So excited to share my first recipe with you! Yay! Can’t believe I made it to the point where you, guys, can try things out and enjoy the dishes my family loves and cooks on a regular basis.
Today we are going to make Eggplant Rolls With Beetroot Salad. It is a great appetizer or a side dish that can be served warm or chilled, easily adjustable to anyone’s taste and is packed with healthy foods.
I remember that the beetroot salad itself was a mandatory attribute of our winter holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Day back home during my childhood. There were not that many recipes with beetroot in them (except for the borsch soup and the vinaigrette salad, I cannot recall a single one right now). So my mom was trying hard to incorporate the vegetable into our diet because of its amazing health benefits.
A beetroot is a great source of iron, vitamins A and C, folic acid and fiber. It increases blood flow (beneficial to those who were diagnosed with dementia or have a risk of a heart attack) and because of that it is believed to be an important diet component of a cancer fight diet. It can be baked, or boiled, or eaten raw in salads, juices, sauces, and even desserts. It has a slightly sweet taste and a deep red color that blends nicely with many other ingredients. I personally prefer to bake it or juice it. In these cases, I get more benefits from it.
The recipe I am about to share with you calls for other components such as an eggplant, garlic cloves, and walnuts.
There is a set of vegetables that I have in my fridge at all times and an eggplant is one of them. It is just too creative of a vegetable to leave it out of the picture! Check it out! You can load it with all kind of grains and vegetables, you can make spreads out of it, or sauté it and add to your favorite sauce or, in our case, it can be used to make rolls. Eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Their juice reduces blood cholesterol and works as a protector of the cardiovascular health. The critical thing to know about eggplants is that they are members of the nightshades family, hence people with autoimmune or digestive diseases should be very careful consuming them if not eliminating altogether. If you or a member of your family was not diagnosed with the diseases mentioned above – then just listen to your body and see how you feel after consuming eggplants. I tend to believe that one has to consume them in large quantities to see any negative consequences, but everybody is different, so you just be mindful, guys!
For the Rolls, you will need only one eggplant, so the dosage consumed is going to be fairly small.
And then there comes garlic… There is barely a dish I do not put garlic in. I use both fresh cloves and powder. When I was a kid, the first thing that used to come to my mind when I heard ‘garlic’ was ‘the smell’! Now I think ‘delish’! Every soup, unsweetened sauce or spread, sautéed or baked vegetables will benefit from some garlicky additives. The dishes are not going to have a strong smell if garlic was fully cooked, so do not worry. However, this recipe differs in that, it uses fresh garlic, so my tip to you: make sure that members of your family consume the same dish with you. You all are going to be in the same boat and it will not make a ‘smell issue’ a big concern. And of course, try to avoid it before interviews or dentist’s appointments. Garlic has a good amount of Vitamin B6 and Manganese and very few calories. It is a strong cold fighter that contains antioxidants and helps with detoxifying heavy metals from a body (an important topic that is going to be made into one of my future posts); additionally, it is able to reduce blood pressure, and improve a cholesterol level. If you, guys, noticed, almost each and every vegetable I mentioned today has something to do with heart health. I want to point it out separately, so that you understand why this information is SO important: the number one reason of the deaths in the US is heart diseases. You can quickly google it and see that the statistic is overwhelming. Therefore, in order to be healthy tomorrow, we have to start making changes today.
Last but not least, I have to say a few words about walnuts. Just like other nuts that I mentioned in my previous post, walnuts make a great fulfilling snack, are used in many desserts or salads, protect our hearts, fight cancer, make our hair shine, and even have some weight loss benefits. Yes, yes, I know they are heavy on fats and have lots of calories, but they are also very satisfying. If you want to have a salad for lunch but afraid that a leafy dish is going to make you hungry again in less than an hour – just throw a handful of nuts in your salad and you will be surprised how much tastier it becomes and how much longer you are able to suppress your hunger.
There are some other ingredients in this recipe that I want to talk about, but I am going to keep it until the next post.
Let’s cook our Rolls now! I will highlight the most important components for this recipe in bold – feel free to substitute others; it is not going to change the overall taste of the dish.
Eggplant Rolls with Beetroot Salad
1 large eggplant
1 medium beetroot
4 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup of raw walnuts
1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
1 tbsp of sesame seeds
Himalayan salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Oil a backing tray with avocado oil, place the whole beetroot on it and let it sit in the oven for 40-60 minutes until fully cooked.
- Cut the eggplant into long fairly even slices with the skin on.
- Oil another backing tray with avocado oil, place the eggplant slices on the tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning them over every 5 minutes or so, until ready. The slices should become soft.
- Take out the beetroot from the oven and let it cool off. Peel the beetroot and grate it.
- Cut the garlic cloves into small pieces and add to the beetroot.
- Crush walnuts into small pieces and add to the beetroot as well.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Take the tray with the eggplant slices out of the oven and let it to cool off a little.
- Cut the scallion into long thin strips.
- Take the eggplant slice and put a spoon of the beetroot salad in the middle of the slice; make the ends meet.
- Use a scallion strip to tie the ends of the eggplant slice to make a roll. Rolls shouldn’t be strongly tied. The scallion plays mostly decorative role here even though it holds ends of the eggplant roll together.
- Repeat steps 11 and 12 with all the remaining slices and the salad and place on the plate.
- Garnish with nutritional yeast and sesame seeds.
- Can be served warm or cold.
Do not worry if your rolls are not perfectly tied with the scallion strips. The messy look does not mean a bad taste. Just be creative! Remember, nobody in your family knows how it is supposed to look like! Make the best out of it and then just act as it was intended! After a few bites, your loved ones are going to be willing to eat it in any form or shape. The beauty of this recipe is that you can just make the beetroot salad itself, without an eggplant and serve it as a side dish or put it on a toast. It is just fine when served cold, so you can easily make it in advance. For the eggplant slices part – you can load them with anything you like, literally. You can garnish your rolls with fresh parsley, fairly chopped walnuts, cheese etc. Let your imagination fly. And enjoy!