Baked Eggplant

Italian Baked Eggplant

This is a great traditional meal that really has not been updated; I just swapped out the pasta for the eggplant and Wha~la dinner is ready!  Eggplant is such a wonderful vegetable and sadly is overlooked in most households; check out the health benefits of this beautiful purple vegetable:
Following are top 3 health benefits of eggplants:
HIGH IN NASUNIN
The antioxidant, nasunin, is found in the skin of eggplants. In 2005, a study published in a scientific journal reports that the nasunin in eggplant skins has antiangiogenic properties. According to experts, cancer cells can gain angiogenesis ability and develop a means to boost their own blood supply. The angiogenesis ability of cancer cells causes tumors to grow quickly. The antiangiogenic properties of nasunin prevent angiogenesis from occurring, thus preventing tumors from growing and preventing cancer.
HIGH IN CHLOROGENIC ACID
Eggplants are also high in chlorogenic acid, a plant compound known for its strong antioxidant properties. According to researchers from the US Department of Agriculture, chlorogenic acid is the dominant antioxidant in eggplant. Chlorogenic acid lowers LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and fights the free radicals that cause cancer. Chlorogenic acid also has antimutagenic properties which protect and prevent cells from mutating into cancerous cells. Furthermore, experts believe that chlorogenic acid has antiviral properties which can help treat and prevent diseases causes by viruses.
RICH IN VITAMINS, MINERALS, AND DIETARY FIBER
Eggplant contains many vitamins, but its dominant vitamins are vitamin C, folate, B vitamins, and vitamin A. These vitamins improve the body’s overall health, boost the immune system, and improve resistance to various diseases. Eggplant also contains a large quantity of minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help prevent health problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Eggplant is also a great source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber protects against colon cancer, keeps the digestive system working properly, and keeps the stomach feeling full after a meal.
Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/041563_eggplant_nasunin_nutrition.html#ixzz2vIG9FaK5

***And as always you can make it really easy by adding your favorite pasta sauce in a jar or from scratch with roasted tomatoes, garlic and basil….my mouth is watering. Enjoy!!

Product Description

Italian Baked Eggplant
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Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 large can (28 oz) of crushed san marzano tomatoes
  • 1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 carrot-finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk-finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion-chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves-finely minced
  • 1 TBS fresh chopped oregano or (1-1/2 tsp dried oregano)
  • 2- TBS freshly torn basil or (2 tsp dried basil)
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 TBS for pan
  • 2 TBS fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 fresh mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet over medium high heat add olive oil, carrot, celery, onion and salt; sauté for 15 minutes, add garlic and stir. 
  2. After about a minute (stirring frequently as not to let garlic burn) add in your herbs and stir them in to get warm and cozy with veggies then add your tomatoes and olive oil and bring to a gentle boil, turn down your temperature to a simmer over low heat and continue cooking your sauce for about an hour stirring occasionally. 
  3. Meanwhile with a mandolin (or if you do not have one slice very thin) slice your eggplant into thin sheets; cut in half lengthwise. 
  4. Now you have an option to roast your eggplant at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet (brushing each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with just a touch of salt and pepper), or you can sauté then in a pan over medium heat until tender with olive oil and S&P.  Either is fine. 
  5. Now in a prepared dish (oil or salt rubbed around the inside of an oven safe dish) add a spoonful of sauce followed by a few layers of eggplant. 
  6. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese between layers as well.  Repeat until you are finished topping off with any remaining parmesan and sliced mozzarella cheese. 
  7. Cover and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. 
  8. Pull off cover and increase your oven temp to 375 degrees and cook about 20 more minutes until your cheese is a golden bubbly of amazing!!
  9. ***I will do this dish with peeled and diced eggplant that has been sautéed in oil oil/ or goat butter and it is a nice alternative

http://www.gonewiththegrain.com/item/italian-baked-eggplant/

 

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Additional Information

7 Day Meal Plan

Day 2, Dinner

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