Sounds creepy, but in reality, the nightshade family is actually an extremely diverse group of foods, herbs, shrubs, and trees. Interestingly, nightshades are more known for their use as drugs rather than food (tobacco and morning glory are nightshades). Here’s some info on the use of the spectacularly nutritious nightshade vegetables for good eats. Some of the more famous nightshade vegetables include: eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes and sweet and hot peppers. Eggplant is a superbly delicious low calorie vegetable that is packed with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, magnesium, niacin and many more. Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetables and can be prepared in seemingly endless culinary ways. A favorite of vegetarians, this is one nightshade you’ll want to eat more of.
One caveat: some people are highly sensitive to a group of substances in nightshades called alkaloids (nicotine is an alkaloid), albeit cooking lowers the alkaloid content by 50%. If you suffer any adverse reactions to eating them, these may not be the veggies for you!
Roasted Baby Eggplant with Tomatoes
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/8th of recipe, 223 grams or ~ 1 cup)
4 baby eggplants
8 plum tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400º F. Trim and discard stalks from the eggplants. Slice eggplant into quarters, lengthwise. Spray a roasting dish with non stick spray. Put eggplant, tomatoes and garlic into roasting dish. Drizzle oil and vinegar over vegetables and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for one hour (turn once to prevent charring). Serve hot.
Nutritional Information per Serving (223 grams or ~ 1 cup):
Calories: 121, Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 158 mg,
Carbohydrate: 14 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 2 g