers markets here, wupfoodsystems.com/farmers-markets.

About Biblio Bistro

Biblio Bistory at Portage Lake District LibraryThe Biblio Bistro series strives to show that healthy cooking doesn’t have to be boring or laborious. Our goal is that by watching this series, participants can feel more confident and curious in the kitchen, all the while increasing fruit and veggie intake and supporting the local food system! Learn more about Biblio Bistro at pldl.org/biblio-bistro.

About Portage Health Foundation’s Food Initiative

PHF Food Initiative Logo Vert CMYKPortage Health Foundation is passionate about making a difference when it comes to food in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. PHF’s Food Initiative is two-fold. First, the food initiative aims to improve access to locally grown and healthful foods within our community. Second, it provides educational resources and tools to promote sustainable changes to eating and lifestyle habits for all. Learn more about this initiative at phfgive.org/food.