Monday, April 30, 2012

Eggplant, Eggplant, Eggplant..........

As you can guess, this blog is about eggplants, that shiny purple skin, rather large and unique oval shape. Many people mistakenly believe the eggplant to be a vegetable, mostly because it is treated and prepared that way in most of the world. The eggplant, however is a fruit and belongs to the berry family. It can be used in many different recipes.

Eggplants are so versatile and fun to cook with. Just use your imagination. They can be added to your favorite recipes or cooked on its own as a main dish. Eggplants can be sliced, grilled, mashed or fried and used as a side dish or as part of a stew a dip or spread. Some people substitute eggplant for beef. Eggplants are very bitter before it is cooked, so it is not typically eaten raw.
Eggplants are naturally low in calories, sodium and unpeeled, they provide plenty of minerals. Eggplant is high in soluble fiber beneficial in lowering cholesterol.
Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked and cubed)
Calories 27.7
Protein .82 gram
Carbohydrates 6.57 grams
Dietary Fiber 2.48 grams
Phosphorus 21.78 mg
Potassium 245.52 mg
Foliate 14.26 mg

Eggplant and Tomato Salad 
1 large eggplant
1 medium tomato
1 large onion
1 small to medium yellow or red pepper
2 garlic teeth pressed or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup hot water

Dice all the vegetables into small pieces and fry until golden brown. Drain the oil well and place fried vegetables in a large bowl. Add sugar, garlic, tomato paste, salt and paprika and mix well. Combine vinegar and hot water pour slowly and mix well. Store in container and chill before serving.

Option: instead of frying, cut eggplant, onions and tomato in rings, and slice the pepper in strips. Slightly grease a baking pan add veggies and broil until brown. Preparation instructions are the same. ENJOY!

Eggplant and Veggie Quiche 
1 medium eggplant
1 onion
2 celery sticks
1 zucchini
1 carrot
1/2 tin mushrooms or equivalent fresh
4 eggs
garlic powder
soya sauce
Slice a medium size eggplant in rings. In a bowl put a little oil and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and mix. Mix up the eggplant slice until covered and place on a baking pan and broil until brown..[about 10 minutes].

While eggplant is broiling: I like to use onions, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini and celery but you can use the veggies that you like. Slice onion, zucchini in rings, celery sticks diced and with your potato peeler slice long thin slices of carrots. Add mushrooms and brown in fry pan.
Place browned veggies in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of soya sauce. Allow to sit 20 minutes.

To make the quiche: place brown eggplant on the bottom of a pyrex dish. Beat 4 eggs and season with salt, pepper garlic powder and turmeric to taste. Add veggies and stir well. 
Pour over eggplant and bake in the microwave until done. 

Option.When you have a minute or two left in baking sprinkle grated cheese and finish baking. ENJOY!

Boat Shape Eggplant and Tuna
1 large eggplant
1 large onion
can of mushrooms
1 small tin of tuna drained
2 tablespoons of bread crumbs or matza meal 
1 egg beaten
oil for browning
salt, pepper, sweet and hot paprika, garlic powder, sweet chilli powder to taste [I usually use a teaspoon of each]

Wash and cut both ends off. With a very sharp knife cut down the center long ways. With the point of your knife cut out the pulp ¾ down all around the eggplant so that it looks like an empty shell boat. 
Dice eggplant pulp and onions and with the mushrooms brown. Add seasonings and ½ cup of hot water and bring to a boil.
In a bowl add egg, tuna, bread crumbs and seasoned browned veggies. Mix well and fill eggplant boats.
Bake in preheated oven 180c / 350F for 1 hour. This recipe can also be made in the microwave.
Options: you can include tomato, celery, zucchini or any other veggie when you are browning. This recipe can fill 2 small to medium eggplants or 1 very large eggplant. ENJOY!

I hope you enjoy the recipes. Feel free to comment and share.