So what is this fruit? Here are a few clues: people often mistaken it for a vegetable, its skin contains phytochemicals, it is full of antioxidants, it protects cells from the effect of free-radical damage, thus it has anti-aging effects (um, yes, please!),it is packed with fiber, and it is a good source of potassium and magnesium. Not too shabby for a fruit, right!? Did the clues give it away? It is the Eggplant!!
The Japanese have a proverb that states, “The happiest omen for a New Year is first Mount Fuji, then the falcon, and lastly eggplant.” Thus what better fruit to include in your meals this New Year than the eggplant? I have two mouthwatering dishes that your family is going to love! So much so that there will be no leftovers, I repeat, no leftovers! You have been warned!
The first recipe is the one I shared on WTOL Saturday morning, Eggplant Parmesan with a twist, it is breaded with QRUNCH.
Click on the link below for a quick demo on how to prepare the Eggplant Parmesan Breaded in Qrunch & the recipe can be found directly below the clip.
Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan Breaded with QRUNCH
1 package QRUNCH burgers, toasted to perfection (found in the Organic area at your local Kroger’s)
1 cup gluten-free flour (I used coconut flour)
1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
1 bunch of fresh parsley chopped
Parmesan Reggiano (optional for topping)
Toast or prepare 1 package of QRUNCH burgers in the toaster.
When cooled, place the burgers, Italian seasoning, and parsley in a food processor until it has a coarse consistency.
Slice the eggplant and prepare an egg wash in a separate bowl.
Dip the sliced eggplant in the gluten-free flour, then dredge in the egg wash. Note: For a true vegetarian/vegan option, you can use your favorite almond milk or coconut milk.
Cover with QRUNCH crumbles and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce.
And the second eggplant recipe, Eggplant & Bacon Rollups! This one has quickly become an ALL TIME FAV in our household. Kiddos beg me to make this!!
Eggplant & Bacon Rollups
3 medium/large eggplants
One package of bacon sliced in two (short way)
Butter (2 Tablespoons melted)
One container Organic Ricotta (14oz) (I purchased mine at Claudia’s)
2 Tablespoons of Basil Pest (or any pesto you have on hand)
Cup of Parmesan cheese
Slice eggplant 1/4 inch thickness long-ways (keep skin, that’s where all the antioxidants are!)
Place eggplant slices on cookie sheet, brush on melted butter, and place in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until eggplant is tender & golden brown
While eggplant bakes mix ricotta cheese & basil pesto in bowl
Remove eggplant from oven, for half the eggplant slices place a slice of bacon or two (depends on size of bacon) over eggplant slice, add roughly a Tablespoon or so of the filling on top of the bacon down the middle vertically, and then roll it up. Place in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. For the remaining half of the eggplant slices place bacon on a cutting board, place eggplant on top, add filling, and roll. Eggplant rolls should look similar to a chess board.
Top with a bit or Parmesan cheese & Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbling and turning golden. Then enjoy!!!
Have you ever had eggplant before? What is your favorite Eggplant dish?
Here’s to the Happiest New Year!! Cheers!!