PHOTO: Eggplant works great as a nutritious substitute for meat.
Photo by Rachel Edelstein.

Thank goodness for Halloween. For someone who never drinks alcohol past her limit, this past weekend was an enlightening experience. And I can readily say that once was more than enough.

As I was sitting on the curb, Halloween night, emptying my stomach of the pizza I had devoured earlier and waiting for a cab to take me home, I thought once again of my recent goal to be healthier. In the wasted delusion of my mind, I thought fleetingly of how nice it would be to write a new food blog this week about something healthy. Something that has no connection with either alcohol or greasy pizza. So, here it is.

When I first switched to being vegetarian, I lived at my local Chinese restaurant. The reason was because they had the best tofu-eggplant plate I have ever eaten in my entire life. Even when I was eating meat, it would be a treat to go downtown and buy their eggplant instead. But I’ve never been able to recreate, in my own kitchen, the delectable concoction served to me at that family-owned restaurant. That is, until this week.

The day after Halloween produced headaches in plenty, and kept me in bed until it was nearly dark outside. The one productive thing I did all day was look up eggplant recipes, and I included the one I chose at the bottom of this blog. (I took out the oyster sauce when I made it.)

The next day I immediately set out for the market because I hadn’t eaten very much the previous day, and I was starving. I probably looked deprived as I wandered through the aisles salivating on everything. I came home and made the best eggplant-tofu I have every eaten, even better than my local Chinese restaurant. It was probably a mixture of the taste and my growling stomach that made it so good. But it’s more than filling. It’s also healthy.

Eggplant is a main substitute for vegetarians, and so it is pretty calorie-heavy. So if you’re looking for something light to tide you over until the next meal, don’t choose eggplant. Choose it if it is the one large meal you have had all day, or if you are particularly starving like I was on Tuesday.

Besides that, eggplant is very nutritious and full of vitamins and antioxidants. One serving contains a large amount of protein, close to 14 grams. It is a large stimulant to brain activity (good for midterms, if yours haven’t already passed,) and as a vegetable, it lowers your cholesterol and gives you plenty of energy for the day, a plus! It’s also a good source of fiber that, as I’ve said before, drains the poop tube.

Vegetables tend to be on the expensive side, but you will be getting the bang out of your buck if you choose eggplant. It will last you through a few meals and keep you going all day.

All in all, I would definitely recommend eggplant, and not just for getting over a hangover.


For a nice eggplant recipe you can try at home, check out