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Melitzanosalata (Greek Eggplant Salad) and Why Eat Eggplants

10. April 2014|Martina|9

Mediterranean, especially Greek cuisine is perfect for a low-carb diet. The only downside is the sweets that, as some of you may know, are literally swimming in syrup and covered in sugar. Avoid them completely and as always stay away from bread, potatoes, rice and pasta and you are left with REAL food!

With Easter coming, my good friend Stam, who's originally from Greece, suggested I should make Metitzanosalata, aka Greek eggplant salad. The original recipe is on his blog and I kept it exactly as it is - traditional and simple. To my surprise, some versions of Greek Melitzanosalata do not include whole onion but only freshly squeezed onion juice. I've tried several variations and this is my absolute favourite.

Preparation time:

 Hands-on:        15 minutes
 Overall:         1 - 1.5 hour

Nutritional values (per serving):

Total Carbs12grams
Fiber6grams
Net Carbs6grams
Protein2.1grams
Fat9.4grams
of which Saturated1.3grams
Energy130kcal
Magnesium28mg (7% RDA)
Potassium449mg (23% EMR)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (20.6%), protein (7%), fat (72.4%)

Ingredients (make 6 servings):

  • 4 average eggplants / aubergines (1 kg / 2.2 lb)
  • 1 large white onion, juiced (150g / 2.6 oz)
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • handful chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml / 2 fl oz)
  • ½ tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan) or to taste

Note: Since you will only use some of the onion (juiced), I counted only half of the carbs from it. When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 C / 350 F. Wash and dry the eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Do not cut or pierce them. Place them in the oven and cook for 45-60 minutes. When done, the eggplants should be soft. An hour of cooking should be enough but if needed, cook for longer.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the onion and place in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Pour the olive oil into a bowl. Place the onion into a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve. Squeeze out the juices - as much as you can.
  5. Discard the solids or keep them in the fridge for other uses (e.g. adding to meat stews).
  6. Mix the olive oil, freshly squeezed onion and lemon juice, mashed garlic and finely chopped parsley.
  7. When the eggplants are soft, remove from the oven and let them cool down. Cut the eggplants and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant flesh into desired consistency - do not blend.
  8. Add the oil and herb mixture and stir in well. Season with salt and enjoy! Serve immediately as a side with meat like Pork skewers or use as dip for vegetables and low-carb crackers like Nut crackers - both recipes can be found in my apps and book.

Eggplants on a Low-carb Diet

If you want to get the best out of eggplants (aubergines in the UK), don't peel the skin off. It contains phytochemicals and the eggplant itself is full of antioxidants. Both protect cells from the effect of free-radical damage, therefore eating eggplant regularly can have anti-aging effect. This rich-coloured low-carb vegetable is also packed with fiber, which is good for sating your appetite.

Make sure you include electrolytes (magnesium, sodium and potassium) to avoid symptoms of keto-flu common in low-carb diets. Potassium and magnesium are essential minerals and eggplants are a good source of both. Deficiency of potassium and magnesium may result in muscle weakness or cramping, fatigue, low blood pressure, headaches, depression, etc. It is therefore vital to include food rich in electrolytes in your everyday diet.

Comments (9) -

Emily 4/11/2014 8:16:39 AM #
Emily

I love Greek food! If only it was easy to get fresh seafood and lamb where I live... I have to try this salad Smile

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Martina @ KetoDiet 4/11/2014 11:53:35 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

I call it the "low-carb Mediterranean diet" Smile

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Maria 4/11/2014 1:09:12 PM #
Maria

Great idea! I live in Greece and struggling to keep up with my low-carb high fat diet. A typical summer dish when I was growing up was grilled sardines with melitzanosalata! Thanks for the inspiration!

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Martina @ KetoDiet 4/11/2014 5:42:12 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

It could be tricky, especially with all those delicious meals that contain flour or/and sugar... I was in Greece last year and wrote a post about the food I ate there. Here are some more tips for low-carb eating: ketodietapp.com/.../Top-15-low-carb-meals-to-try-in-Greece

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Tim 4/13/2014 10:02:59 AM #
Tim

Thanks for the recipe, I'll make this with the lamb skewers tonight!

Reply

Martina @ KetoDiet 4/13/2014 1:10:42 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Tim, enjoy! Smile

Reply

Pamela 6/9/2014 6:16:07 PM #
Pamela

You may also try sunflower oil, which I prefer, because olive oil has a very strong flavor.  Plus, if you are orthodox and you are fasting from olive oil, sunflower oil is a good alternative.  I make mine exactly the same except without lemon.  I also chop mine very fine so that it's very spreadable on bread.  I haven't had it since I gave up bread but really want to try it with some paleo bread.  Oh, and you can mix with mayo and that is also very good.  thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

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Martina @ KetoDiet 6/9/2014 6:48:35 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Pamela! I personally like the strong taste but I think you can use any other oil - macadamia and avocado oil also have a milder taste - or unprocessed / virgin sunflower oil. I just avoid sunflower oil because it's very high in omega 6s. Oh, I love the idea of mixing it with mayo! I will definitely try that on top of my keto buns Smile

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ck 7/22/2014 5:52:17 PM #
ck

stop calling Turkish recipes Greek.

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