When Jason noted that this edition of Endurance Foodies would focus on Mediterranean foods, I hopped on the opportunity to provide an eggplant-based recipe, as this delicious vegetable meshes well with many flavors and offers a delightful texture when properly cooked.
Works for me. Now, onto the endurance-athlete friendly recipe. I’ve been trying to continue to adjust my diet to best support my training, and getting a good mix of vegetables along with protein at most meals is an important part of that. I personally have to eat fewer carbohydrates than most athletes, but veggies do a body good, and having a dish that works well as leftovers to make for quick post-workout meals is an important component of ensuring that I’m getting the right nutrition at the right time.
This chicken and eggplant spread meets all those requirements, and includes a variety of vegetables for additional flavor and nutritional diversity.
Vegans/vegetarians (yes, Jess, I’m thinking of you), do not run away! Simple substitute your favorite plant-based protein, or even chopped vegetables or crackers, for the chicken. Whatever you do, enjoy the eggplant spread. It’s just that delicious, and provides a perfect, nutritionally dense post-workout snack or meal that reheats beautifully.
Chicken and Eggplant Spread – Ingredients
3 medium eggplant
4 medium red peppers
3 medium red onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of salt, divided
2 pounds boneless, skineless chicken breasts
Peel eggplants, then cut into cubes roughly ¾” on each side. Rinse, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove membranes, stems, and seeds from red peppers, cut into 1-1 ½” pieces. Peel onions and remove ends, cut into 1” pieces.
Drain eggplant, pat dry. Mix peppers, onions, eggplant, olive oil, and remaining salt, transfer in roasting pan and roast at 425 F for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
While the vegetables are roasting, trim all visible fat and tendons from the chicken. Place each piece on a 12”x18” piece of aluminum foil.
Pull up the corners of the foil to make a “tent.”
Then crimp the sides to form a tight foil pouch for baking the chicken. Transfer each pouch to a baking sheet, then cook the chicken at 450 F for 30-40 minutes, or until completely cooked throughout. Slice into ¼” pieces, set aside.
Run roasted vegetables through a food processor, in one or two batches, depending on the capacity of your food processor, until a uniform mixture is achieved. Add additional salt to taste, if desired.
Finally, enjoy! Dip the chicken pieces in the eggplant spread, or mix it all together, or even skip the chicken if you are vegetarian/vegan. The dip is also perfectly delicious on carrots, cut up peppers, or, for that matter, a spoon.
See some other delicious Mediterranean recipes from the other #EnduranceFoodies folks this month – trust me, you don’t want to miss out.