Kelly’s Vegan & Gluten-Free Clean Eating Moroccan Eggplant Salad a.k.a. When The Future Moroccan Mama In Me Comes Out, Oh & Garlicky, Versatile, Smokey, Savoury & Nutritious: Safe To Say She’s A Keeper!
Back again – SORRY it took me longer than usual to get this one to you! I got so many messages from you guys about it so I’m super excited to share because I feel like you’re all DOWN WITH IT & that just makes me super-duper happy!
If you guys are Moroccan (& even if you ain’t), you know that this cooked salad is a freaking staple in most households, especially on Shabbat & Jewish holidays. It’s just a thing. Every Moroccan mother has a little tweak or variation that she adds to her recipe but at the end of the day, the base of this salad is none other than EGGPLANT (& then tons of other yummy ingredients, which we will get to shortly!).
So, there I was in my kitchen yesterday morning trying to bring out my INNER MOROCCAN FUTURE MAMA & making my own version of this delicious salad, AS HEALTHY AS IT CAN BE! Because y’all know that’s what I’m all about, right?
And let me tell you, I’M GONNA BE A HELLA GOOD FUTURE MOROCCAN MAMA.
No kay, I’m kidding.
But seriously, for a first attempt, this salad came out EXTRAORDINARILY! It will wow you & you will ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY MOST CERTAINLY LOVE IT!
I mean… Made with the cleanest ingredients & tons of flavourful spices, you can be sure you’ll load up on this stuff before the main dish is served, but hey, at least you can do so knowing you’re nourishing your body with REAL WHOLE FOODS!!
ANYWHO, wanna know why I’m raving so much about it?
- It’s super versatile – It can be eaten hold or cold, with bread or alone, as a topping for salad, bowls, soups, crackers, rice cakes, veggies – basically, WITH OR ON ANYTHING & EVERYTHING! TBH, it’s so damn good that eating it alone is not even considered “settling”.
- Simple, easy & very quick to prepare!
- Delicious! DUH! WE ALREADY COVERED THAT ONE, but just in case y’all needed a reminder!
- Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free & refined sugar free!
- Savoury, garlicky & smokey!
- Packed with fibre & tons of vitamins & minerals!
BTW, speaking of fibre & vitamins & minerals, can we just talk about the main event in this babe for a second? THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AS IF I NEEDED YOUR PERMISSION.
- Fights free radicals & cancer!
- Helps regulate & balance cholesterol levels!
- Helps with digestive health!
- Loaded with manganese, so it’s great for bone strength & health!
- Great source of energy & contains B-vitamins!
- Good for your skin!
- Immune-system support!
- Nourishes the brain!
- Manages type 2 diabetes & high blood pressure!
- Helps with healthy maintenance!
OKAY, now that we’ve got the benefits down-packed… as if you didn’t know that eggplant wasn’t THIS GOOD for you… NOW YOU KNOW!
OKAY GUYS, LET’S GET TO THE NITTY-GRITTY.
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 large eggplant (BTW. KEEP THE SKIN ON – The skin of purple eggplants contains its MOST VALUABLE NUTRIENT, which is a powerful antioxidant called NASUNIN, one of a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins, which you will find in many fruits & veggies with bright coloured hues, such as berries, beets & red cabbage!).
- Coconut oil cooking spray (I use Spectrum Organic);
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (or two whole tomatoes);
- 3-4 garlic cloves, MINCED;
- 1 ½ tsp. of ground cumin;
- 1 ½ tsp. of smoked paprika;
- ½ bunch of fresh parsley;
- ½ bunch of fresh cilantro;
- The juice of 1 organic lemon;
- Sea salt & black pepper, to taste!
NOW, for that HOW-TO:
- Preheat your oven to 400F & line a baking sheet with parchment paper/silicone baking sheet mat;
- Cut your eggplant in half & brush it with some avocado or coconut oil or spray it with some coconut oil cooking spray (the lazy way but the best way!)
- Roast your eggplant until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes!
- While your eggplant is roasting, dice your cherry tomatoes & heat some ‘mo coconut oil in a large skillet (YOU WILL NEED TO ADD EVERYTHING TO THIS SAME SKILLET LATER ON, SO KEEP THAT IN MIND!) over MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT!
- Once heated, add the diced tomatoes, garlic, cumin, black pepper, sea salt & smoked paprika to your skillet & sauté until the tomatoes are braised, cooked through & until all the water they release has been absorbed (The best way to know that they are ready is when they start becoming sticky & sticking to the bottoms/sides of your skillet).
- When the tomato mix is ready, remove it from the heat while you wait for your TIMER TO BEEP for the eggplant!
- Once the eggplant is ready, remove it from the oven & let it cool for AT LEAST 5 minutes. You don’t want to burn your hand off as you dice it, now do you? Didn’t think so!!! While you wait, MULTITASK – CHOP YOUR HERBS!
- Once cooled, dice the eggplant (You can choose to leave the skin on or take it off – Personally, I prefer it with the skin but it’s totally up to you!).
- NOW, reheat your skillet filled with the delicious tomato mix over MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT & add the diced eggplant & herbs to the skillet. Season with the juice of one organic lemon & a bit more spice (cumin, paprika & pepper – HOLD THE SALT – You can add some more later once it’s ready & you taste it if you feel it needs more. ALWAYS BEST to under-season with the salt & add more as you go!). Sauté all this beautifulness together until the eggplant is tender & all the ingredients are fully combined & incorporated. It should look like a huge cooked salad & you should be able to mash the eggplant down with your spatula or wooden spoon! This should take anywhere between 15 & 20 minutes!
- If you find your salad is sticking to the bottom of the skillet or to the sides, add some more coconut/avocado oil & reduce your heat to MEDIUM!
- If you have any leftovers (MEGA HUGE KEYWORD: “IF”), store them in an airtight container & refrigerate!
NEED A QUICK & EASY LUNCH IDEA WITH THIS BABE OF A SALAD?
LOOK NO FURTHER.
- Loads of this delicious salad!!!!
- 2 slices of Food For Life Baking Ezekiel sprouted toast (My fave is the sesame!) or any other bread (preferably sprouted!) – Swap for gluten-free toast for GF alternative!
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup of cottage cheese! (Replace with vegan cheese slices or spread for vegan alternative!)
- Sriracha, nutritional yeast & black pepper for topping!
- Toast your bread, top with the cottage cheese, eggplant salad & drizzle nutritional yeast, black pepper & Sriracha for some zing!
How’s that for a quick & easy lunch packed with protein, fibre, sprouted grains, antioxidants & a variety of vitamins & minerals?! 🤤👊🏻
FUN FACT: A LAZY LUNCH DOESN’T HAVE TO BE AN UNHEALTHY LUNCH!