As I am typing these words, I am sitting on my patio with my feet propped up and the sun is beating down on my pale body while my puppy is playing in the yard. This is my kind of day.
Although it is spring, it feels like summer because it is 80+ degrees out here. But it was only in the 50′s last week. Only in Missouri!
Puppy update: He is incredibly adorable and snuggly. We are still working on potty training though which is a pain but I have to remember the little guy is only 11 weeks old. This to0 shall pass, right? (P.S. If you have any potty training advice please let me know!) We really love him being a part of our lives! He is a sweet guy. This is him hanging outside with me!
Back to today…although it is Cinco de Mayo today, I will not be posting a Mexican recipe. As I’m sitting in the hot sun, I am reminded that summer is right around the corner and I’ve got to squeeze myself into my bathing suit soon. It always takes a pep talk to get myself to put it on, but it happens every year. So instead of filling my belly with some awesome but heavy tacos, tonight I will be serving up a lighter Quick Stuffed Eggplant instead.
It really is quick to make, I can even keep an eye on the puppy in the kitchen as I cook it-which is a must these days! It is also full of flavor and looks so elegant when it is served up!
I used a lean ground beef in this recipe because we have a whole freezer full, but you can also use ground chicken or turkey to make this meal even more figure friendly.
I also use my own homemade gluten free breadcrumbs as a topping. How do you make homemade breadcrumbs?? I just throw in the freezer all the gluten free bread that I have that is getting a little on the stale side. When you need some bread crumbs just throw a slice or two in your food processor with some Italian seasoning and you magically get bread crumbs! Trust me, it is way chapter than buying gluten free bread crumbs. You can also just omit the bread crumbs and top with some extra cheese, because cheese is always good!
If you are looking for a light and satisfying spring/summer dish, you have got to try this Quick Stuffed Eggplant!
- 5 small firm eggplants, about 6-7 inches long
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound ground beef or chicken or turkey
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
- A small handful of raisins
- A splash of white wine or chicken stock
- 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- A handful basil leaves, chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Cut 4 of the eggplants in half length wise. Brush (use a pastry or grill brush) the cut side of the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the eggplant in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes as you are working on the other ingredients.
- Peel and dice the 5th eggplant, set aside.
- In a large skillet brown the meat. When the meat is browned transfer to a plate with paper towels to soak up the extra grease.
- In the skillet that you removed the meat from add in one tablespoon olive oil and add in the onion, garlic, eggplant. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender.
- Put the meat back into the pan and add in the tomato paste, stirring well to combine. Toss in the handful of raisins and deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and scrape up any bits from the bottom. Remove from the burner as you prepare the bread crumbs.
- In a bowl mix together the gf bread crumbs, chopped parsley, basil, salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese.
- When the eggplants are done roasting, remove them from the oven and carefully flip them over. Mound each eggplant half with the meat mixture and then top with the bread crumb mixture.
- Turn the oven broiler on high and broil for about 2-3 minutes until the bread crumbs and crispy and the cheese is melted.
- Top with a sprinkle of extra cheese at the table.
- This serves 4 people as a meal (one eggplant each) or 8 as a starter/side (half an eggplant each).