August Super Food- Eggplant

For the month of August, let’s talk about the incredible, edible EGGplant:

  • Eggplant is considered a vegetable, but is actually a berry by it’s botanical definition. It is actually related to the potato and tomato plant families. It was first originated in India where it continues to grow wild to this day. Currently China is the world’s largest producer of Eggplant, follwed by India, Egypt, Turkey and Iran.
  • Eggplant overall is nutrient dense which is why it’s an excellent food to add bulk to your dishes without over doing it in the calorie department. In 1 cup of sliced eggplant you will consume 50 calories, < .5 grams of fat, ~450 mg of Potassium, 2 grams of protein and ~6 grams of fiber. Eggplants can help aid in digestion, aid in weight loss, and improve brain function.
  • Raw egg plant is bitter, however when cooked it becomes tender and has a richer flavor. Since eggplant absorbs well into other flavors of dishes, it can actually help to enhance the flavor of your dish. It is often used as a meat substitute in many vegan dishes.

Recipes

Eggplant Omelet

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2-4 eggs
  • Dash, seasoning salt

Directions

  1. Dice the eggplant into small pieces
  2. Heat the olive oil in small, non-stick skillet over medium heat
  3. Saute the eggplant pieces until they start to brown slightly. Add the onion and continue sauteeing until the eggplant is tender and the onion is translucent. Add the tomato and saute until the tomato is heated through
  4. Add 2 eggs per serving and scrambled with the vegetable mixture until well blended and the egg is cooked to your preferred level of done
  5. If you prefer, make an omelet with the eggs and fill it with the vegetable mixture before folding.
  6. Season with seasoned salt and/or pepper taste.

No- Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can no added salt crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon basil (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 ½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Chopped fresh basil for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared pans. Roast until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion; cook, stirring and crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, basil, oregano, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Combine ricotta and egg in a small bowl.
  5. Spread about 1 cup of the sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange ¼ of the eggplant slices over the tomato sauce. Dollop on about ⅓ cup of the ricotta mixture and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella. Make another layer with another ¼ of the eggplant slices, this time arranging them crosswise to the first layer. Top with 1 cup sauce, dollop on ⅓ cup ricotta mixture and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 2 more layers.
  6. Bake the lasagna, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbling around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 to 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.