Making a Vegetarian Meal from the Garden

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Mixtures of vegetables do not need to be boring. How about marinating vegetables and encasing them in a flavorful dough?  Seasoning is a key to create an interest.

I have the tendency to call vegetables encased in dough a Beggar’s Purse. I am not sure if there is a proper name for these dishes, but you do find this idea for a dish around the world. My original conception was to make this dish as a steamed dumpling that had a sauce inside the dumpling with vegetables. One time I made this same dish fried. Last night I changed my procedure to baking, since I had another meal to bake. The dough is different, but the concept is the same: dough encasing vegetables with a sauce.
baby eggplants
    For the dough, I always make it simple. There are wonderful doughs and machines to work those doughs  that can help you make something fantastic, but when you have the children running around, who has time for such extravagances. When steaming or frying, the dough is a variation on a pasta dough: flour; egg, oil, and seasoning. I usually take about a quarter of a cup of oil, with one egg, and two cups of flour. If the mixture is too dry, I may add more oil or a dash of water. The seasoning is often just salt and pepper, but I have added turmeric or other spices. When baking, the dough has flour, oil, water, and seasonings. I mix the oil and flour first, then add a little water till the dough comes together. When baking, I do like to add ground nuts for flavoring. To make forming the purse easier when baking, I use a muffin tin. The dough is pressed against the walls of the muffin tin. For steaming or frying, I roll out rough rounds, but I do like to use a tortilla press to obtain an even thickness quickly.
    The vegetables depend upon what is in season. With the drought, my garden has not been producing too heavily. I took my on bell pepper for the first layer. I diced it, and mixed the pepper with vinegar and oil. I pressed this into the base of the tin. On top of this layer, I sliced eggplants which were were mixed with a tomato sauce that had garlic. On top of this layer came the sliced onions. Finally, I placed sliced squash that had been mixed with a beaten egg and herbs. The top of the muffin depressions were covered by more dough, but you need to leave a hole for the steam.
    This was baked in the oven. I did this at a setting of 350F for forty minutes. I wanted the crust to brown. I pulled out the pan when done, setting on my cook top to cool. After twenty minutes, I placed a cutting board on top of the pan. I flipped the pan, and my muffins/beggar’s purses where ready to serve. These where big muffins. I served this with a salad.
     You might think that everything mixes together. In my steam or fried versions I use one sauce or flavor element. The peppers had marinated for ten minutes. This made them quite distinctive from the tomato sauce above them. The onions acted as a barrier for the egg and herb mixture, so this dish had separate layers. The family enjoyed this meal. If you wanted to add meat that is fine. Since I had a few different vegetables from the garden, his turned out to be a good way to show them off. The onions had been in storage, but they were from my garden. If I wanted fresh onions, I could have used the green onions, which are doing quite well. I felt that I could say this meal was accepted, since the children asked for it again.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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