Healthy Recipes: Eat Eggplant — The Purple Powerhouse!
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.
Delicious and Lighter Baked Eggplant Parmesan – Heart Healthy Diet
- ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large vidalia onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh grated carrot
- 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled, whole tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggplant, fresh, whole, unpeeled
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, torn
- 8 ounce container of bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls), drained and halved
- 2 ounces freshly shredded Parmesan
- 2 slices whole wheat bread, lightly toasted and grated into crumbs
For the sauce:
- In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until it softens; then add the garlic and wait for both to turn a light golden brown.
- Add the thyme and carrot and cook five minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes, sugar and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil–stirring often–and then lower to a simmer.
- Cook like this for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
- Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Oil two large baking sheets with olive oil.
- Slice each eggplant into 1 to 1/2-inches thick pieces.
- Place as many slices as you can on the baking sheets, drizzle them with olive oil, a smidgeon of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place pans into the hot oven and bake until they’re deep brown on top, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the eggplant slices and let cool.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- In a large tin baking pan, begin your layering.
- Start with the largest pieces of eggplant on the bottom, then a layer of tomato sauce, basil, a few halves of mozzarella for each eggplant slice, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
- Top with another layer of eggplant slices, sauce, basil, mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Continue to layer until you run out of eggplant.
- Finish by topping the whole baking tin with breadcrumbs.
- Place in the oven and bake until the bread crumbs are golden on top and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
Number of servings (yield): 6
- Calories: 490
- Fat: 31 g
- Cholesterol: 40 g
- Sodium: 810 mg
- Carbohydrate: 39 g
- Fiber: 13 g
- Sugars: 19 g
- Protein: 17 g
More Eggplant Healthy Diet
Also read this great healthy recipeon Calcium-packed Eggplant Rollatini
Check Out This Video Featuring My Healthy Recipe for Eggplant Lasagna!