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Eggplant can be quick and easy

29 Sep

Performing cooking demos for my classes requires quick and easy recipes that are tasty and healthy at the same time. My ultimate goal is to encourage my clients to eat more vegetables by showing them a variety of ways to prepare them.

I find the recipes and try them at home to see how long it takes to prepare them. Then, I have my 14 year old taste them. I have notice that most of the recipes he enjoys are successful with my clients. Recently, I have been trying eggplant in different recipes like eggplant parmesan, eggplant stalks, and roasted eggplants.  Eggplant can be prepared in so many ways, but my challenge is to find a quick recipe for my demos.

aubergine

aubergine

I like the overwhelming meaty texture of eggplant. Surprisingly to me, eggplant is a fruit and not a vegetable. It is a glossy purple fruit with an egg shape. It is a perennial plant but it is more commonly grown as an annual. Eggplant comes from the nightshade family of plants, with potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. In European and Middle Eastern cuisine, eggplant could be considered a delicacy with its comfort food flare.

While eggplants don’t have an overwhelming supply of any one nutrient, they do contain an impressive array of many vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, as well as vitamins C, K, B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and pantothenic acid. Recently, scientists have found eggplant to contain powerful antioxidant phenols, including the anthocyanin phytonutrient nasunin, which is important for neutralizing damaging free radicals in your body.

For my next program I will prepare an eggplant salad. Instead of cooking the eggplant in the oven I will prepare it in my electric skillet. Here is the recipe I will use:

CHICKPEA AND EGGPLANT SALAD

This mild flavored salad really celebrates the chickpea, which is an excellent source of fiber, protein and iron which is perfect for keeping our bodies energized on a busy schedule. YIELD 4 as a side, 2 as a meal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons
  • A good pour of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic-infused with olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Slivered almonds, to top then serve

Preparation

Cover the onion with water and set aside for half an hour—this reduces the harshness of its taste when eaten raw.

Next, prepare the eggplant. Spread the half-moon slices out on a baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Place on a high rack under the broiler for 5 minutes, then take out and brush again with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice—you can make it quite wet, as the eggplant will absorb all the liquid. Place back under the broiler until the edges of the slices are slightly blackened and the flesh is soft. Set aside in a large bowl.

On the same baking sheet, spread out the chickpeas and broil until they’re golden. Add them to the bowl of eggplant.

Dice the tomatoes into small cubes and add to the bowl along with the parsley, drained red onion slices, garlic oil, cayenne pepper, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper and mix well. Serve warm, with a sprinkling of slivered almonds.

Nutritional information

Calories 356, Carbohydrates 60 g (20%), Fat 8 g (12%), Protein 17 g (33%), Saturated Fat 1 g (4%), Sodium 427 mg (18%), Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g, Fiber 19 g (77%), Monounsaturated Fat 3 g

Recipe by AMELIA FREER JANUARY 2016 COOKS. NOURISH. GLOW

 

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