general tso’s-style eggplant stir-fry {meatless monday}

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

eggplant stir-fry with general tso’s sauce

I eat my fair share of Chinese food! But when I can make it at home, I feel so much better about what I’m putting in my body—because I know exactly the ingredients that I’m using.

One of the dishes that always seems crave-worthy to me is anything labeled “General Tso’s.” Unfortunately, that usually means breaded, fried, and tossed in a decadent sauce. I don’t order it for that very reason. So I finally created a healthier homemade version of General Tso’s.

This vegetarian stir-fry recipe is full of textures and colors, mainly from eggplant, edamame, and red bell pepper. It’s got a spicy kick, too. There’s no breading or deep frying required. It’s delicious as is or paired with steamed brown basmati rice. Add an extra splash of soy sauce, if you like. Get your chopsticks ready!

Calories saved: 270

Why it’s better for you? No breading or deep frying required. Plus it’s absolutely loaded with vegetables!

general tso’s-style eggplant stir-fry

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 rounded cup

general tso’s-style eggplant stir-fry

Ingredients

  • general tso’s sauce:
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened green tea or water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon naturally-brewed soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Asian chili paste with garlic
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons coconut nectar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon organic cornstarch
  • ....................................................
  • stir-fry:
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen shelled organic edamame
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
  • 1 large (1 1/4-pound) eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes, stem removed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced into matchstick-size strips
  • 2 scallions, green part only, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce by whisking together the tea, tomato paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, sesame oil, coconut nectar, and cornstarch. Set aside. (Note: Sauce can be made in advance and chilled.)
  2. Prepare the edamame according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a stick-resistant wok or extra-large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and sauté until cooked through and browned, about 6 minutes. Add the edamame and bell pepper and sauté until the bell pepper is cooked through yet still firm, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the sauce and sauté until slightly thickened and vegetables are fully coated, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl, sprinkle with the scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.

Notes

Per serving: 240 calories, 12g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 360mg sodium, 24g total carbohydrate, 9g dietary fiber, 11g sugars, 10g protein

http://jackienewgent.com/2014/12/stirfry/

The “Before” Version

Inspired by general tso’s chicken

Per serving: 510 calories, 22g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 105mg cholesterol, 960mg sodium, 52g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 6g sugars, 23g protein

 

Tasteover Tips

  • For color, choose vegetables first, like red bell pepper
  • For  crunch, consider extra sesame seeds rather than relying on frying
  • For a meaty texture, try “meaty” cubes of eggplant
  • For a protein boost, edamame is an excellent pick

2 Comments

  1. We’d been saving this for a while and finally made it last night!
    First I have to admit I’ve never had General Tso’s Chicken, but we love Asian flavors.
    The sauce was good and we all wished there was more to seep into the rice.
    I have a tough time with eggplant. It seems to be always on the verge of soggy and yet still a squeaky tough skin. But that’s my problem.
    The edamame added a great texture and protein to the dish.
    Our consensus was: good, but not added to our regular rotation, but when we want something light and fresh tasting.

    • Hi Jess:
      I love getting feedback! Thanks so much for trying the recipe out. Yes, I’d call it full-flavored, yet “light (on calories) and fresh tasting,” too. I kept the sauce to a just-right amount to keep calories in check. But you can double the general tso’s sauce if you like–especially if you plan to serve it over rice, too! You can absolutely peel the eggplant skin, if you wish. Or you can prepare the recipe with other vegetables, such as cauliflower, in place of the eggplant. Enjoy! :)

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