• Cristina Montoya, RD

Nightshade Spotlight: Parmesan Polenta and Eggplant


Do you avoid eating nightshade plants to reduce inflammation? Ever since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, 17 years ago, I've been seen numerous claims that avoiding nightshades will help and even cure my arthritis. However, there is conflicting research about nightshade vegetables and inflammation. In my recent post, I highlight the truth about nightshade vegetables. I was never crazy about eggplants, but my Parmesan Polenta and Eggplant was a hit at home. Polenta and Eggplants come in handy in times where we need foods with longer shelf life.



Highlight:

Eggplant is a common vegetable under the nightshade category, which has been feared by many people. There is conflicting research about nightshade vegetables and inflammation. The bright side is that eggplants have a low glycemic index and contain anthocyanin, a type of antioxidant that had shown to reduce inflammation in your body.


Parmesan Polenta and Eggplant


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 7 (2 slices of polenta and 2 slices of eggplant)


Ingredients:


  • 1 18-oz tube polenta

  • 1 large eggplant

  • 2 large eggs

  • ¾ cup oat flour

  • 1 tablespoon parsley, dried

  • 1 tablespoon oregano, dried

  • 1 ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated


Instructions


  1. Preheat oven at 425 °F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. You may need two separate baking sheets.

  2. Slice polenta into slices of ½ inch thick. It yields about 14 slices.

  3. Slice eggplant into slices of ¼ inch thick.

  4. In a shallow bowl, add the eggs and whisk or beat with a fork.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix the oat flour, parmesan cheese, parsley and oregano.

  6. Dip each polenta and eggplant slice in the egg. Cover all sides. Lift each slice up and let any excess egg drip off back into the bowl.

  7. Coat each slice with the parmesan and oat flour mixture. Press the mixture into the top, bottom and sides of the slice.

  8. Place the polenta slices on one baking sheet and the eggplant slices on the other baking sheet.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the polenta and eggplant appear crispy and golden.

Extra tips:


  • Get rid of the potential bitter taste that eggplant can have, by soaking the eggplant slices in a large bowl filled with cold water and one teaspoon of salt for 30 minutes. Pat dry the eggplant slices with a paper towel.


  • Grind oat flakes in a food processor for quick homemade oat flour. Use certified gluten-free oats to make the recipe 100% gluten-free.


  • Eggplants can be stored for a few days unwrapped in the fridge vegetable crisper.


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