Ginger has been used in Indian ayurvedic medicine for centuries as an arthritis treatment. In vitro studies show that it does indeed have anti-inflammatory effects, blocking enzymes that produce inflammatory prostaglandins. The same action has been demonstrated in blood tests with human volunteers.
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Tomorrow night (June 8), Dr. Ana Negrón will lead an explorative conversation about the intersection where the body meets food.
Chinese Eggplant Stir-Fry
Makes 4 servings
4 Chinese eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 bunch green onion
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili pepper, diced
3 dried dates
1 tablespoon black vinegar (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Preheat a wide sauté pan or wok over high heat. To prepare the eggplant: Cut in half lengthwise. Then cut into thick, 3/4-inch half-moons. Place in a single layer in the preheated pan and let sear, without moving, for about 5 minutes. When well-charred, flip and char on the second side for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and return the pan to heat. You may need to work in two batches, depending on how wide your pan is. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan or the eggplant won't brown properly.
Meanwhile, trim the ends of the scallions. Cut into thirds, about 3 inches long. Add the scallions to the pan and let char for about 5 minutes. Then stir and continue cooking until brown all over.
To make the sauce and finish the stir-fry: Mince the dried dates. When the scallions are charred around the edges, add the ginger, garlic, red chili, dates, and vinegar. Add 1/2 cup of water.
Return the eggplant to the pan. Sauté 3-5 minutes over high heat, until aromatic and eggplant is tender. Stir well to combine. Add water as needed to prevent burning. Pour in the tamari and turn off the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Tips: Exclude the seeds of the red chili if you want less heat. You can easily bump up the flavors here by doubling the amount of garlic, red chili, or ginger you use.
Per serving (1/4 of recipe):
Calories: 95.22; Calories From Fat: 8%; Total Fat 0.89 g; Saturated Fat 0.14 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 143.82 mg; Potassium 643.43 mg; Total Carbohydrates 21.63 g; Fiber 7.63 g; Sugar 13.05 g; Protein 3.3 g; Calcium 25.56 mg; Iron 50.97 mg; Vitamin A 387.74 IU; Vitamin C 0 mg
Recipe by Chef Katie Simmons. Katie is a personal chef based in Chicago, and a graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate program. Her Plants-Rule website features delicious, healthy recipes for those with special dietary concerns like gluten-free, oil-free, plant-based, and low-residue. Outside of the kitchen, she is a fitness instructor.
Please feel free to tailor Physicians Committee recipes to suit your individual dietary needs.