Eggplant: Tap into the Power of Purple!

Posted on October 23, 2011 | by

For a mere 20 calories in an entire cup, it doesn’t get any better than eggplant for “beefing up” your Italian dinner-the heart-healthy way. The rich meaty taste of eggplant is why vegetarians love this purple wonder food. Just like tomatoes and peppers, eggplant falls under the nightshade family of vegetables, which technically (botanically speaking) are really fruits because they are seed-bearing structures.

Eggplants are simply perfect for whipping up simple, healthy and creative dishes. They contain loads of fiber as well as numerous vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (antioxidants helpful in warding off disease). A one-cup serving of eggplant provides 2.8 g of fiber, 189 mg of potassium and 18 mcg of folic acid to name but a few. Plus, the skin contains resveratrol-the same antioxidant found in red wine! To sum it all up, dig into eggplant whenever you can for a low-calorie fiber-boosting meal staple.

Eggplant Puttanesca with whole wheat pasta

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1/6 of recipe, ~ 1 cup pasta)

    • 1 large eggplant, cubed
    • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • ½ cup red wine
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • One 28 ounce can coarse ground tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp capers (drained)
    • 8 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
    • 1 box whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente (I like farfalle)
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add cubed eggplant and cook until soft. Add red wine and salt and simmer a few more minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, capers and sugar and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add basil. Spoon puttanesca sauce over one cup cooked pasta. Top with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 350, Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 270 mg,
Carbohydrate: 56 g, Dietary Fiber: 12 g, Sugars: 11 g, Protein: 11 g


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