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Blogger Secret Ingredient Revealed

by Meghann on November 3, 2008

Thanks to Erica for selecting me as the host of this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient contest! I have been involved with this contest for a few weeks now and have even won a couple, so I know what it takes for a dish to be a winner. I can not wait to see how creative every one gets with my chosen ingredient!

For those newbies out there here are the rules:

  1. Recipes can be submitted by linking to my blog or e-mailing me with a link to your recipe.
  2. If you do not have a blog please feel free to join in! Simply send me an e-mail at include your recipe and a photo of the dish I will be more then happy  to post it for you.
  3. Please have all entries to me by Sunday Nov. 9, 8:00 pm est.

Ok so I have had you in suspense long enough, the BSI for this week is…….



That’s right I have chosen the lovely eggplant to be the star of the show this week. I know their season just ended (in October), but I found this lovely eggplant at my local grocery store for $1.00 so hopefully there are still good ones out there. 

Fun Eggplant facts:

  • Did you know eggplants are not vegetables but actually a fruit?!?!
  • Eggplants contain Vitamin C and Potassium.
  • Eggplants also have anti-bacterial, diuretic effects, as well as flavonoids (cancer fighting anti-oxidants).
  • 1 cup cooked contains 25 calories.

Eggplant Cooking Hints:

  • Do not cook in an aluminum pan. Aluminum makes eggplants discolor.
  • The skin is edible in younger eggplants. Remove the peel in older eggplants.
  • Cut each fruit before using, just like bananas. The flesh of the fruit will brown.
  • Eggplant absorbs oil very easily; coat your eggplant with breadcrumbs, cornmeal or flour first before frying.
  • To help reduce the bitter flavor in older eggplants, slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch pieces and salt heavily. Weigh down each slice in a colander and allow for the liquid to drain out of the eggplant
    for 30 minutes. Rinse each slice with cold water and pat dry. This method is called “dégorgeing”. It is best to use this method before frying.
  • In order to bake your eggplant, slice your eggplant in half. Score across the interior of each half. Add tiny slices of garlic to go into each score. Salt each half, and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. The eggplant is done when it is nicely browned and tender when pierced.
  • When wanting to roast your eggplant, cut your eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and any of the other suggested spices below. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer in a baking dish (not aluminum). Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. The eggplant is done when it is nicely browned and tender when pierced.

And just to inspire some of you out there my the star of my dinner tonight was the eggplant. Enjoy my entry into the contest.

Balsalmic Eggplant Chicken Stacks



  • 4 Slices of Eggplant
  • 1/2 cooked chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • basil
  • pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • EVOO
  • tomato
  • spinach

I started by grilling 4 slices of eggplant on the George Forman (about 3 minutes).


While those were heating I mixed together the chicken, feta, basil, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and evoo.

Once the eggplant was ready I made stacks by layering the eggplant, spinach, chicken mix, tomato and the top eggplant slice.

I put the stacks in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Once out of the oven I drizzled more balsamic vinegar on top.


These were so easy to make yet looked and tasted so fancy. It was an awesome flavor combination and really made me happy I chose eggplant as the BSI.

For dessert I was in the mood for some fruit so I cut up a peach and made a small fruit salad with some grapes.


It was nice and light, exactly what my belly wanted.

This afternoon I had a snack of almonds


And then a Raspberry Fruit Leather.


Oh I almost forgot, the prize of the contest!! I swear that must me the most important part and it completely slipped my mind. Well since I completely forgot about it and do not want to disappoint, how about you guys help me chose the winnings?!?!?!

What would you like the prize to be? I created a poll of some choices and which ever selection has the most votes by the end of the contest, is what prize I will send the winner. This should keep it fun and hopefully motivate people even more to submit a recipe.

So what do you think? Get voting!
1 Maggie November 3, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Sweet!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited, I love eggplant! And I even have 3 in my fridge already. Great choice 😉

2 VeggieGirl November 3, 2008 at 8:23 pm


3 Krista (kristaskravings) November 3, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Eggplant is actually the one veggie that I do not like….but am determined to! This will be a great challenge for me! Thanks! 🙂

4 Megan November 3, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Love the ingredient pick and your inspiration recipe! I would so love the WF gift card!

5 ashley November 3, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Oooh.. I LOVE eggplant! I always have one on hand. My favorite is baking thin slices with spices and a spray of olive oil. Good ingredient choice!

6 Sharon November 3, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Wow, eggplant! Super!

7 Lindsay November 3, 2008 at 9:05 pm

i love your ingredient choice! cant wait to experiment w/ it (i hope i have time!)

8 Erica November 3, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Great pick! I have never had or prepared eggplant so I am excited!

9 jenngirl November 3, 2008 at 9:09 pm

I definitely vote autographed pic! lol 🙂

Yay for eggplant!

10 Erin November 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Yeah! I love eggplants and your recipe is great Meghann!

11 Andrea November 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Ooohhh eggplant! 🙂 We had eggplant in our garden all summer…I think they finally stopped producing after our first freeze last week. Great pick!!!

12 jess November 3, 2008 at 9:31 pm

OMG I Looove eggplant and definitely made babaganoosh, quite literally, 2 days ago.

Your stacks look fantastic! I’ll have to resist trying them in an effort to maybe attempt coming up with a recipe of my own.

And, should I be embarassed that I had NO idea it was a fruit :/

have a great night, and good selection!!!

13 caitlin November 3, 2008 at 9:33 pm

hahahha i was the person who voted for an autographed picture of you and i.

actually, can i get one for my hallway, anyways?

love you, twin!

14 Hangry Pants November 3, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Eggplant! What an excellent pick.

I would like an autographed picture, please. 😀

15 gina (fitnessista) November 3, 2008 at 9:44 pm

great choice! i LOVE eggplant!!!

16 caitlin November 3, 2008 at 10:08 pm

i cant believe no one else has voted on our autographed picture!!! we definitely need to include that in the prize regardless….

hey i just found my aunt is coordinating a bridal gown out of toliet paper contest for the part on saturday. i want to pee myself just thinking about it!!

and GUESS WHATTTTTTT you get to taste test wedding cake!!!

17 caitlin November 3, 2008 at 10:09 pm

ps are you excited to stand in line tomorrow for countless hours to vote for obama???

18 Melissa S. November 3, 2008 at 10:57 pm

FABULOUS pick!!! i’ve been wanting some eggplant lately and no i have no excuse!!!

19 Alexia November 3, 2008 at 10:58 pm

Wow dinner looks amazing! I have never cooked eggplant before… I heard its hard to cook plus I am not really sure if I like it.:)

Have a good night!

20 bobbi November 3, 2008 at 11:16 pm

oooo no, I fear eggplant:( I mean I love the taste, I just have never cooked with it, o well I am up for the challenge!!! Well I better get on that BSI recipe:) night!

21 ttfn300 November 3, 2008 at 11:56 pm

yeah, those look fantastic 🙂

22 Kristie November 4, 2008 at 8:57 am

Awesome choice. I have a giant eggplant sitting in my fridge right now that I was hoping to make something with tonight.

Those eggplant stacks of yours look fab. I love balsamic.

23 rhodeygirltests November 4, 2008 at 9:24 am

morning! so excited about this!!!!! expect my recipe sunday morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

24 caitlin November 4, 2008 at 9:36 am

are you coming over tonight?

25 lauren November 4, 2008 at 10:58 am

nice choice! can I use white eggplant and submit a recipe I have already done? here it is:

26 wholefoodswholeme November 4, 2008 at 11:05 am

oh meghann!! i knew you would come up wth something food, but THIS good?!?! only my FAVOURITE vegetable!!! definitely definitely rolling my sleeves up for this week 😀 thank you!

27 Allison November 4, 2008 at 1:02 pm

AHH I’m scared of eggplant – I think I don’t like it! (Last time I tried it was like 4th grade -but I remember it being horrible) – if I like other squash do you think I’ll like it?

28 catms916 November 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm

hmmm eggplant and mushrooms are the only vegetables that i steer clear of. Then again, I haven’t tried it since I was about 7. Maybe I’ll give it another shot.

29 biz319 November 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm

:O I haven’t tried eggplant in years, maybe this will give me the kick in the pants to try it again!

30 Natalie November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I have never cooked with eggplant! This should be interesting- I have been doing the BSI for a couple weeks not but never in a timely manner or with a submission at the end 🙂 Hopefully, I pull it out this time!

31 Elina (Healthy and Sane) November 5, 2008 at 9:30 am

I looove eggplant! Great choice for BSI. I’m still a new cook so I won’t be submitting an entry, but I’m really excited to see the creations from other bloggers. Yours looks delicious!

32 Maggie November 6, 2008 at 2:00 am

Just made my recipe –

Have a great night!

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