Eggplant is a wonderfully versatile, mild, and low-carb fruit. Yep, you read that right—eggplant is actually a fruit! Often compared in both taste and texture to tomatoes, zucchinis, or mushrooms, eggplants are a perfectly versatile addition to your grilling lineup because their texture and flavor only improves with cooking!
Which is where this 8-Day Jumpstart-approved grilled eggplant salad comes in. Combining the buttery texture of the grilled eggplant with red pepper, onion, and zucchini, all topped off with fresh parsley, mint, and lemon juice, this grilled eggplant salad recipe is one you’ll come back to time and again—dieting or not!
Grilled Eggplant Salad
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories: 324 / Fat: 26g / Protein: 4g / Carbs: 25g
- 1/2 C olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 medium eggplants cut into 1-inch slices
- 2 medium red bell pepper quartered lengthwise
- ½ medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
- 1/2 C chopped zucchini
- ¾ C parsley, coarsely chopped
- ¼ C thinly sliced scallions
- ¼ C mint coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- Preheat a grill to medium-high.
- Combine oil, salt, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
- Brush one side of the eggplant slices with half of the oil mixture. Grill eggplant uncovered, turning often, until tender.
- Once done, cut eggplant slices into ¼ inch cubes and transfer to a large bowl.
- Coat bell pepper quarters and onion wedges with half of remaining oil mixture. Grill uncovered until tender and charred, about 5 minutes.
- Dice cooked peppers and onions.
- Add the peppers, onions, zucchini, parsley, scallions, and mint to the eggplant bowl.
- Add lemon juice and salt to the reserved oil mixture; whisk to combine. Drizzle over the vegetables and toss to coat.
While you have the grill fired up, try these mouthwatering grilled steak skewers, too!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eggplant?
On top of being a low-carb and delicious addition to your healthy diet plan, eggplants also provide a number of possible health benefits.
Eggplant is full of fiber. Because of the high fiber content in eggplant, eating the fruit can increase or regulate digestive health, increase feelings of fullness and decrease calorie intake, resulting in healthy weight loss. Other benefits of high fiber foods like eggplant include healthier cholesterol levels which can lower the risk of heart disease and regulated blood sugar, which makes it a great option for diabetics.
Eggplant is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are the powerhouse defense team against free radicals—those unstable atoms in our bodies that cause aging, illness, and even cancer. Some of the antioxidant properties in eggplant are found in what makes them their iconic deep purple color. Nasunin is particularly beneficial here.
Eggplant is rich in phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals that can improve mental function. They increase blood flow and oxygen throughout the body and to the brain, naturally stimulating neural pathways and boosting memory.
Eggplant is full of iron. Not having enough iron in your diet can be characterized by general fatigue and weakness. The iron in eggplant can help prevent these symptoms of anemia and even increase bone health, along with the calcium eggplant provides.
While it obviously won’t solve all your health issues, putting things like this grilled eggplant salad on rotation in your diet will certainly have its benefits. Which is also why it should be on your 8 Day Jumpstart menu. Remember, the 8 Day Jumpstart isn’t solely about losing weight—it’s about increased wellness and nutrition that you can take with you past the 8-day process.
How Do You Prepare Eggplant Before Cooking?
Eggplant is a simple food to prepare before cooking. Like with any fruit or vegetable, we suggest rinsing it with water and wiping it dry with a paper towel.
The rest of the eggplant preparation will depend on how you’re planning to cook it. Because eggplant is such a versatile ingredient, it’s great to add to many dishes, prepared in many ways—think soups, grilled eggplant “steaks,” cubed and eaten raw in a salad. But that means that preparation will be slightly different for each eggplant recipe you use.
For this yummy grilled eggplant salad, after washing and drying your eggplant, you will simply remove the stem and bottom of your eggplant and slice it into 1” thick disks, then oil them for grilling.
Like we mentioned before, the flavor of eggplant gets more mild with cooking. But that means that, eaten raw, eggplant can be a bit bitter. Even an older eggplant can retain some of that bitterness when cooked. Our favorite tips on how to mitigate that unwanted eggplant bitterness?
- Soak it in milk for about 30 minutes prior to cooking, pulling out the bitterness and increasing the creaminess of the final product.
- Salt it to mask your tongue’s recognition of the bitter notes.
- Scoop out the seeds which contain most of the bitter flavor, especially in an eggplant that isn’t very young.
Do You Peel Eggplants Before Cooking?
Peeling an eggplant prior to cooking is totally optional. The skin of a young, tender eggplant is full of nutrients and can be left on in any preparation method for an added health and texture boost. However, the older an eggplant is, the tougher its skin tends to get and can therefore be removed for a more pleasant eating experience.
If you do choose to peel your eggplant, a simple vegetable peeler should suffice for the job.
How Do You Know If Eggplant Is Cooked?
While a ripe eggplant should be firm with a shiny, taut skin, cooked eggplant should be smooth and creamy in texture. If it’s complete mush, you’ve gone too far.
Here are some helpful hints on preparing perfectly cooked eggplant for this grilled eggplant salad recipe:
- Don’t skip prepping the eggplant slices with the oil and salt mixture. This will keep the eggplant from sticking to the grill and also tenderize the “meat” of the eggplant.
- Cut into a slice of the eggplant after about 7-8 minutes to see if it is cooked all the way through.
- If the outside of your eggplant is getting dark but the inside is still a bit raw, try turning off the heat of your grill and letting the eggplant sit in the residual heat for a few more minutes to completely cook through.
- Eggplant slices should be fork-tender, with a creamy texture all the way through.
Don’t forget—the 8-Day Jumpstart isn’t just a weight loss plan. It’s a complete wellness program, meant to jumpstart your wellness and provide you with all the resources you need to be successful. Like fully compliant and delicious recipes that will help keep you on track for reaching your goals.
If you’re looking for more great tasting meals, you’ll want to check out these other 8-Day Jumpstart Recipes. Each one is designed to accompany the Xyngular 8-Day Jumpstart program, which prepares your body to lose weight fast.*
*Lose up to 15 pounds in 8 days. Lose an additional 1-2 pounds or more each week following the 8-day jump start. Results are not guaranteed and can vary.