Spicy Eggplant

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TGIF! It has been a fun week but I am beat…and I must say, I miss Mr. Prevention. He’s been out of town since Sunday evening and I’m anxious to see him tonight.

Admittedly, this week has been lacking in workouts (plan to make up for that this weekend!) and cooking. By the time I’ve gotten home from work, leftovers has been about all that I can manage. But this meal…it was fast. Like, 15 minutes fast…and all the better since I almost forgot to make this recipe for the vegetarian recipe swap!

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When I was assigned an eggplant dish for the swap, I was a bit disappointed. Eggplant is one of the very few veggies I’m not overly fond of. Since I trust other foodies, I knew Kate was offering up something good. As usual, the swap recipe didn’t fail me and I can honestly say I enjoyed this dish.

One thing I did differently in cooking with eggplant this go-round was in choosing a MALE eggplant. No, that is not a typo. You can see a male eggplant vs. female eggplant in this post. Basically, you want to choose eggplants with a small, round belly button because they have far fewer seeds and more of the tender, palatable flesh.

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After I whipped up my single girl eggplant meal for a whopping 141 calories, I settled in to read a chapter of Fifty Shades Darker. I haven’t taken any time this week to just relax…and I so needed that. A great dinner and a great 20 minutes of R&R…just what I needed.

I also decided last night that my goal for weeknight dinners is officially 30 minutes or less. Glad this one fits the bill!

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Spicy Eggplant adapted from All Recipes, recommended by Kate’s Recipe Box

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided 1 large eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 2 Tbsp water 1 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium sauce* 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce 1 tsp sugar ground black pepper, to taste 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook and stir the eggplant cubes until they begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant and set aside.

Heat the last tablespoons of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and cook and stir the onions just until they begin to soften, about 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic, and cook and stir an additional 30 seconds.

Mix in the soy sauce, water, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, sugar, and black pepper, and whisk to combine; pour over onions in skillet. Return the eggplant to the skillet, lower the heat, and allow the vegetables and sauce to simmer until the eggplant is tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Drizzle sesame oil over the dish, and give one final stir to combine.

Yield: 5 servings (about 1 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per cup): 141 calories; 9 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 568 mg. sodium; 14.4 g. carbohydrate; 4.2 g. fiber; 2.2 g. protein

*Use soy sauce to make recipe vegetarian. Original recipe calls for oyster sauce.

Result: This had great flavor! Be sure to leave the eggplant pieces big enough, otherwise they cook too quickly and get soggy when cooked. As far as eggplant goes, this has been my favorite preparation. This came together in about 15 minutes and it hearty enough to sub as a vegetarian entree on its own, or as a vegetable side. Enjoy!

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Cute photo of Lily from last night :)

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Work, workout, hubby time! I can’t wait to get to the beach this weekend and see if Lily will swim in her life vest!

Happy weekend!

Be well,

Comments

  1. says

    This looks super tasty!! I enjoy eggplant, but have had a few unsuccessful attempts at cooking with it. The tips on choosing an eggplant link is very helpful – thank you!

  2. says

    I absolutely love eggplant. This is the kind of dish I always order when we get chinese take-out, but I have never known how to make at home. Glad to see it’s so simple!

  3. says

    I always learn new things reading your blog! Thanks for the information about gender eggplants. I love them, so I’ll have to see if I can tell the difference next time I’m in the store.

  4. says

    Hooray for hubby coming home! My husband is going on a business trip for a week in September. It will be the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other since we’ve been married in almost 12 years!

    I’ll pass on this one – don’t like eggplant and too many onions! :D

    I hope you post pictures of Lily on facebook with her vest – she’ll be so cute!

  5. says

    This dish looks great. I actually love eggplant and we have tons of varieties here in Japan. I may just have to give this recipe a try. Enjoy your weekend!

  6. says

    So excited to try this-I think I have everything to make it right now! That hardly ever happens. And I had no idea about eggplants being boys and girls-luckily, mine is a boy. Woot! Lily is always adorable.

  7. Holly says

    Sorry, but it’s been bothering me. You made this dish for a vegetarian dish swap, but you used oyster sauce?? That isn’t a vegetarian ingredient, and I hope people who abstain from meat knew that was in your dish. However, I love eggplant and I’m going to try making this tonight– sans the oyster sauce :)

    • Nicole, RD says

      Holly, totally valid – thanks for catching that. As a non-veg, I don’t always catch things like that! I edited the ingredients with a comment for original and vegetarian versions.

      Best,
      Nicole

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