Monday, February 21, 2011

Stuffed Eggplant Courtesy of Gabby

Well, here I am a day late with posting this promised recipe for stuffed eggplant. Depending on the veggies you include in the recipe, it has a load of fiber. I use 1/2 of the eggplant as a one dish meal, with maybe only sliced tomatoes as a side. If you prefer, it can be made without any meat and used as a filling side dish. It can also be done without the cheese topping and is very good that way. I have used the stuffing as stuffing for poultry also. In that case, I use chicken stock or broth.

Stuffed Eggplant

1 medium/large eggplant slice in half lengthwise (leave the peeling on
olive oil
1 MIMS crumbled and toasted under the broiler to make faux bread crumbs
1/2 medium onion diced finely
1 small stalk of celery finely diced
about 1/4 cup of finely diced red bell pepper (green is fine also- I like the red for color and the sweeter flavor
1/2 small carrot grated
1/2 medium to large tomato with seeds and pulp removed (diced)
1/2 pound of ground beef (this can be any ground meat you prefer. I have used ground turkey and switched the beef broth for chicken broth.)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
grated mozzarella cheese (or any grated cheese you prefer)

After slicing the eggplant in half lengthwise, cut out the center till the outside left is about a half inch wide. Brush the cut edges with a little bit of olive oil. Make a MIMs and when cool enough to handle, crumble it and lightly toast it under the broiler to make faux bread crumbs. The toasting really doesn't have to be done, but I like the finished consistently better when it's toasted. Crumble the beef into a saute pan, along with all veggies except the tomato, and brown till the meat is done. Place the MIMs, veggies (including tomato), meat and herbs in a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix all together. Add broth in small bits and work into the filling till it is the consistency of stuffing. When thoroughly mixed, stuff each half of the eggplant, heaping it at the top into a small mound. Cover with grated cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until the eggplant is done. Test by inserting a steak knife into the edge of the eggplant.  If you want to cut the oven time in half, you can brush the scooped out eggplant with the oil and micro it till it's tender.

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