My Saturday mornings are always the same. I don't mind. In fact, I love having a routine and a rhythm to life. I wake up, spend some quality time with my superstar, Jesus, drink my herbal medicine, plan meals and make a grocery list, then go shopping! I like to go early in the morning for a couple of reasons - that's when Sprouts gets most of its fresh produce, and I can keep my sanity by avoiding the shoppers who seem to lose the concept of peripheral vision in the crowds that form later on in the day.
This past Saturday was a bit different. I felt the urge to live on the edge. I knew just what to do - I went to the store without a shopping list! Instead, I grabbed anything that caught my attention. It was a neat experience bc I saw items that I never would've noticed had I gone in with my usual list mentality (not on the list, no buy). I'm going to do this more often, as I think it will help me get out of my food rut. I am learning everyday...Change can be a good thing!
Eggplants lured me with their pretty and exotic appearance. It's been a while since I cooked with them, and even though I had no clue at the moment as to what I'd make, I couldn't grab them fast enough. Well, it also helped that they were on sale ;).
Come Monday, after staring at my unexpected purchase for quite some time, I decided to stuff them. Their potential as the perfect vessel was undeniable. After searching frantically for recipes, Michael Chiarello's recipe inspired me. His was Italian-Style, but as I had a carton of Greek Yogurt about to expire, I decided to follow his recipe loosely and come up with my own Greek-Style version instead. Funny how one ingredient can inspire and awaken your creativity.
Greek-Inspired Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Dressing
Serving size: 4 | Prep time: 50 min | Cooking time: 30 min
- 2 large eggplants, cut lengthwise
- 1 Ib. ground bison meat (or any protein source of your choice)
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 med onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tbs. garlic, minced
- ½ Tsp. cumin
- ½ Tsp. paprika
- ¼ Tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (I used Orowheat)
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbs. EVOO
- Cheese *
* I used brie cheese bc that's what I had on hand. Feta cheese would work beautifully too, I would imagine!
Cucumber Yogurt Dressing
recipe by Laura @ sprint2thetable
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
- Juice of ½ small lemon
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 2 Tsp. almond flour
- S+P to taste
- ½ cucumber, diced (optional, but highly recommended)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cut eggplants lengthwise. Scoop out pulp from halves, leaving ½ in thick shells. Sprinkle salt in the insides of eggplants, lay them face down, set aside for 30 min. *
- Season meat with S+P and cook meat in a med pan with 1 Tbs EVOO over med high heat. Drain excess fat. Set aside in a bowl.
- In the same pan, add 2 Tbs. EVOO, sautee onion, garlic, bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, approx 8 min.
- Combine with meat. Add and mix together egg and breadcrumbs.
- Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with mixture, top with cheese, season with s+p.
- Bake for about 30 min.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.
- Top the baked eggplants with dressing.
* My mom does this to a lot of vegetable side dishes. The salt will suck out excess water which will help prevent sogginess.
Tim, who doesn't like eggplants or Greek Yogurt, gave this a 9 out of 10! Score!! This was a huge success. Thank you eggplant for enticing me at the store ;).
If you have any delicious eggplant recipes up your sleeve, do share!