Growing up, my grandmother, or ‘yiayia’ in Greek, would always cook briam (br-ee-am). Classic Greek comfort food, especially during the colder months of the year.
It left me with time to experiment more in the kitchen during quarantine, where I have used the essential ingredients and concept of briam. Still, it made it super healthy and protein-filled to fuel you and your family throughout the day.
Essentially this is a baked vegetable casserole dish, the ingredients that I chose are a little different than the traditional approach, and I also add extra lean ground beef or turkey on top.
The ingredients I have chosen are incredibly dense in nutrients. Zucchini is packed with nutrients and has proven to improve digestion and slow the aging process. Eggplants are high in antioxidants and a great source of vitamin C and vitamin K. I chose sweet potato in this recipe instead of a traditional white potato, as sweet potatoes contain a rich source of fiber and a complex carbohydrate.
- 4 Zuccinni
- 2 Large Eggplants
- 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes (750 g)
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- 4 lbs your choice of extra lean protein (turkey, beef or chicken)
- Grated Cheese (Feta, Parmesan, or Old Cheddar) – optional for topping once the dish is complete
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Garlic Powder
- Preheat your oven to 400° F
- Wash all of the vegetables (eggplant and zucchini) thoroughly and slice them about 1cm in thickness.
- Peel your sweet potatoes and slice them about 1 cm in thickness as well
- Pour a bit of olive oil onto a large rectangular cooking dish and place the potato slices flat onto the surface.
- Layer the zucchini and eggplant in the same way, adding a bit of olive oil and all your seasonings along the way
- Finally, pour the entire can of diced tomatoes on top of the casserole.
- Top with the remainder of your olive oil and season to your desire
- Cover with aluminum tin foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, uncover and bake for another 30-40 minutes.
- While the vegetables are in the oven baking, you can cook your ground meat on a stovetop skillet and season accordingly. I usually add chili flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
Even though I use extra lean ground meat, I also strain the excess oil to make it even healthier. Once both your vegetables and meat are cooked! Serve and top your veggies with the ground meat or cheese, Enjoy!