Monday, July 11, 2011

Eggplant Goodness

Have you ever craved something so badly you wanted to eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and (according to Taco Bell) fourth meal? That's how I've felt about eggplant lately except that I used to hate it. Loathe and despise it even. Not anymore!

I've been trying to find a way to make it for a year now where I could enjoy it without adding flour or deep frying it. There's a restaurant chain in AZ, Pita Jungle, which makes this amazing grilled veggie salad and only on that salad do I enjoy eggplant, but even grilling it never worked for me before, taste wise. Recently I've been experimenting and finally came up with something so incredibly delicious and yummy that I've eaten it for all of the above mentioned meals.

You will need: 1 eggplant, a pan, olive oil/coconut oil, pepper, sea salt, and garlic seasoning mix

Set your oven to bake on 365-ish (this is proper cooking grammar, I assure you) and cut your eggplant into 1 inch rings. Once you have the rings, cut into them twice, criss-cross, making little triangle shaped pieces.

Place your eggplant into the pan and put the oil of your choice on top of it. To start out use about 2-3 tablespoons so you coat it and the pan. Then use about 1 teaspoon of a salt and pepper mix, followed by 1 tablespoon of the garlic seasoning mix.

Bake for 10 minutes.

The finished version. Yum.
After the 10 minutes is up pull the eggplant back out and stir it up a little bit. This is where you can decide to add more oil and seasoning. I like my eggplant, for lack of a better word, squishy. I also like it flavorful, so I basically repeated the first seasoning step and maybe added a little more. I then stick it back in the oven for 10-20 minutes, depending on just how squishy I want it to turn out.  If you want it less squishy, you use less oil and bake it a little bit less, as well. Easy, I promise. It's very filling and so yummy that I've replaced entire meals with this just because I can.

Now for some nutrition information...

Don't worry about the oil. Oils like olive, coconut, avocado, etc. are all good oils. You need them in your system to help keep everything moving and balanced. These are the good fats everyone tells you about. Eat them. Enjoy them. They are delicious!

Eggplant is a great source of some very important vitamins, including Vitamin K, which can be difficult to get enough of unless you're eating the correct foods.

I would also like to point out that yes, eggplant has higher sodium levels in it and yes, it has sugars in it, but they're all natural. This is a good veggie, don't let anyone fool you. Any veggie or fruit is good for you. Any and all. Remember this next time you see another article that come out and says "Blueberries/Strawberries/Kale/etc. may prevent cancer!"

Of course they will.

I'm always surprised by these articles. Anything natural will prevent cancer because its ridiculously good for you and it won't cause it in the first place, like processed foods will. You can never, ever go wrong with veggies. Always remember that.

Enough of my rant. Now go enjoy your eggplant!

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