I have lots of yummy ideas for your long three-day weekend. If you want to make Memorial Day a #meatlessmonday (or are just looking to get more creative with your side dishes), my recipe for Tuscan Grilled Eggplant with Charred Tomatoes brings home a hearty yet healthy touch of the Mediterranean. I created this veggie recipe for Litehouse Food and it uses their delicious Tuscan Herb Vinaigrette, an updated take on traditional Italian dressing that gets a lift from lemon.
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant (approximately 1 large)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes in a variety of colors
- ¾ cup Italian Dressing (I used Tuscan Herb with Lemon)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Instantly Fresh Basil (or fresh chopped)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Instantly Fresh Chives (or fresh chopped)
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt into a 9”x13” or slightly larger dish that has been filled halfway with water.Trim eggplant and then cut into ½-inch lengthwise slices. Place slices into water, weighing them down with smaller plates that fit inside the dish. Let eggplant soak for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain eggplant and pat it dry with clean towels. Place eggplant back in dried dish used for soaking and add tomatoes. Pour over dressing and gently stir until coated. Let planks sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (approximately 400 degrees).Remove eggplant slices from marinade and place directly on grates of hot grill. Skewer tomatoes or place them in a grill basket. Grill eggplant for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until tender and deep brown grill marks appear. Grill tomatoes for approximately 3- 4 minutes, turning or tossing in basked until softened and popped. . Transfer eggplant to serving platter and top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil, chives and feta cheese crumbles. Serves 4.
I have another beautiful Mediterranean dish that will have guests green with envy – and eating their greens! PopSugar.com recently posted my recipe for Chard Chickpea Wraps on their Fit Sugar site – please go visit, check out the healthy lunch or light dinner recipe and find out why the green, leafy vegetable known as Swiss chard is so good for you.
Have more carnivorous cravings? Meat-eaters everywhere will be firing up grills and tossing on burgers, brisket and chops in honor of Memorial Day. A sizzling steak and grilled corn would be a delicious choice for a healthy diet – especially if you choose a tenderloin steak or top sirloin, both favorites of mine that are considered lean.
What are you cooking up this weekend, please share! Are you running any races — if so, good luck and let me know how it goes!