A New Slant On Eggplant

Made with rice noodles, Grilled Eggplant Noodle Bowl is a one-bowl meal that is hearty without being heavy. Long prized for their deeply purple, glossy beauty as well as their unique taste and texture, eggplants—like many other vegetables—are great sources for dietary fiber, a necessary element in any balanced diet. You can eat an entire cup of cooked, cubed eggplant and consume only 35 calories!

Besides being a mouthwatering addition to just about any meal, eggplants contain almost no fat or cholesterol, a very healthy food for people trying to lose weight. The fiber content is also very filling, which inhibits the release of ghrelin, the hormone which tells our mind that we are hungry again (they ought to market that stuff!) Yet, many people make the mistake of frying them. Although this may be a delicious way to cook eggplant, it also counteracts a number of the health benefits, and can cause weight gain and negatively impact heart conditions.

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The “aubergines” belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. But be careful because the nightshade family are known to cause somewhat severe allergic reactions.

BTW, if you don’t like peanuts, use cashews instead.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 6 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 oz. flat, wide (pad thai) rice noodles
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts

Directions

  • Prepare a medium-high (425°F to 450°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Brush the eggplant slices with oil and season with salt and pepper.
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  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Grill the eggplant until grill marks form on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the slices and continue to grill until the eggplant is tender, about 2 minutes more.
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  • Cook the rice noodles according to package directions until tender.
  • Meanwhile, chop the eggplant into 1/2-inch pieces, and combine with the scallions in a large bowl.
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  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1/4 cup warm water.
  • Drain the noodles, rinse under cold running water, drain again, and add to the eggplant. Toss with the sauce, mint, and cilantro. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve.
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Adapted from a recipe by Judith Fertig

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