Mediterranean Baked Eggplants & Tomatoes
This is the season for eggplants. I got some coming on the way and can’t wait to put them into my meal plans. I have done this dish a few times and each time, I and my clients enjoyed them immensely. It is so easy and flavorful that it doesn’t seem right that it should be so simple.
Health Benefits of Eggplant
While eggplants don’t have an overwhelming supply of any one nutrient, they do contain an impressive array across the board of many vitamins and minerals, such as excellent amounts of fiber, folate, potassium and manganese, as well as vitamins C, K, and B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and pantothenic acid.
- Studies indicate that eggplant has a number of health benefits from all these ingredients, as well as traditional uses. Sometimes, the leaves and roots are juiced or boiled to make a tonic for throat and stomach troubles, asthma, skin diseases, rheumatism, inflammation, intestinal hemorrhages, foot pain, coughs, anorexia, toothache, or as a general stimulant.
- Modern-day scientists found that the Black Magic variety of eggplantcontains nearly three times the amount of antioxidant phenolics they found in other eggplant types. Phenols are known to be one of the most powerful free radical scavengers, which can prevent cancer development and heart disease, but it’s these very attributes that give eggplants a slight bitter taste.
- Another study found that anthocyanin phytonutrients in the skin of eggplants, called nasunin, is a potent antioxidant that zaps free radicals and protects the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes from damage.
Serving of 6 Total Time: 40 minutes (prep time 20 + 30 min baking)
|2 medium size||Eggplants (cut into bite size)|
|16 oz||Cherry tomatoes|
|1 large||Chopped onions|
|2 tablespoons||Minced garlic|
|¼ cup||Olive oil (or refined coconut oil – no taste or flavor and handles high heat up to 375⁰ F)|
|To taste||Salt and pepper|
- Start off by cutting eggplants into ¼ inch or ½ inch size pieces (bite size). Don’t worry about it turning brown if you don’t submerge them in lemon water because you will be baking them with tomatoes anyway.
- Cut cherry tomatoes in ½ (it releases the juice easier) or any other varieties you have (cut into bite size)
- Combine all of the ingredients and pour into a baking pan;
- Set oven to 350⁰ and bake the above for 30 minutes – 45 minutes (until eggplants are fork tender). The longer it cooks, the more flavor.
- Serve over quinoa and it make a wonderful meal on it own or as a side dish with grilled chicken