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I really like grilled eggplant lately. Lucky for me, I keep getting eggplants in my CSA box. I don’t think that I have ever grilled one until this summer. I had tried making a variety of baked eggplant dishes, but I was never able to get the texture that I desired in the oven. My grilled eggplant seems to be a lot more firm. As an added bonus, it cooks much more quickly as well.

Enough about food. On to running. If you read my blog regularly, you have probably noticed that I have switch from running to biking for a little while because I hurt my foot. It is seriously driving me crazy. I did another spinning podcast today, which was really great – if you have biking in mind for your workout. I do not. (No offense cyclists, its just that I want to run!)

I think it is wearing on me a lot more in the past few days because this week I dropped out of the two races that I had left on my schedule this fall. That pretty much means that I will have to wait until March to race again. Very sad. The good news is that the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon race coordinator allowed me to transfer my entry to next year. I’m really thankful for that because at least I’m not out the entry fee and the race.

Hopefully I will be able to start running on grass soon. That’ll be fun. Picture me running hundreds of laps around the inside of a track somewhere for a few months. Yippee! (That was kind of sarcastic, kind of not.)

On the upside, my shoes will probably last for at least a month or two longer than I had originally anticipated.

From Epicurious.

Ingredients:

  • Yogurt Mint Sauce
    • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
    • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
    • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tsp curry powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper (The original recipe called for 1 tsp, which I found was a bit too spicy for me. I think that 1/2 tsp should be more than enough!)
    • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grilled Eggplant
    • 2 eggplants (each about 1 pound), cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds
    • 1 tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, cracked

Directions:

  • Slice eggplant crosswise into 1/2″ thick slices.
  • Place eggplant slices on a paper towel, lightly salt both sides of the eggplant and let it rest on the paper towel for 10-15 minutes until some of the juice has drained from the eggplant.
  • Mix the yogurt sauce ingredients in medium bowl.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate yogurt sauce.
  • Heat a grill to a medium-high heat.
  • Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant with sesame oil.
  • Sprinkle the eggplant with coriander, salt, and pepper.
  • Grill until slightly charred, about 6 minutes per side. (To make fancy grill marks, rotate 90 degrees after about 3 minutes of cooking on each side.)
  • Serve the eggplant with yogurt-mint sauce.

Yogurt Sauce:
Servings ~ 2
Calories ~ 57, Fat ~ 0 g, Carbohydrates ~ 9 g, Protein ~ 6 g

Grilled Eggplant:
Servings ~ 2 (As a meal, 4 as an appetizer.)
Calories ~ 177, Fat ~ 8 g, Carbohydrates ~ 27 g, Protein ~ 5 g

I did the unthinkable this morning. I decided what I wanted for dinner ahead of time.

Unfortunately, it was not early enough for me to take the tempeh that I wanted for dinner out of the freezer before I went to work. That’s ok though, I thought, I’ll take it out when I go home for lunch.

Yeah, not so much. You see I locked my keys in the car during lunch today. Brilliant, huh?

Needless to say, I didn’t make it home for lunch today. So my dinner plans were foiled.

Fortunately my CSA box saved the day by being packed with plenty of alternate dinner options. (Wait a minute, it was at the CSA that I locked the keys in the car…)

The most obvious dinner choice, to me at least, was eggplant. The next step would be to find a recipe that was healthy, quick, and that I owned all of the ingredients for. Duke’s House is kind of out there and there is no running back to the grocery store after you get home. Well, maybe if you decide that you want wine with dinner…

Just from reading this recipe, I could tell that it would be great! I ate my eggplant with some quinoa cooked with garlic in chicken broth on the side. Mmmm!

In case you are wondering, there was more okra in my CSA box! More okra recipes coming soon!

Adapted from Beyond Salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove elephant garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Peel eggplant and slice into ½ inch thick rings.
  • Place eggplant slices on a sheet of paper towels and sprinkle it with salt on both sides. This will cause the eggplant to release a lot of liquid which will make it less watery when it is cooked.
  • Let the eggplant sit for 15 minutes, then dry both sides well with paper towels.
  • In a large bowl, mix the honey, garlic, paprika, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Dunk both sides of each eggplant slice into the marinade, then place the slices on a dish to take them to your grill.
  • Heat the grill to a high heat.
  • Using a grill brush, lightly oil the grill grate with olive oil.
  • Place the eggplant slices on the grill, close the lid, and turn down the heat to medium.
  • Grill for about 3 minutes until the eggplant has grill marks.
  • Turn the slices 90 degrees to make cross-hatch grill marks, then grill until marked, about 3 more minutes.
  • Brush the slices with remaining marinade, flip them, then repeat the grilling process on the other side. Be sure to regulate the heat so that the eggplant is browning, but not burning.
  • When the cross-hatch marks are complete, remove from grill and serve warm.

Servings ~ 2
Calories ~ 133, Fat ~ 3 g, Carbohydrates ~ 28 g, Protein ~ 3 g

If you have ever joined a CSA, you know that it is very important to have a plan for each piece of produce that you are get or they can easily go to waste. When I first picked up my CSA vegetables last week, I was having a little trouble creating a “plan” for my eggplant.  

The first thing that came to mind was eggplant parmesan, but that didn’t strike my fancy. Who wants to eat a heavy, hot food in the middle of July. Certainly not me. Plus, that plan didn’t involve using any of the other veggies from my CSA box.

Finally it hit me – Baba Ganoush!

So obvious, or it should have been anyway, but it did not come to me right away. Now we have made it two times and it has yet to survive longer than 12 hours in our refrigerator. It is almost too good!

Adapted from Fat Free Vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Directions:

  • Use a fork to poke several holes in the eggplant.
  • Grill eggplant over medium-high heat, rotating periodically until the skin is dark and the eggplant softens.
  • This will take about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool until you are able to peel it. I was able to do so right away using barbecue tongs and a long thin knife.
  • Peel the eggplant and put it in a food processor with the remaining ingredients.
  • Process until smooth.
  • Serve with pitas, raw vegetables, or crackers.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 58, Fat ~ 2 g, Carbohydrates ~ 10 g, Protein ~ 2 g