A blog about cooking and food, and how to make it taste good and be healthy. The dishes are almost all gluten/dairy free, and many are vegetarian. The focus is on techniques and ingredients over recipes - this is about everyday cooking, and that means making it work with whats on hand!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stuffed Eggplant

I try to eat a balanced diet without too much meat, and using ground meat as a stuffing in a vegetable is a good way to make a savory, filling, and healthy dish. Winter squash and pumpkins are good vegetables to use in colder months, and eggplant is a good vegetable year-round. This is eggplant stuffed with a mix of ground beef and lamb.

Two medium eggplants and 3/4 lb of meat should be enough for 4 servings as part of a meal with rice and maybe a salad or another vegetable. I had twice the amount of meat, and had leftover stuffing.

The first thing you should do is get the (washed) eggplants into the oven. They'll need about 30 minutes at 375 degrees to prep.
While the eggplants are roasting, you can make the stuffing. Start with a chopped onion and some garlic in oil, and then add the ground meat. Give the onion time to soften and don't add the meat too soon.
When the meat has started to brown, add chopped tomato and herbs. Here I used basil, which matches well with the tomato/garlic/eggplant flavors. Don't overcook the meat here, as it will be going into the oven. If anything leave it undercooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When the eggplants are ready, they will still be slightly firm. They will be cooked more, so they don't have to be totally soft. Cut them open the long way and make room for the stuffing. Then stuff them and send them back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
Cut in half and serve!

This recipe scales up easily. if you wanted to double the recipe the only extra time would be in the chopping of the onions and tomatoes. Because of the time the eggplant spends in the oven, you can make other dishes while it cooks. You can also add other vegetables to the stuffing, such as spinach and zucchini.

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