Baked Stuffed Eggplant

Baked Stuffed Eggplant 1

 

So there seems to be a lot of talk lately about the health benefits of a “low carb” diet.  I am very hesitant to latch on to the latest fly-by-night health studies that seem to be published on a monthly basis.  When I first heard about low carb diets, I put them in the same fleeting aforementioned category.  I mainly try to eat well-balanced, fresh, non-processed foods which include tons of fruits, vegetables, nuts, humanely raised meats, and some whole grains.

Raw Eggplant

HOWEVER…

I will say that after reading about the Whole 30 program, which is basically a 30 day trial period where you cut out certain foods that are known to cause inflammatory reactions in many people.  At the end of the 30 days, you simply evaluate how you feel.  Then, slowly, you add back in some of the foods you had taken out of your diet and notice how they affect you.  It was an interesting experience for me.  I noticed that I really did feel better when I limited my carb-intakes such as breads, pastas, rice, and other grains.  For this reason, my diet has recently tended to sway toward the low-carb end of the spectrum.

Italian Sausage

Not too long ago, my family fell into a routine of making mini-pizzas on naan bread every Thursday night. Mmm-mmm they are so good.  But when I decided to cut out a lot of the breads I had been eating, I realized this Thursday night tradition was going to leave me lonely.  That’s when I began to experiment and came up with an alternative that is honestly so delicious I do not miss the bread at all.  Let me repeat that…I DO NOT MISS THE GARLICKY, DELICIOUS NAAN BREAD AT ALL.  Not kidding.

I have made this recipe several different ways, and it is just as delicious each time.  Sometimes I slice the eggplant long-ways into 1 cm thick slices, bake the slices and top them like pizza.  Other times, I hollow out the eggplant like I did here.  Again, they both work equally well.  Usually if the eggplant is large, I will cut it into slices, and if it is small, I just cut it in half.  You can also add whatever pizza toppings you like.

Veggie Stir Fry for eggplant

There have been some questions pertaining to inflammatory diseases that might stem from eating eggplants and the whole Nightshade family of vegetables in general, but I don’t seem to be bothered at all by it.

Low-carb, shmow-carb, all diet talk aside, this is an all around delicious recipe that I think anyone would love.

Baked Stuffed Eggplant

 

Baked Stuffed Eggplant

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1/2 Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 2 small-medium sized eggplants
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 links raw italian sausage
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Divide eggplants in half, long-ways. Using a small knife, cut around the flesh of the eggplant to hollow out the middle. Do this for each half of the eggplant. Cut the flesh into cubes. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, put the eggplant shells and cubes and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven.
  3. Meanwhile, add remaining tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan, and place over medium heat. Remove sausages from casings, and add to pan. Using a wooden spoon, break sausage into crumbles as it cooks. When the sausage has browned and is cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard all, but 1 tablespoon of oil, from the frying pan. Add minced garlic, chopped onion and red pepper flakes. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until onions and garlic become fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove eggplants from the oven, and add the cubed pieces to the frying pan. Next add the sausage back in. Stir in the marinara and parmesan and let everything cook together for about 5 minutes. Divide mixture between the four eggplant shells. Top each with 1/4 cup of mozzarella.
  5. Place the stuffed eggplants in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
http://tomatodumplings.com/index.php/2015/06/04/baked-stuffed-eggplant/

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2 Comments on Baked Stuffed Eggplant

  1. Hope H
    June 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm (3 years ago)

    Beautiful images. Looks delicious!

    Reply
    • mmckinn
      June 12, 2015 at 1:52 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you!

      Reply

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