Kitchen Experiments – Baked Eggplant

Growing up in an Italian household, there were a few things that were a given, like Sunday dinners.  Typically we ate pasta and meatballs, one of my Dad’s favorite meals, which meant Monday school lunches were meatball sandwiches. There were several Italian kids in my class and you didn’t need to look any further than their lunch box to figure out who they were! In the summer time when all of the other neighbors were spraying their lawns trying to get rid of their dandelions, we were outside digging them up for a dandelion salad!

My mom was the main cook in our house and it was not often that she asked for help, but when the electric frying pan came out, you knew that someone was going to be in the kitchen with Mom frying eggplant! It was not one of those tasks like weeding the garden that we all detested because we couldn’t wait to dig in when they were done.  It was like an assembly line – one pie plate filled with flour, one with eggs and the last with Italian breadcrumbs.  When we were young, my Mom always sliced her eggplant in rounds. When we were older, she discovered eggplant rollatini which requires the eggplant to be sliced length wise.  There is nothing as good as a big bowl of sauce with a plate of fried eggplant alongside it.  No pasta required in my mind.  The only problem is that I could eat a whole eggplant all by myself!

It has been 7 months since we started the ALCAT diet, 7 long months without eggplant!  I was moderately sensitive to eggplant which meant I had to avoid it for at least 6 months.  Now that the time was up, I could not wait to make breaded eggplant.  Of course, I had to modify it for my current diet, but that was easy.

I took out my 3 pie plates and put rice flour in the first one, eggs in the second and rice bread crumbs in the 3rd with salt, oregano and basil added to make it more “Italian”. I sliced my eggplant into rounds and then started the dredging process.  A little flour, a little egg and then the breadcrumbs.  I have not fried my eggplant since I was a child.  I place mine on a sprayed baking sheet and then spray the top again before baking them in the oven.  They are crisp and delicious and not at all greasy.

eggplantI usually bake them at 375-400 degrees and turn them at least once. They are easy and delicious to make and oh so good to eat!

eggplant2With a big bowl of homemade sauce of course! Buon appetito!

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About acunut

Acupuncturist, Nutritionist and co-director of Wellspring Holistic Center with Anita Bondi