If you’ve been on a no-grain diet for quite some time now and have been missing the lip-smacking goodness of sandwiches in your mouth, here’s an exciting recipe you should try right away.
You can now savor the flavors you find in a typical sandwich without falling off the no-grain bandwagon as this one comes without the buns and all the other harmful ingredients that usually tag along with it.
Did You Know?
- Eggplants are rich in anthocyanins, the phytonutrient responsible for its deep purple skin color, and free-radical scavenging antioxidants like nasunin and chlorogenic acid
- Sun-dried tomatoes have profound effects in preventing degenerative diseases like cancer, maintaining a healthy heart, and promoting strong bones due to their impressive nutritional content
- Because of the notable list of vitamins and minerals under its belt, basil is said to be effective in preventing cholesterol oxidation in the blood, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes
Healthy Eggplant Sandwich Recipe
Serving Size: 4
- 3 medium eggplants
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 8 ounces of goat cheese
- 16 small basil leaves
- 12 sun-dried tomatoes
- Cut each eggplant lengthwise into slices, about half an inch thick. Take the largest eight slices and place on a baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and let it sit for 20 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and heat until glistening. Add the eggplant slices two at a time. Cook until browned, about three minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast the bell peppers on the grill, or on a grill pan, preheated on high. Arrange whole peppers on the grill and cook until the skin is charred, or about five minutes per side.
- Place the hot peppers in a paper bag. This allows the skin to be removed easily. Allow to cool in the bag for about 20 minutes. Pull or scrape the skin off with your fingers or a paring knife. Cut off the stem end, cut open the peppers, and scrape out the seeds and membrane. Cut into strips about one-inch wide.
- Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into strips.
- Assemble the sandwiches by placing an eggplant slice on a plate. Spread each slice with goat cheese and top as desired with slices of roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil leaves. To complete the sandwich, place another eggplant slice on top.
Eggplant Sandwich Cooking Tips
Intensify the flavor and healthful perks of your eggplant sandwich recipe by following these simple steps:
For best flavor, choose eggplants that are glossy, firm, and heavy for their size. The stem should be bright green, and if you push on the flesh with your thumb, it should bounce back. A lasting indentation is a sign that the eggplant may be overripe. Overripe eggplants tend to be more bitter in flavor, as are those that are stored too long.
You can store an uncut eggplant in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer (in a plastic bag) to keep them fresh longer. Ideally, look for eggplants that are locally grown and use them as soon as possible after harvest.
Opt for loose-packed sun-dried tomatoes over oil-packed varieties as the quality of the oil used may vary and may sometimes give off an unappetizing flavor. A far healthier alternative is to create your own sun-dried tomatoes instead of buying prepackaged ones from the supermarket.
There are many different types of goat cheese, which often come in various shapes and sizes. Fresh goat cheese always looks creamy and moist with a mild salty flavor. Don’t buy it if it has any sign of mold or leaking whey. 1
To get the most benefit from goat cheese, you’ll want to stick with the same standards as you would looking for cow’s milk (or any other) cheese. This means the cheese you select should be made from high-quality organic raw milk from grass-fed animals. I highly recommend looking for a reputable organic farmer near your area to protect your family from potential antibiotic contamination, which is a common issue in CAFOs or confined animal feeding operations.
To soften up crumbly goat cheese, simply mash it with a spoonful of cream in a small mixing bowl, and voila! It’s now ready to spread on any sandwich of your choice.
For longer shelf life, freeze your goat cheese with its original wrappings, whether it’s plastic wrap or wax paper, to keep its flavor, texture, and moisture intact. Warm it up to room temperature an hour before serving.
Select only bright green basil leaves that have no signs of damage or wilting, such as uneven coloring or dark spots. You can extend the shelf life of your basil leaves up to four days when you store them inside the fridge wrapped tightly in paper towels and plastic bag.
Growing your own basil at home is also a wonderful idea as it’s not only easy to maintain but extremely useful, too. Add it to salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, and even in lemon- and cucumber-infused drinks.
Why Is Eggplant Sandwich Good for You?
Aside from being 100 percent grain-free, this scrumptious eggplant sandwich recipe is a fantastic health treat for you, too, because it uses natural ingredients that are loaded with some of the healthiest nutrients you can think of.
Instead of bread, this recipe uses eggplants, which are rich in:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin K
- Anthocyanins, the phytonutrient responsible for its deep purple skin color
- Free-radical scavenging antioxidants, such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid
Sun-dried tomatoes, on the other hand, have profound effects in inhibiting degenerative diseases like maintaining a healthy heart and promoting strong bones due to its impressive nutritional content. Other than having antioxidant properties, a single serving of sun-dried tomatoes offers: 2
- 23 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which is known to support the immune system and fight damaging free radicals in the body
- 16 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is important in maintaining a clear eyesight and overall health. Members of the vitamin A family – lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin – present in sun-dried tomatoes also function as antioxidants
- 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, which regulates blood pressure and normal heart rhythm
- 6 percent calcium and 27 percent phosphorus, which are well-known bone-building minerals
One of the healthiest herbs there is, basil is packed with vitamin K, iron, manganese, and DNA-protecting flavonoids. Because of the notable list of vitamins and minerals under its belt, basil is effective in preventing cholesterol oxidation in the blood, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Meanwhile, goat cheese has more vitamin D, vitamin K, thiamine, and niacin compared to cheddar. It’s also a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and phosphorus.
Sources and References
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