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Fifty Weeks of Green cookbookFunny romance starts in December. Useful page-turner for the cook or romantic in your life.

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100 recipes, 4 seasonal menus, 20-minute starter plan, tips, more!

Recipe Index
#SNAPcut acorn squash adzuki beans Afghan all-purpose flour almond flour amaranth Anna Thomas anti-shingles recipe apple cores apple peels apple sauce apple-cider vinegar apples aquafaba arganine Asian asparagus avocado baba ganoush bake @ 350 bake @ 400 bake @ 450 balsamic vinegar balsamic vinegar reduction banana bread banana pancakes bananas barely cooked tomato sauce barley basketball bay leaf bbok choy bean broth beartrack farm beet sauerkraut beet tops beets bell peppers besan flour beverages black beans blackberries black-eyed peas blackstrap molasses blog tour blueberries bok choy braise bread bread machine breakfast broiled brown bagging buckwheat burgers butternut squash cabbage cacao cake cacao powder cake callaloo candied orange peels candy cantaloupe caramelize onions carrot cake carrot tops carrots cashew cream cashew sauce cashews casseroles cast-iron skillet recipes Catherine Watson cauliflower ccompany celery chard chemotaxis chia seeds chicken soup chickpea broth chickpea flour chickpea flour crackers chickpeas chili chilled soup chinese recipes chipotle Chiradelli chocolate chips chocolate chocolate aquafaba frosting chocolate cake chocolate peanut cake cholesterol-free Christmas cinnamon cinnamon cashew cream cinnamon crackers cinnamon rolls cloves cocoa cocoa powder coconut coconut dream coconut drink coconut milk coconut oil coffee coffee cake cold soup cold-brewed coffee colds cole slaw collards comfort food company convection cook ahead cooked apples cookies Cooking Green corn bread cornbread coughs crackers cranberries cranberry sauce cream substitute crepes crockpot Cuban black beans cucumbers curry powder daikon dairy free dairy-free DAK bread machine dandelion greens daylilies daylily dessert dessert bar dip DIY Donvier dried basil dried beans Easter easy edible flowers egg-free eggplant emergency preparedness fall family sized tea bags fat-free fennel fig first course flaxseed Flying Dragon food presentation food safety free freezer 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Microwave-Steamed Eggplant for Pizza, Sauces, Stir-Fries

Steam eggplant for a fat-free, silky pizza topping or to enrich stir-fries, tomato sauces, and many other dishes.

I started playing with this idea when my friend Laura told me a trick she'd learned from one of our favorite cookbook writers, Madhur Jaffrey: steam the eggplant before stir-frying. Madhur roll-cuts her eggplant then steams it in a wok for 15 to 17 minutes.

With my faster, greener, less authentic recipe, you cut the eggplant into smaller cubes and microwave it for only 5 minutes. You also save calories and money by avoiding the oil needed to fry it, sauté it, or even grill it. Then just toss in in a sauce, like the Spicy Peanut Sauce shown below, and you have a restaurant-quality dish that's good for you and your budget.

microwaved steamed eggplant tossed with Spicy Peanut Sauce and topped with basil

It's a terrific choice for Meatless Mondays. If not everyone at the table loves eggplant, this technique makes it easy to divide and delight. Eggplant lovers like me who rarely cook it because of the trouble involved can now enjoy it even on a busy weeknight. Eggplant sceptics who have only had heavy, even greasy breaded and fried eggplant may reconsider once they try a bite.

Steamed Eggplant

Active time: 5 minutes. Total time: 12 minutes. 4 servings. Oil free, vegan.


  • 1 pound eggplant (454 grams)


  1. Use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to peel eggplant, then cut into half-inch cubes.

    sliced and cubed raw eggplant

  2. Put eggplant into a microwave-safe container, cover, and cook on high for about five minutes. Leave the cover on while it finishes steaming for two more minutes.
  3. Stir eggplant and test a few cubes for doneness. They should all be fork-tender. If you're not sure, steam it a little more. Undercooked eggplant is rubbery.

    plain eggplant cubes cooked in a microwave

  4. Steamed eggplant isn't a solo act, but enhances many saucy recipes. Try it with a few shots of your favorite hot sauce or use steamed eggplant in these recipes from Wildly Affordable Organic:
    • In Good Tomato Sauce (page 171) or Tomato Sauce with Bell Peppers and Onions (page 172)
    • With Spicy Peanut Sauce (page 175), either with other seasonal vegetables and noodles or solo over rice
    • As a pizza topping (page 187) for Pizza (page 183) or Speedy Grilled Pizza (page 189)

Tips and Notes

  • To steam eggplant on the stove top: put about a half-inch of water in a medium pot, a steamer basket in the pot, and the eggplant cubes in the steamer. Cover the pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat so water stays at a low boil. Steam for four minutes, then turn off heat but leave pot on the hot burner for three more minutes.

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