I love eggplant, I love fried foods, and I love Greek food. This recipe is the perfect combination for me, and it’s completely on my meal plan! It has the crisp and crunch of a fried eggplant, but it’s not completely horrible for me.
The Tzatziki sauce had so much flavor! I loved the kick from the garlic, and I ended up using a lot of the sauce for a chicken quinoa bowl as a kind of dressing. I’ll be using this sauce for several protein options to add some flavor without compromising on my goals.
I will say that I had a horrible time finding whole wheat panko. I went to 4 different stores and NO ONE had it except Wal-Mart. I looked at Kroger, Target, and Trader Joe’s before I tried Wal-Mart, so it was pretty frustrating for me. Learn from my mistakes and just go to Wal-Mart first!
I highly recommend this. It took a while to make it, but then it was ready for the whole week. It lost some of the crunch as it sat in the fridge, but I think it would help to reheat on the stovetop instead of the microwave. Either way, it tastes great and is good for you!
Clean-Eating Eggplant Fries with Tzatziki Sauce (from Fixate)
For the eggplant fries:
1¼ cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
½ tsp. ground smoked paprika
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
¾ tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into 40 ½-inch-thick fries (about 1¼ lbs.)
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425º F. Combine bread crumbs, paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano in large nonstick skillet; cook, over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a large plate (or shallow pan).
Dip each eggplant fry into flour, then eggs, then bread crumb mixture. Place on large baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fries. Make sure there is a little space between each fry. Discard excess flour, eggs, and bread crumb mixture.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until eggplant is fork tender and breading is deep brown.
Season with salt and pepper; serve five fries with 3 Tbsp. Tzatziki.
5 eggplant fries is 1 green and a 1/2 yellow.
Tzatziki Sauce (from Fixate)
1 cup reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest)
1 clove garlic
½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
½ cup coarsely chopped seeded cucumber (approx. 1⁄3 medium)
2 tsp. fresh dill
2 tsp. fresh mint leaves
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Keep cold in an airtight container.
Tzatziki Sauce: 3 tbsp is FREE (no containers!) 3/4 cup is 1/2 red container.