Thursday, September 23, 2010



This eggplant was harvested from our garden! Can't get much fresher than that

Eggplant is one of our favorite vegetables so I wanted to share some fun health facts about eggplant in hopes to persuade you to give them a try and use them frequently in your kitchen!

Health benefits of eggplant:
  • Flavonoid Nasunin - A powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger = protection of cell membranes against damage (found primarily in the skin)
  • Dietary FIBER - keeps you "regulated" and acts against cardiovascular disease
  • Chelates Iron - protects blood cholesterol from peroxidation which reduces the rate of free radical damage in joints and also prevents cellular damage which promotes cancer formation
  • Potassium (K+) - balances with salt which maintains good hydration levels in the body and regulates the blood pressure in the body
  • vitamins and minerals galore!
  • low in calories and carbohydrate but still high in fiber = win win for weight loss
I will share a quick and easy recipe that I have made TWICE this week...

Eggplant Bake
  • 1 regular sized eggplant (will make one large servings or two small servings) sliced into cubes (i.e. Bite size pieces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • couple of hand-fulls of baby bella mushrooms - washed and dried
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • sprinkle of mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tuscan Sunset (Penzey's) or Italian seasoning if don't have access to Penzeys
  • Sandwich Sprinkle (Penzey's) omit if no access to Penzeys
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Prepared tomato sauce - I used Organic Basil Tomato Sauce
  • olive oil
Pre heat oven to 400. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Then add the chopped onion to the pan for a few minutes until translucent in color, then all the garlic until the garlic speaks (i.e. the garlic aroma fills your kitchen). Once garlic speaks, add the eggplant and mushrooms and saute in the pan until the eggplant becomes slightly tender. Add the salt, pepper, and spices, including the red pepper flakes to taste. I just kind of sprinkle these over the mixture. I like spicy so I give a few extra shakes of the red pepper flakes. Then, remove from heat and add the tomato sauce - coating the mixture but you don't want your veggies to be swimming in the sauce! Add a sprinkle of the mozzarella cheese on top. Put in oven safe dish and put into the oven. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and dish is bubbly. Take out, let cool a couple of minutes and then VIOLA! I usually just eat this on its own, but sometimes if I feel like it will serve it over whole wheat organic pasta....

On a side note... I love Penzey's Spices. They make delicious salt free seasonings (like the Tuscan Sunset below). So, go to their website and order a catalog. They send out great coupons in the catalog as well as yummy recipes. I have a drawer full of their spices and still would love to have more!

My drawer filled with spices (and I have more in the cabinet these are just my regular go-to ones!
I could snort these seasonings! Seriously put on everything from eggs to sandwich bread (Sandwich sprinkle makes a mean garlic bread)

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