Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Eggplant?

There is just something about this royal-hued vegetable…

Up until three months ago, I had never tasted an eggplant. With such an odd irregular shape and unique color, the sheer foreignness of it kept me from even giving much thought to it being a food I might enjoy.

Then, one October day, while dreamily perusing the produce aisle, I spotted her! The most stunning and perfectly smooth eggplant maiden I had ever seen! So overcome by her beauty, I immediately seized her from her home atop the shelf and placed her in my cart without a single thought.

Later, when I arrived at my place of dwelling, toting my beloved treasure, I realized I had not the slightest inkling as to what to do with her! Therein came about the heroic action of Sir Google!

He told me to have no fear, but that eggplant was an easy item to cook and oh so delectable! “Do as I say and your taste buds shall be rewarded!”

“Go to this website and make this dish now!” So I did…

 

Honey Balsamic Grilled Eggplant
Served in a whole wheat pita pocket with baked sweet potato fries

 

Tasting these sweet honey laden slices was like to one drinking the nectar of the gods!

One does not have an experience such as this many times in life. I took my new knowledge bestowed upon me by Sir Google and swore to share with the world the wonderful flavor of eggplant!

“Huh? Oh, I’m sorry ma’am, was I in your way? Hmm, I guess I must’ve been daydreaming!”

As I stood there in the produce aisle, wiping the drool from my mouth, I looked up. What did I see? Why a stunning, perfectly smooth eggplant maiden!

 

Grilled Portobello-Eggplant Sandwich with melty Daiya cheese
Served with a side salad of spinach drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette

 

Grilled Portobello-Eggplant Sandwich: (1 serving)

  • 2 thick, sturdy pieces of whole wheat bread
  • Marinara sauce (1 serving: 1/2 cup tomato puree, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, salt & pepper to taste)
  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap
  • 3 slices from a medium-sized eggplant
  • 1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)

1. Toast bread slices in toaster or under the broiler of your oven.
2. Heat marinara sauce in a small covered pot over medium heat.
3. Grill whole portobello mushroom and slices of eggplant until tender and juicy, turning     once.
4. Slice mushroom into strips.
5. Spoon marinara sauce on both slices of bread, top one with slices of mushroom and the     other with the eggplant.
6. Top with cheese and place under broiler until melted.
7. Combine the two slices of bread to make your sandwich and slice down the middle.
8. Enjoy the sheer awesomeness of the best grilled sandwich ever created!

Eggplant & Tempeh Marinara over Whole Wheat Spaghetti: (2 servings)

  • 4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic (or one clove)
  • 2 cups eggplant, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or you could use water)
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 package organic tempeh, crumbled*
  • finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • chopped fresh basil, for garnish

1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
2.Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are tender and translucent.
4. Stir in broth and wine (or water) and add sliced mushrooms and eggplant.
5. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender, about 12-14 minutes.
6. Add tomato puree and spices to create the sauce.
7. Stir in tempeh and cover, reducing the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Spoon sauce over cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil.

I think this dish would also work really well with small pre-cooked meatballs or of course you could always make your own.

Who said pasta dishes couldn’t be low-fat and packed full of protein and vitamins?

*I just cut my tempeh into cubes, but the pieces ended up a bit large in the dish. I think       smaller crumbles would work better for both ease of eating and appearance.

Fusion of entertainment & enlightenment brought to you tonight by a very tired and slightly delirious Heather!

Goodnight ladies and gentlemen, I am off to go save the eggplant maiden from the evil Lord of Cheesealot bed! 😉

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