Sunday Cooking With Crys: Diet Tip of the Week (II)


For this week’s tip in healthy eating I am going to turn on one of my favorite veggies: the eggplant. I know the season is over, but I happened upon some very nice eggplants at a Turkish market, so of course I bought them immediately.

For a long time, I thought that I would have to abandon eggplant once I went on my healthy eating phases, for the simple fact that they absorb a freakish amount of oil when you cook them, and attempting to reduce the amount of oil just results in watery, gross eggplant. However, a few years ago I picked up an excellent tip from an Asian cookbook that my father brought me from Singapore which gets around this inconvenience, and I will now share it with you.

 

As ever, make sure you buy very firm eggplants, the harder the better, unless you want to end up with something bitter and nasty.

Simply wash the eggplant, put them on a sheet of foil and stick them whole in the oven at 200-220°C. How long you will bake them will depend entirely on how large the eggplants are, but you want to leave them in there until the skin becomes papery and the eggplant shrivel up. For medium sized ones that’s about 30-40 minutes, and they come out looking like this

 

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Let them cool down a bit, chop them up, drain off any excess liquid, and then you can flavor them up in a pan with just a little bit of oil. For the Asian version, I use 2 teaspoons of oil, chopped fresh ginger, chopped garlic, chopped chili, and soy sauce. For a classic Italian pasta sauce, you can use olive oil, garlic, fresh basil and tomato sauce. Whatever you do with them in the end, this way you get all that excellent eggplanty flavor without having to sacrifice half a bottle of oil to do so.

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