Now this is a recipe that, after having made some adaptations based on my flavor preference (and I made the recipe a bit easier as well!), I knew I had to share with you. It’s so hearty, flavorful and healthy that you…well, you just need to try it.
It has become a family favorite over here!
What’s great about this recipe is that it’s super flexible, it can be made in a lot of ways, and if you make a lot more at a time (not much more work than making it once), you can easily freeze batches for thawing and cooking at a later time, just like any lasagna recipe.
Dr. Fuhrman’s Eggplant Rollups Recipe VIDEO
I Thought I Hated Eggplant
I swear, I thought I hated eggplant. The only other time I’d had eggplant was in the Thai Curry recipe, from Eat to Live, and though I’ve eaten it a few times, the eggplant wasn’t my favorite part of it. I adapted to it in that recipe by chopping the eggplant very fine, and then it practically disappeared into the dish.
Which was fine by me.
But in THIS dish, the eggplant has a starring role, and I was nervous when I first made it: was I just going to have to choke it down? Would all my work be wasted??
The first time I tried this recipe, was when I made it as a part of his 20 Day Meal Plan I was trying out. On this meal plan, you follow it strictly for 20 days, and you lose weight!
Dr. Fuhrman’s Lose 10 Pounds in 20 Days Detox Meal Plan
I cannot recommend this Program highly enough either, because not only did I lose 7 pounds of stubborn weight (and I’ve kept it off since!), I also learned a ton of new recipes, and figured out (finally!!!) how to really work the Nutritarian plan into my daily life.
It opened up my world, for real.
If you’re interested in learning more about what my experience was like to see if it might work for you as well, I did a video blog series on it, chronicling each day of my journey.
So when I tried eggplant in this recipe, I was SO excited and surprised to find out a way to use eggplant that I really loved. The eggplant as the “noodles” for this type of recipe was really perfect.
It takes the mushiness out of it and uses eggplant the way it should be. As a substantial wrapper that gives this dish some form.
When I eat this, I just chop up the eggplant and it really becomes the perfect little bite to go along with all the other vegetables.
You guys, I have to admit: I love the concept of Unlimited Foods. You probably know this about me from watching the things I eat every day on my YouTube vlogs, but I think this is the best part of being a Nutritarian. And I know a lot of others feel the same way as me.
It feeds our inner Food Addict in a way that doesn’t do us any damage. We get to eat as much as we want, but it’s allllll the good stuff.
This dish is exclusively comprised of unlimited foods. You could even add some more if you wanted, by adding in some lentils or even beans to the mixture. In fact, when eating this dish as a leftover before, I have sprinkled some chickpeas on top to give it a bit more oomph.
It can become such a hearty meal that way. And did I mention unlimited?? :P
Beware the Big Eggplants
So one thing I might caution against, is a mistake that I made the third time I made this. The first two times, I used smaller eggplants. The regular American purple ones you see in the grocery store: but small ones. The next time, I thought I’d be economical and use a much larger eggplant and what happened was, when I rolled the eggplants, all the seeds popped out into a weird shape that frankly, was kinda unappetizing to me. :P
Since I’m just getting used to eggplant anyway, I was unmotivated to eat the rest of the dish before it went bad in the fridge, so I vowed, as I threw the rest of it down the disposal, that I would only make it with smaller eggplants.
Watch the video of that day here: Eggplant Debacle on YouTube :P
Get Quick in the Kitchen
One time, when my friend Colleen was staying over, I prepared this in front of her. I had made it once or twice beforehand, and she made a remark that she was surprised that I could throw this dish together in just 30 minutes.
I gotta say, I wouldn’t have really noticed that if she hadn’t pointed it out, but I think it’s a good thing to mention.
I have taken care to (and always do) try to remove any unnecessary steps in the preparation of this dish. While I love cooking, I don’t love to be in the kitchen all day, so I have reduced this dish to it’s bare minimum.
I mention it, because I think it’s important for us to try to get as fast with our cooking as we can, so we can enjoy our lives more and enjoy the process of cooking as well. Meaning, it’s important to practice our knife skills whenever possible so you can be as safely quick as possible.
It’s also important to work on making recipes as quick as you can process-wise: just because a recipe is written a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the way it has to be cooked. Remember that recipes are written by humans, and sometimes that human hasn’t yet found the fastest way to make it.
Oftentimes, a recipe can be greatly pared down with a few changes, and you’d never know the difference in the finished product. Get creative and quick in your kitchen and you will reap the benefits of being super awesome…and also having more time to do the things you really want to do.
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise ¼ thick
- water for sauteeing
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 ounces kale, chopped
- 2 ounces arugula, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash, chipotle flavor
- 3 cups no-salt-added marinara sauce, divided
- ¼ cup shredded non-dairy cheese (I love Daiya mozzarella in this recipe)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the foil with cooking spray if desired, or lightly wipe it with an oil-dabbed paper towel. On an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet, arrange the eggplant in a single layer. Bake the eggplant for 20 minutes, so it will become flexible enough to roll.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, dry- or water-saute the peppers, onion and carrots until just softened. Make a well in the vegetables and add the garlic in a pool of a tablespoon of water and cook the garlic in the water until the garlic becomes fragrant. (This helps so it doesn't burn.) Then mix everything together. Add the kale, arugula and Mrs. Dash and stir to combine. Saute all for another 3-5 minutes or until the greens are wilted.
- Add 2 cups of the marinara plus 2 tablespoons of the cheese and stir to combine.
- In an 8x8 inch baking dish (use a 9x9 inch dish if you used a large eggplant), pour some of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan. Dampen each side of a piece of the eggplant with the sauce, lay it down, add 2-3 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture on top and then roll the rest of the eggplant up to cover the veggie mixture. Repeat for all of the eggplant, tucking it all together side by side in the pan. Pour the remaining marinara over the eggplant rollups and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven until warm, about 25 minutes. For an easy visual to this recipe, watch the video I've created. :)