Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes an All-Around Hit

Eden Garber is a doctor at Unity Health Clinic in SE DC, as well as a repeat customer at our Mobile Market.  She runs an eight week Exercise and Nutrition program for her clients, who recently received gift certificates for fresh fruits and vegetables at our market.  

A few weeks ago, Eden invited me to speak to her clients about healthy eating and to do an on-site cooking demonstration.  With summer vegetables in full swing, I decided to share a delicious and easy eggplant dish with this wonderful group of women.  It proved to be a hit, with many of Eden's clients saying that they'd now start to include quinoa in their diets. 

I also had the privilege to prepare this dish for USDA Undersecretary Ed Avalos when he visited the Mobile Market on Thursday.  Having grown up with these hot-weather staples in Southern New Mexico, Mr. Avalos enjoyed this dish with similar gusto. 

Eggplant with Peppers and Tomatoes

About 1 pound of eggplant (2 small or 1 large)
Salt and pepper
4 small sweet peppers, or 2 big peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped OR
4 cups cherry tomatoes left whole
1/2 cup slivered basil
1 small can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

Cut the unpeeled eggplant into 1 inch cubes.  Core the peppers, discarding the seeds and membranes, and cut into pieces.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the eggplant cubes in the oil until they are brown.  Remove them from the skillet and set aside.  Lower the heat to medium low and add the peppers, onion, and garlic to the pan.  Cook gently until the peppers and onion are soft.

Return the eggplant to the skillet, along with the tomatoes, stirring everything together.  Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick sauce.  Stir in the basil, salt and pepper, and the garbanzo beans, if desired.  Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

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