Nutritional Eggplant Recipes


Low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol

High in Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper

GRILLED EGGPLANT PANINI

Grilled eggplant is one of life's simpler pleasures. Look for medium-size, purple eggplants with firm skins and no mushy spots.

2 Tbsp (30 mL) reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh basil

2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

8 1/2-inch slices eggplant, (about 1 small)

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) garlic salt

8 slices whole-grain country bread

8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese

1/3 Cup (80 mL) sliced jarred roasted red peppers

4 thin slices red onion

Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine mayonnaise and basil in a small bowl. Using 1 tablespoon oil, lightly brush both sides of eggplant and sprinkle each slice with garlic salt. With the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, brush one side of each slice of bread.

Grill the eggplant for 6 minutes, turn with a spatula, top with cheese, and continue grilling until the cheese is melted and the eggplant is tender, about 4 minutes more. Toast the bread on the grill, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

To assemble sandwiches: Spread basil mayonnaise on four slices of bread. Top with the cheesy eggplant, red peppers, onion and the remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and serve warm.


EGGPLANT PARMESAN

2 eggplants, (about 2 pounds total)

3 egg whites

3 Tbsp (30 mL) water

1 Cup (240 mL) fine dry breadcrumbs

1/2 Cup (120 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (1 ounce), divided

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) freshly ground pepper

1/4 Cup (60 mL) slivered fresh basil leaves

2 1/2 Cups (590 mL) tomato sauce

3/4 Cup (180 mL) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese, (3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat two baking sheets and an 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Whisk egg whites and water in a shallow dish until frothy. Combine breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, and salt and pepper in another shallow dish. Dip the eggplant slices into the eggwhite mixture, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. (Discard any leftover breadcrumbs and eggwhite.) Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer. Stir basil into tomato sauce. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Add a layer of the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

EGGPLANT-COUSCOUS ROLLS

This meatless entrée has an ample amount of protein from the couscous and feta cheese. Whole-wheat couscous has a nutty flavor and, like regular couscous, requires no actual cooking, just five minutes to plump in hot water.

2 eggplants, (1 lb each), ends trimmed

4 tsp (20 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

9 ripe plum tomatoes, (1 1/4 pounds total)

1 1/2 Cups (360 mL) water

1 Cup (240 mL) whole-wheat couscous

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) dried thyme

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt

3/4 Cup (180 mL) crumbled feta cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish

2 Tbsp ( 30 mL) chopped fresh mint

freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Standing eggplants on end, remove a thin slice of skin from two opposite sides and discard. Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of the slices with 2 teaspoons oil and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheets. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place them, cut-side down, in the remaining space on the baking sheets.

Bake the vegetables for 10 minutes. Turn eggplant slices over and bake until the eggplant is lightly browned and tender and the tomato skins are blistered, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous, thyme, salt and 1 teaspoon oil. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 5 minutes. Uncover and let cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the feta, mint and pepper with a fork. Coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with cooking spray. Put some of the couscous mixture in the center of each eggplant slice. Roll up the eggplant slices firmly around the filling and place, seam-side down, in the prepared dish. Cover with foil; bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the skin away from the roasted tomatoes and put them in a small saucepan. Mash with a fork and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, salt and pepper. Heat gently over low heat. To serve, spoon the tomato sauce over the eggplant rolls and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of feta cheese.

Chlorogenic acid is a plant compound that is known for its high antioxidant activity. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service found chlorogenic acid to be the dominant antioxidant compound in eggplant. This is significant because chlorogenic acid has the capacity to fight free radicals, and is also able to lower LDL (bad cholesterol). Chlorogenic acid is also antimutagenic, which means it can protect cells from mutating into cancer cells – it’s antiviral as well.

Nasunin is an antioxidant compound found in the peels of eggplant. The August 10, 2005 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" reports that a study shows the nasunin in eggplant has antiangiogenic abilities. The Cancer Center at the Angiogenesis Foundation explains that when something is angiogenic, it stimulates new growth of blood vessels and blood supply. While that sounds like it could be a good thing, when it comes to cancer, it is not. Cancerous cells can gain angiogenesis ability, which means they can develop a means to increase their own blood supply, which can cause a cancerous mass or tumor to grow quickly. Nasunin in eggplant has the ability to prevent angiogenesis from occurring.

Eggplant is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help protect against colon cancer and keeps the digestive system regular. Eggplant contains vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B vitamins, folate and vitamin C, as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. With no fat, six carbs and 27 calories in a 1-cup serving, eggplant makes an excellent addition to any diet.

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