Adding more fruits and vegetables to your weekly meal plan doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Making fruits and vegetables the star (if not 100% focus) of your meal means more colors, more flavors, and tons of immune- and energy-boosting ingredients. This grilled eggplant veggie bowl mix is a great vegetarian dish that features eggplant (yes, we know it’s a fruit) as the base but can really be adapted to include all the vegetables you love. Just play around with it to find the right mix for you.
Why Grilled Eggplant is a Main-Dish Rockstar
Why eggplant? Well, for starters, it’s packed with nutrients and is low in calories. That places it in the rare nutrient-dense categories of foods. To put it into numbers, one cup of eggplant only has 20 calories, but it’s packed with:
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Manganese: 10% of the RDI
- Folate: 5% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 4% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 3% of the RDI
A Few More Health Benefits of Eggplant
Being nutrient-dense isn’t the only thing eggplant has going for it. Eggplant is also:
- High in antioxidants. This helps prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals (think unstable molecules in the body that can cause illness and aging).
- A great food for reducing the risk of heart disease. There have been a few promising studies that show it can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and even have a protective effect on the heart.
- Good for the digestive system and blood sugar control. We can thank its high fiber content for both of these benefits.
- The perfect go-to food for weight loss. Low calories and high fiber make this a winning combo for dropping those extra pounds while still feeling full.
Added Bonus on Eggplant
Eggplant is on the Clean Fifteen list, ranking as one of the top fifteen fruits and vegetables tested to contain the least amount of pesticide residue. That means you can keep it budget-friendly or grab the non-organic option at the store if you prefer. Read more on this topic here!
*Recipe inspired by and adapted from allrecipe.com Eggplant Mixed Grill