Eggplant is known to be versatile, but have you ever thought of using it as noodles? Nutritionist Adeline Chan created this incredible Pad Thai dish, with all the flavour and a fraction the carbs you would get in a traditional noodle dish. The cilantro and lime add a fresh lift, perfect on a cool fall day.
3 Chinese eggplants
1 tbsp organic seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp pure fish sauce
1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
¼ tsp tamarind paste
½ tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 large egg, whisked
½ cup firm tofu, diced into roughly 1-cm cubes
1-2 pinches red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
½ cup mung bean sprouts
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp roasted unsalted cashews, crushed
½ lime, cut into wedges
Few sprigs of coriander (to garnish)
1. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Then, cut each half lengthwise into about 0.5-cm thick strips. Set the eggplant “noodles” aside.
2. For the sauce, combine organic seasoned rice vinegar, pure fish sauce, unsweetened almond milk, tamarind paste, and pure maple syrup into a small bowl. Mix everything well and set aside.
3. In a skillet on medium heat, add the coconut oil and sauté the garlic.
4. Once the garlic is slightly brown, add in the whisked egg immediately and scramble it.
5. When the egg is scrambled and no longer runny, add in the tofu and eggplant. Mix everything together until the eggplant strips become limp like noodles.
6. Next, stir in the sauce (from step 2). When the sauce begins to boil, red pepper flakes can be added for spiciness, if desired.
7. When the liquid from the sauce has evaporated, turn off the heat and toss in the green onions, mung bean sprouts, and sesame oil. Mix well and then transfer everything into a serving dish.
8. Top the dish off with roasted unsalted cashews, coriander, and lime. Make sure to squeeze in some lime before eating and enjoy!
Makes 2 servings
Note: Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers, and potatoes. People who suffer from arthritis may find they react to an alkaloid in nightshades that causes swelling and inflammation. Check your sensitivity to nightshades by removing them from the diet and then reintroducing them while watching for symptoms.
Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her soon-to-be-published first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process.