I don’t know about you guys, but I needed a break from all of the eating and drinking I did last weekend. This week it’s all about detox. None of that liquid-only stuff, just real, good, whole foods. These stuffed eggplants and peppers might not be ultra-gourmet, but they’re healthy and easy to make and taste pretty darn good on a weeknight.
Instead of stuffing my vegetables with the traditional ground beef, I used mixed whole grains. Usually, I have a few containers of frozen farro or quinoa in the freezer, but I find that these grains from Seeds of Change work great in a pinch. I mixed them up with some tomato sauce, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar and cayenne pepper and stuffed them into a halved eggplant and red pepper. Fresh breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese were sprinkled on top and it went into the oven for a half hour. I really liked how simple the dish was and how hearty it tasted. Next time I think I’ll add some chickpeas to make it even more substantial.
After eating this for a couple of days, I feel great! I’m all ready for more cookies and pasta and beer. Everything in moderation!
You can use 2 eggplants or 2 red peppers instead of a mix if you prefer. Also feel free to experiment with different kinds of beans.
1 Chinese Eggplant
1 red bell pepper
2 cups mixed whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, farro, etc. (or use these for a shortcut)
1 cup tomato sauce (pureed tomatoes, not marinara)
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups chickpeas (optional)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a large, shallow baking dish. Mix together the grains, tomato sauce, paprika, vinegar, salt and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
Halve the eggplant and pepper and scoop the seeds out of each. Place them in the baking dish, cut side face-up.
Spoon the grain filling evenly into the eggplant and pepper halves. Sprinkle the top evenly with the greadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. If your cheese isn’t browned, turn the broiler on for just a minute, pulling the dish out as soon as it’s browned.
Sprinkle with parsley (optional).
Makes 4 entree-sized potions when paired with a salad.