Food

Vegetable of the Month – Eggplant

Although technically a fruit, eggplants are closely related to the tomato and potato and often treated like a vegetable in cooking. Here are some ways to get this colorful fruit on your kids plate.

Eggplants should be cooked versus eaten raw. They have a meaty flavor and often take on the flavor of what it is cooked with. Most experts believe that eggplants originated in India and they continue to grow there well.

Eggplant Lasagna from Simple Moms Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil for brushing
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 48 ounces chunky tomato sauce (such as Prego)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Oil 2 baking sheets and a 9×13-inch baking dish with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Whisk eggs and water together in a shallow dish. Combine Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and ground black pepper in a separate shallow dish.
  3. Dip eggplant slices into egg mixture, then press each gently into bread crumb mixture.
  4. Gently tap off any excess crumbs. Arrange slices on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake eggplant slices in the preheated oven until tops are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Flip eggplant and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Remove eggplant from the oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  8. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and stir in ground beef.
  9. Season beef with salt and ground black pepper.
  10. Cook and stir until beef is browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes.
  11. Drain excess grease. Stir tomato sauce into ground beef; bring to a simmer and set sauce aside.
  12. Place 1/3 of the eggplant slices on bottom of the dish. Pour 1/3 of tomato sauce with ground beef on top of eggplant layer.
  13. Sprinkle 1/3 of mozzarella cheese on top of sauce layer.
  14. Repeat 2 more times, finishing with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  15. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Grandma’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan by Blair from TheSeasonedMom.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup corn flake crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 ounces 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
  2. Pour melted butter into a 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Place egg in a shallow dish. Set aside.
  4. In a separate shallow dish, combine corn flake crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Peel eggplant and cut into ¾-inch thick slices. Dip each slice in egg and coat with crumb mixture. Place in prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes; turn slices and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Pour marinara sauce over eggplant and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 3 more minutes, or until cheese is just melted.

Eggplant Fries by Maria Emmerich from DietDoctor.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplant
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Peel eggplant and cut into french-fry shapes. Set aside.
  3. In a shallow bowl, stir together the almond flour, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Place the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk until frothy.
  4. Dip the eggplant pieces into the egg, then into the flour mixture, then back into the egg, and back into the flour mixture.
  5. Place the coated fries on a greased cookie sheet, and drizzle with melted coconut oil.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until crispy and brown.

Kid-Friendly Eggplant Chips by Meredith from HomeGrownFriends.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size eggplant
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 3 cups panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • COOKING TOOLS
  • child-safe knife
  • cookie tray
  • 3 medium bowls

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease 2 cookie trays with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Cut up the eggplant into ½ inch rounds. Using a child friendly knife like the one by Curious Chef gives your child a chance to be part of the cooking process.
  4. Measure 1 cup of flour and pour into a bowl.
  5. Beat 4 eggs in another bowl.
  6. Add three cups of panko to the third bowl. T
  7. he next steps are a fantastic way to practice sequencing. Coat a piece of eggplant in flour, then dip in egg and then in the panko breadcrumbs.
  8. Place on the greased cookie tray.
  9. Repeat these steps with all of the pieces of eggplant.
  10. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce.

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