Why it’s good for you: “It may be an unglamorous food, but eggplant is packed with fiber and contains the whole gamut of B vitamins, which give you all the energy you need,” says registered dietitian Gloria Tsang, founding editor of HealthCastle.com. Its deep purple color is evidence that it has powerful antioxidants to protect brain cells and control lipid levels.
How to eat it: Eggplant is a very versatile vegetable. It can be baked or roasted for an entrée or mixed into a dip or side dish.
Serving size: ½ cup cooked
Recipe: Mia’s Whole-Grain Pizza with Arugula, Eggplant and Caramelized Onion
Yield: 16 slices
This recipe makes two 12-in. pizzas. One pound of store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough made with olive oil can be substituted for homemade dough if desired. If King Arthur flour is not available in your area, substitute 1 cup whole-wheat flour mixed with 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour.
2 ¾ cups King Arthur white whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons quick-rise yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup warm water (105°–115°F)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon honey
In a food processor fitted with plastic blade, blend the flour, yeast and salt. In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the water, olive oil and honey. With the food processor running, add the water-oil mixture and blend until the flour forms a ball of dough. Process for 1 minute to knead the dough. The dough will be a bit sticky; if it’s too wet, add up to ½ cup more flour. Spray a bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Put the dough into the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the dough doubles in size.
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 8-oz. eggplant, cut into 1-in. cubes
5 oz. (about 4 cups) baby arugula
2 teaspoons cornmeal, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing the crust, divided
¼ cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove to a bowl. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the eggplant and salt and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes to soften the eggplant. Uncover and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes to remove any excess moisture. Remove to a bowl. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add arugula and cook, tossing the arugula until it is wilted. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
To assemble the pizzas, preheat the oven (and a baking stone if desired) to 425°F. Punch down the dough and divide into two pieces. Set on a lightly floured surface and cover with a towel to rest for 5 minutes. For each pizza, sprinkle a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon cornmeal. Roll one piece of dough into a 12-in. circle and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Distribute ½ cup caramelized onions, ½ cup cooked eggplant and ¼ cup arugula on the dough. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese. Repeat with other piece of dough. Bake the pizzas for about 15 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Cut each pizza into 8 slices.
Nutrition per serving (1 slice of pizza):
Fat: 9 g (EPA 0 g, DHA 0 g, ALA <1 g)
Sodium: 335 mg
Carbohydrates: 18 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 4 g
Recipe excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, February 2011). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com