Sunday, December 18, 2011

Using Eggplant for Dinner - 2 Ways!!

I LOVE when I can make two different dinners from just one main ingredient. Last weekend my husband and I purchased an eggplant to use for dinner for the week. I am very picky about the way I eat my eggplant...I don't like it in certain forms.

I wanted to do something different, yet healthy. So I started searching for some eggplant recipes that were kinda low in carbs but cooked in a way that I would enjoy.

The first thing I came across was for something the original "chef" called "Eggplant Mexicano." It intrigued both myself and my husband, though when we ate it, while SUPER tasty, we couldn't figure out why it was really considered "Mexican."

I also saw someone post a recipe for "eggplant pizzas" which was essentially just a non fried eggplant parmesan, but I added some pepperoni to it and it was actually very good! So, I sliced up my eggplant into round slices and set half aside for the Mexicano and half aside for the "mini pizzas."

I started by making the mini pizzas. I followed no recipe, just sort of made it up as I was going along.


Round eggplant slices
chopped up pepperoni (I used Hormel turkey pepperoni)
your favorite pizza/pasta sauce
mozzarella cheese
crushed red pepper flakes


After I cut the eggplant, I lightly salted each side and let them rest on a paper towel. Then I grilled the slices for a few minutes on each side to start to get them nice and tender.

Once I thought the eggplant was tender enough, I moved it to a baking dish and put the chopped pepperoni on each slice.

Then I spooned some sauce over that and sprinkled a dash of crushed red pepper flakes over the sauce.

The cheese went next, followed by a sprinkle of oregano.

Then I baked it at 375 degrees F until the cheese was melted with hints of browning on it, cause I like it that way!

Once the mini pizzas were good to go on the baking sheet, I started on the eggplant Mexicano. I followed the directions of the recipe to a point, but instead of Monterey Jack cheese I used sharp cheddar because that is what I had in the house.

I also baked these after grilling them instead of just grilling and plunking salsa and cheese on them. I baked them with the salsa and cheese on the slices so it was a little more melted and it turned out great!

Ingredients: (with what I used, click link above for original)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
eggplant slices
2/3 cup salsa (I like fruity salsas so I used a cherry salsa!)
1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese


In a bowl, combine oil, garlic powder and oregano.

Brush over both sides of the eggplant.

Grill, uncovered, over medium heat until slightly tender.

Place slices onto baking sheet and spoon salsa over them. Then sprinkle the cheese over the salsa.

Bake at 375 degrees F until tender and cheese is melted.

(Pizza on the left, Mexicano on the right)

So there you go, delicious eggplant two ways!

My husband and I ate the mini pizza ones first. He had a side of garlic bread, I had a side of peas to try and cut some carbs.

A few nights later we enjoyed the Mexicano ones. All in all, it was a successful use of the eggplant!

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