Eggplant Nuggets - meatless meal for Lent

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and Lent starts on Wednesday, this year is truly flying by! As the Lenten season quickly approaches many Christians are deciding what they will “give up” for Lent. If you are not familiar, Lent is the time of fasting and praying that occurs during the 40 days prior to Easter. Many Christian denominations encourage their members to refrain from something during this time. Although this is something that is optional in my church, this year I plan on “giving up” processed sugar. Although I’ve been practicing this for the past couple of weeks, I’ve given myself the leeway to have a sweet here or there if I attend functions or am traveling. But now that Lent is approaching, I’ve decided to really focus and give up sugar completely.

Although there are various things that people give up, I know that a large number of people give up meat or refrain from eating it at least once a week. I am a pescatarian and for this post, I decided to offer a meal option that is not only vegetarian but it is also Paleo. This recipe is very simple and can be both a snack and a meal for kids and adults alike. I give you, Eggplant nuggets.

I started by peeling a medium sized eggplant and then cut it into 1/4 inch thick nuggets. You don’t want them too thick because they will be fried and I personally don’t like deep frying or keeping them in oil for too long. 

I prepared the coating by mixing almond meal that I purchased at Walmart with a homemade creole seasoning by Emeril. I keep this on hand in my cupboard and even dried the thyme myself. That is not necessary but I purchased fresh thyme so took that step. I also added tumeric to the mix.

Next I dipped the eggplant in egg, then coated with the almond meal mix. In my cast iron skillet I heated about 1/2 cup of coconut oil, since it hardens and it is difficult to really measure so it might have been closer to 1/4 cup. I fried the eggplant for about five minutes, turning once. Basically fry until dark golden brown. And that’s it, eggplant nuggets! The taste of the spices combined with the coconut oil is simply divine. And my first option for serving is with a side of tomato sauce for dipping.

For a full meal, I cut an acorn squash in half, cleaned out the seeds and microwaved for 6 minutes. I scooped out the squash, added the eggplant and covered with tomato sauce for a full meal. Delicious! Perfect for a meatless lent or really anytime! Enjoy! 

Eggplant Nuggets

1 medium eggplant
3 eggs
1 cup almond meal
1 tbsp emeril's creole seasoning
1/2 tsp tumeric
coconut oil (or any oil you like)

Method: Cut eggplant into nugget shapes. Whisk eggs in bowl and set aside. Mix almond meal and spices in a shallow pan or plate for dredging. Place eggplant in bowl, remove and coat with almond mixture.  Heat oil in pan and when sizzling, add eggplant. Cook for five minutes or until both sides are golden brown, turning once during cooking. Enjoy!

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart moms program and was provided with compensation for my time and effort in creating this post.


Yum Yucky said…
holy shizzle! I want that meal! It looks delicious.

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