By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

By adding chia to your side dishes, you can add the extra nutrients without affecting the flavor. Following are recipes for ratatouille and samosas to serve on the side.

Chia Ratatouille

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Elzbieta Sekowska]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Elzbieta Sekowska

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

1 eggplant

Salt, to taste

2 onions

3 garlic cloves

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

2 zucchinis

4 tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch thyme

1/2 cup vegetable stock

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons whole chia seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthways; then slice it into 1-inch chunks. Lay out all the pieces of eggplant and sprinkle them generously with salt; allow them to sit for at least an hour.

  3. Peel the onions and chop them in quarters and then into eight chunks. Peel and crush the garlic.

    Remove the stalks and seeds from the bell peppers and roughly chop into bite-size pieces. Wash and slice the zucchinis into 1-inch pieces.

  4. Cut X’s into the bottom of the tomatoes and dip them into a medium bowl of boiling water and leave for a couple minutes.

    Remove the skin and seeds from the tomatoes and roughly chop. Set aside.

  5. In a large ovenproof casserole dish or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 6 minutes.

  6. Wipe off any visible excess salt from the eggplant and add the eggplant to the casserole dish; cook for 2 minutes.

    Add the zucchinis to the dish and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and tomatoes to the dish and cook for another 2 minutes.

  7. Remove the woody stalks from the thyme and add it to the dish.

    Give everything a good stir, add the vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper, and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.

  8. Remove from the oven, add the chia, and stir well.

Per serving: Calories 115 (From Fat 43); Fat 5g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 302mg; Carbohydrate 17g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 3g.

Vegetable Samosas

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cilantro

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 teaspoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons water

5 mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced small

2 tablespoons sweet corn

2 tablespoons whole chia seeds

12 sheets phyllo per conventions pastry

2 tablespoons peanut oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix the tomato puree, garam masala, chili powder, ground cilantro, garlic, ginger, salt, yogurt, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, and water.

  3. Transfer everything from the bowl to a wok and cook over high heat for about 1 minute.

  4. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, and corn to the wok. Give everything a good stir and cook over low heat for 6 or 7 minutes, until everything is quite dry.

  5. Remove from the heat, add the chia, and stir well.

  6. Working quickly with the filo pastry and using a plate or saucer as a template, cut as many 5-inch rounds as possible from each sheet of pastry.

  7. Oil each round lightly and arrange 3 rounds on top of each other.

  8. Put about 1/8 of the vegetable mixture to one side of the pastry round and fold over the pastry in half to make a semicircle.

    Seal the edges by folding a tiny bit in from the edge so it doubles or triples itself; pinch down firmly. Brush the outside of the parcel lightly with oil.

  9. Repeat with the remaining 7 samosas. Transfer to the oven to bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Per serving: Calories 148 (From Fat 55); Fat 6g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 1mg; Sodium 183mg; Carbohydrate 20g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 4g.