Cooking Tip 103 – the reason we salt eggplant (aubergine)

Ok what is the story with eggplants. Many are declaring they can’t eat eggplants these days as they are nightshades. People with autoimmune disease or arthritis are being advised that the alkaloids in nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, tamarillos, capsicums, potatoes) may be harmful. However at this stage there is no research to indicate this. Some people cut them out and have a noticeable difference and others don’t. For those people who don’t have autoimmune diseases, eggplants and other nightshades boast a whole range of essential nutrients and wonderful health benefits.
Eggplants for example are high in antioxidants and rich in the anthocyanin pigment, which can be effective in protecting cells against the damage of free radicals thus preventing cancer and other diseases.  The high antioxidant content also assists in regulating heart health. The high content of polyphenols in eggplants have been known to reduce sugar absorption regulating blood sugar levels. 
Eggplants do contain solanine, which in high doses can be toxic, however this does not generally occur as high levels of solanine need to be present for toxicity. The solanine can cause digestion issues for some people and that is why many people who have cooked with eggplant over generations have salted eggplant. It is best to salt overnight as this gives the salt longer to release the solanine. 
So cooking tip 103 is salt your eggplant. If you are making babaganoush then you cook the eggplant whole. Then there is a different method to get rid of the solanine. If you want info on how to do that please email me. 
 The recipe I share with you today is a beauty. The idea came from the Zorba the Buddha cookbook, a little cookbook that was written in the 80’s. It is a vegetarian cook book and is out of print these days, so costs more than $150 to purchase. I have had mine for almost 20 years now and actually thought I had lost it for about 10 of those years but in 2020 I found it wedged inside another cook book (as it is such a small book). It has been my goal to veganise all of the recipes. A goal that will take a long time to reach I think, as this is only the third recipe I have veganised. If you love eggplant this is a must recipe to make and if you don’t love eggplant then still give it a go as Mak does not like eggplant but enjoyed this dish.


Eggplant Zorba

This is a recipe to make for guests or make on Saturday and then have it to enjoy all weekend long.  Serve it with cooked brown rice and a salad and tahini balsamic dressing (1 part tahini, 1 part balsamic vinegar, 3 parts water and salt).
2 medium eggplants cut in 1 cm rounds 
1½ tsp salt
1-2 cups rice crumbs
½ cup soymilk
1 tsp garlic or onion powder 
2 large red capsicums sliced 
4 big mushrooms sliced 
½ bunch spring onions cut fine
Olive oil to fry (you can also use sunflower or avocado oil)
Salt and pepper
2 chillies (optional)
Handful of fresh oregano 
2 large tomatoes sliced thinly
½ cup vegan cheese
I used this recipe Cashew Cheese Recipe
or you could use the Ricotta from last week’s recipe


  1. Rub 1 tsp salt into the eggplants slices and place in a container with a lid in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next day, rinse the eggplant to remove the salt and pat dry with paper towel. 
  3. Place the milk in a bowl and the rice crumbs in another bowl. Dip each eggplant slice in the milk then the rice crumbs. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant on each side for 2 minutes or until they have browned.
  4. Put the cooked eggplant slices in a baking dish. If you have any rice crumbs left over, fry them in the frying pan until browned a little and put in a bowl. Wash out the frying pan.
  5. Sautée the onion, oregano, capsicums, chilli and some salt in ¼ cup water in the frying pan until the capsicums are soft. Add more water if they start to stick to the pan. Remove from the pan when cooked.
  6. Cook the mushrooms in a splash of oil and salt and pepper to taste. When cooked, mix with the capsicums.
  7. Add the capsicum mushroom mix to the baking dish, covering the eggplant, then add the tomato slices and spoon on the cheese so each tomato slice has a small blob of cheese. Sprinkle with the left over cooked rice crumbs. Place in a 180°C oven for 20 minutes to warm up and melt the cheese.
# If you make this recipe please share on facebook or instagram to #veetsvegancookingschool

3 Day Vegan Foundation Course

When you receive this newsletter I will be in the kitchen facilitating the first 3 day vegan cooking course for 2022. I am so excited at the thought of it. With borders now open this is the time to jump in and enrol in the course. I have one more spot come up for the February 3rd to 5th course. Come and join us – there will be only 4 people in this group. Can’t wait to cook with you.
Apply Now

Nutrition Consultations

So happy people are already starting to book nutrition consultations with me after announcing them last week. There is a great shift in people really making 2022 the year to eat healthily and take responsibility for what they eat.  
A nutrition consult involves an exploration of your diet for a healthy lifestyle. A consult will help you with food choices that will support your body to heal or maintain good health. If you are wanting to adopt a vegan diet or are worried you are not getting the right nutrients a consult will help you with this.
Some examples of what people come to consults for:
Wanting to ensure they are getting all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals they need through their diet
Gastrointestinal Issues
Weak immune system 
Defunct gut micro biome
Chronic pain
Cholesterol and blood pressure issues
Weight loss/gain
What you will get:
  • Online Session
  • Literature and food lists to support the consult

Your Investment

Initial consult 
$120 - 50 minute online session
Review consult 
$65 - 30 minute online session
Concession Initial consult 
$90 - 50 minute online session
Concession review consult 
$55 - 30 minute session
All prices are AUD and include GST

Have a wonderful week everyone.




Tags:eggplant capsicums mushrooms tomatoes Cashews Tofu

Share This Post:

Related Posts