So… What’s Chinesse Eggplant?
Long prized for its deeply purple, glossy beauty as well as its unique taste and texture, eggplants are now available in markets throughout the year, but they are at their very best from August through October when they are in season.
Although they look hardy, eggplants are actually very perishable and care should be taken in their storage. Eggplants are sensitive to both heat and cold and should ideally be stored at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Do not cut eggplant before you store it as it perishes quickly once its skin has been punctured or its inner flesh exposed.
Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. They grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height. While the different varieties do range slightly in taste and texture, one can generally describe the eggplant as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture.
Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny, and their color, whether it be purple, white or green, should be vivid. They should be free of discoloration, scars, and bruises, which usually indicate that the flesh beneath has become damaged and possibly decayed.
Studies have long suggested that eating plant foods, such as eggplant, can boost overall health and wellbeing and they are very good for your health!
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health.
In addition, eating foods containing certain flavonoids, including anthocyanins, may be associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease, according to a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) in 2008.
Research has shown that when high cholesterol person consumed eggplant juice, this led to significantly lower weight and blood cholesterol levels.
Polyphenols in eggplant have been shown to have anti-cancer effects.
Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and, in turn, prevent tumor growth and the invasion and spread of cancer cells.
The anticancer action of anthocyanins appears to include preventing new blood vessels from forming in the tumor, reducing inflammation, and blocking the enzymes that help cancer cells to spread.
Research has also shown that anthocyanins help prevent neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain.
This could help improve memory and prevent age-related mental disorders.
Weight management and satiety
Dietary fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss, because they act as “bulking agents” in the digestive system.
Research has suggested that the antioxidants in eggplant may help protect the liver from certain toxins.
HOW TO COOK CHINESSE EGGPLANT :
So yummy! So flavorful! Even Diabetics can have it! Here’s this healthy and delicious lasagna recipe.
LOW CARB/SOUTH BEACH EGGPLANT LASAGNA
|READY IN: 1hr 45mins
- MOCK NOODLES
- 2 large eggplants, peeled, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch noodle-like strips
- cooking spray (olive oil spray is best)
- salt and pepper
- MEAT SAUCE
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground sirloin or 1 1⁄2 lbs turkey breast or 1 1⁄2 lbs Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 (16 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons italian seasoning (or mix of oregano, basil and thyme)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you dare!) (optional)
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
- 1 cup red wine (optional) or 1 cup vodka (optional)
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce (or large jar sugar free sauce if you can find it)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (for less sugar, 3 chopped roma tomatoes)
- CHEESE MIXTURE
- 2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 3 green onions, chopped
- NEXT LAYER OF CHEESE MIXTURE
- 3 cups shredded lowfat mozzarella cheese
1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Spray cookie sheet, arrange eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook slices 5 minutes on each side.
- Lower oven temp to 375.
- Brown meat, onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Add red pepper and mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes.
- Add spinach, tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices and wine and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Blend ricotta, egg and Green onion.
- Blend together Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese.
- Spread 1/3 of meat sauce in bottom of 9” x 13” glass pan.
- Layer ½ eggplant slices
- Dollop and Spread ½ ricotta
- Layer 1/3 mozzarella/parmesan mixture.
- Add last layer of sauce, then mozzarella/parmesan mixture on top.
- Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
- Remove foil and bake or broil another 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned.
Let it rest 10 minutes before slicing, if you can wait that long!