Food for thought

Freezing temperatures, snow squalls and ice are all reminders that winter is in full swing. After walking around in the cold all day, the last thing one wants is to go back out at night in even colder temperatures to find dinner at J Street.

Stews are great wintertime dinners. They are very thick soups that contain little liquid. They are fast and easy to make and are also quite filling and healthy. Stews are also good to warm up as leftovers. Here is a great low-fat recipe for vegetable stew. Beef or lamb can be browned in a pan and added also. This recipe will make four servings.

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 zucchini, cut into thin rounds

1 medium eggplant, diced finely

3 medium tomatoes, diced finely

2 large onions, chopped

4- 6 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

Basil leaves to taste (1/4-1/2 cup usually works well)

Salt and pepper to taste

On medium heat, add olive oil to a pan or skillet and saute the eggplant (and optional meats) until lightly browned, turning often. This should take about five minutes depending on the heat. Add onions, garlic and peppers and brown for about five minutes. Add half of the basil leaves, tomatoes and zucchini. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and stir occasionally until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Season with the remaining basil, salt and pepper.

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