Summer Fest: Going Meatless With Eggplant

The eggplant's hearty and full-bodied texture makes it a perfect substitute for meat and seafood, like in these classic dishes.
By: Priya Krishna

Photo by: STEPHEN MURELLO

STEPHEN MURELLO

I was vegetarian for about 16 years of my life. It was the lifestyle my parents were used to, so that was just the way they raised me. While I was vegetarian, I operated primarily on the Indian lentils-rice-vegetable diet. In other words, whatever my mother fed me was what I ate. Unfortunately, the one vegetable my mother hated was eggplant, so I went the majority of my childhood and young adult life unexposed to what I later realized was a truly fabulous vegetable. These babies are actually a vegetarian’s best friend. They are hearty, flavorful and actually filling on their own in a way that few other vegetables are. They are also currently in season. Take advantage of this tasty vegetable by trying it as a substitute for meat in some classic dishes – whether or not you are vegetarian, you won’t miss the meat with these healthy and flavorful recipes!

Love Chicken Parmesan? Make Eggplant Parmesan instead

This one may be the most obvious, but Robin's version is lightened up and given a kick of chili pepper.

Craving a Ham and Cheese Tortilla? Try a Vegetable Tortilla instead

Eggplant, along with onions, tomatoes, zucchini and green bell pepper give this frittata loads of interesting texture and flavor.

Recipe: Vegetable Tortilla (above)

In the mood for a bowl of Chicken Soup? Eggplant and Onion Soup should soothe your craving

Baking the eggplant and then simmering it in a soup makes for a rich, velvety broth.

Spotted Miso Glazed Fish on a restaurant menu? Make Miso Glazed Eggplant at home

Scoring the eggplant with a knife creates pockets that can soak up all the sweet and sour flavor of the miso and soy sauce. The result? A juicy, delectable (and low-carb) meal.

 More Eggplant Recipes from Family and Friends:

From My Corner of Saratoga: Ratatouille Fresh From the Garden

Big Girls Small Kitchen: Homemade Baba Ganoush
Made by Michelle: Eggplant Zucchini Muffins
Cooking With Elise: Stuffed Eggplant

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Eggplant and Peppers Dip

Thursday Night Dinner: Eggplant Flatbread

Cooking With Books: Sriracha and Honey Eggplant Rice

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