Stuffed Eggplant

 

When it comes to taking pictures I like to think I can take a decent one…most of the time. If you were to hand me a camera though I’d probably give it right back to you and whip out my good ‘ol iPhone. Honestly, cameras give me anxiety. The contraption is just overwhelming to me. I mean I can barely figure out how to turn it on let alone take a picture. Growing up in a very artistic family we all have our own areas of creative strengths, mine is not photography, clearly, though I like to think I do my best for the Happy Hungry Yogi. To tell you the truth, a phone camera along with all of the editing apps available now really can create a masterpiece. My weakness when it comes to photography though isn’t in getting a good angle or in the styling of the photo so much as it is getting the right lighting. When I create recipes and take pictures I normally end up only using a few at most to represent my recipe. Usually because I only managed to get a few decent ones out of the massive amount I took. One of my goals for this blog is to take, and post, more pictures. I really do love photography and think it can add strength to a post…Or maybe I really am just a kid at heart and like to look at all of the pretty pictures rather than words. No no, all joking aside, pictures do enhance the writing. Yes you can read a post and paint your own picture based on the words but SEEING it can actually SHOW you the process. With this goal in mind, I’m kicking off this venture with a recipe that’s filled with more pictures. Not entirely step by step but at least more pictures. Hey, it’s a start!

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Stuffed Eggplant
Gluten-free/Paleo/Egg-free/Nut-free
Serves: 4/Total Cook time: 1 hour

  • 2 large Italian Eggplants, cut in half lengthwise, insides scooped out and 2 cups reserved
  • Optional: Feta, crumbled (I used a local organic sheep’s milk feta)
  • Fresh basil, chopped

Tomato Sauce

  • ¼ c olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped small
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped small
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Stuffing

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Then, add the tomatoes, garlic, basil and tomato paste and continue to simmer covered on low for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (This step can also be done ahead and stored the fridge up to 2 days prior to save time.)
  2. Once the sauce is done, pour into a bowl and set aside. (I prefer to cook the stuffing in the same pan as it adds flavor and less dishes but you can also make it in a separate pan while the sauce is cooking to save time.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Add the ground beef to the sauce pan and saute over medium heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. In a food processor add the 2 cups of eggplant you reserved, onion slices and garlic cloves and pulse until finely chopped. Add the the mixture along with the seasonings to the meat, stir and cook an additional 2-3 minutes to soften the eggplant and onion.
  6. Remove from heat and combine the tomato sauce you set aside with the meat mixture.
  7. Stuff each eggplant half to the top with the stuffing and place in the baking dish. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is fork tender.
  8. Top with feta and fresh basil for serving.

 

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