Eat Smart: Eggplant, the versatile veggie

By Dan Jovic |

Published 08/18 2014 09:06AM

Updated 08/18 2014 09:23AM

The eggplant works in everything, from Italian to Asian recipes. It's also a great substitute for meat, too. 

Healthy Chef Meals owner and chef, Jennifer Gieseke, stopped by NBC 6 News Today to share some terrific ways you can cook up the versatile veggie.

Here are the recipes Jennifer shared today ...

Crispy Baked Eggplant
These slices freeze and refrigerate well.  Too reheat, place the eggplant on a 400 degree pre-heated pizza stone for about 5 to 10 minutes.
2 large eggplants
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
10 oz bread crumbs or planko
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 cups soy milk
Preheat oven with pizza stone to 400 degrees F.
Cut eggplant into slices of 1/2 inch rounds,  long slabs or fries depending on how you want the final presentation to look.
In a bowl wide enough to submerge the eggplant, whisk together the Dijon and soy milk.
Put the whole wheat pastry flour and the bread crumbs in separate plates.
Dip the eggplant slice into the whole wheat pastry flour, then into the dipping liquid and then into the bread crumbs and flip over to coat the other side.
Place the coated eggplant slice onto parchment paper and repeat till all the slices are encrusted.
Spray or brush olive oil on the tops of each eggplant slice.  Turn the coated eggplant slices over and repeat.
Place Slices on pre heated pizza stone.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, turn & bake another 15 minutes until golden brown.
Eggplant Parmesan - simply add a bit of vegan mozzarella cheese to the top and broiling it for a few moments, then add your favorite Italian sauce.  Can also layer slices for an impressive main dish.
Eggplant Sandwich - Top a slice of your favorite bread with vegan mayo, baked eggplant slice, lettuce, tomato and vegan cheese.
Simple Marinara
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
14.5 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and spices; sautÈ 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper to taste.
Ginger-Miso-Glazed Eggplant
6 Japanese eggplants (1 1/2 lb. total), cut on a diagonal into 1-inch-thick slices
1 Tbs grapeseed or vegetable oil
1/3 cup white miso (fermented soybean paste)
4 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp sesame seeds, divided
3 Tbs thinly sliced scallions, divided
Preheat oven to 425∞. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast eggplant, flipping once, until very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Arrange a rack in upper third of oven and heat to broil.
Meanwhile, whisk white miso and next 5 ingredients with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds and 2 Tbsp. scallions. Smear top of eggplant slices with miso sauce. Broil until golden and charred in places, 4ñ5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp. scallions.
Servings: 6
Eggplant Brownie
2 small (7 ounces each) eggplants, peeled, tops removed
11 oz chopped dark chocolate
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Agave
3 egg replacer
1/2 cups cocoa powder
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 7-by-7-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly mist paper with cooking spray.
Prick eggplants with a fork and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 8 minutes, stopping occasionally to drain any liquids. Let cool completely (about 30 minutes at room temperature).
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high at 20-second intervals, stirring completely after each round, until melted.
In a large bowl, mash eggplants and melted chocolate until well mixed. In a separate large bowl, mix Agave, prepared egg replacer, cocoa powder, almond flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add eggplant mixture and stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out largely clean. Let cool completely before serving.

If you'd like to have Healthy Chef Meals cook for you, just give them a call at (318) 216-5691. You can also find out more about the meals offered on their Facebook page.

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