Eggplant is one of the top ten ranked foods with high antioxidant status as measured by it’s ORAC value. It’s deep purple color is what makes it high in anthyocyanin compounds. Outside of it’s benefits, it’s a wonderful comfort food that can take your meal to the next level. I’ve added eggplant parmesan to zuchinni noodles, gluten free rice noodles and also just included it as a side dish.
Whichever way you have it, it can be just another way to add color and diversity to your diet. Diversity of foods and colors was found to be a key trait in those with the healthiest gut microbiomes. In fact, a large study in 2012 found that having 30 different plant foods per week was associated with microbiome diversity, gut health and less resistance to antibiotics.
About this Recipe
This recipe is gluten free and vegan but you can also easily make it nut free if you’ve got a nut allergy. If you’ve got a nut allergy, just substitute the almond flour for another flour of choice. Also, personally I’m not a huge eggplant parmesan fan so I prefer just plain baked eggplant with some olive oil and salt. However, even though I’m not usually a fan, I found this recipe to be pretty tasty and a great way to change up a normal pasta dish. If you’d like to make this a meal and add a protein to it, I like to add in some crumbled tofu in a tomato sauce. If you don’t tolerate tomatoes too well, a pesto sauce could also be an option for you. I’ve seen several vegan pesto options here recently at sprouts and whole foods. Personally, I like the sprouts brand of pesto best since it’s almost a third of the cost and tastes better.
Tutorial on Dipping Stations
If you are curious on how I set up my eggplant stations, check out a you tube I made below.
- 1 eggplant
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp arrowroot starch
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1-3 tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
- Slice eggplant into thin rounds
- Add salt
- Arrange eggplant on a plate with a paper towel on top and something heavy over to help improve the taste
- Let the eggplant sit for 10-15 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Prepare three stations for dipping the eggplant
- Bowl 1: almond or soy milk + arrowroot in one bowl
- Bowl 2: rice flour in bowl + salt
- Bowl 3: almond flour + oregano + nutritional yeast
- Dip eggplant slices in flour, then almond milk mixture, then almond flour mixture
- Arrange on the baking sheet and pop in oven to bake for a total of 30-40 minutes
- Heat a pan with olive oil on medium-low heat
- Place each eggplant on pan to cook in olive oil, flipping when finished
- Serve with pasta, zucchini noodles or as a side dish
Mennella, G., Lo Scalzo, R., Fibiani, M., D’Alessandro, A., Francese, G., Toppino, L., et al. (2012). Chemical and bioactive quality traits during fruit ripening in eggplant (S. melongena L.) and allied species. J. Agric. Food Chem. 60, 11821–11831. doi: 10.1021/jf3037424