Paleo Stuffed Eggplant

Paleo Stuffed Eggplant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I actually stole this pic from the internet cause I forgot to take one when I made this yesterday….it looked JUST like this though!) 🙂

Ingredients

For the Sauce:

  • EVOO
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
  • salt / fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 16-ounce cans of chopped tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 16-ounce can of tomato sauce (no salt or anything added)
  • 3 tbsp Romano/Parmesan cheese (optional)

For the Pesto: (I used a recipe from PaleOMG that I recently tried and loved.  You can find it here.)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of garlic powder

For the Eggplants/Stuffing:

  • 2 Large eggplants,  halved lengthwise
  • EVOO
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme (fresh would work great too)
  • salt / fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey (can use grassfed veal or beef too!)
  • freshly grated fresh pecorino cheese, for topping (optional)
  • 2 tbsp fresh pesto sauce (see recipe above)
  1. Preheat over to 350°.
  2. In a medium sauce pot, cover the bottom of the pot with EVOO and set to medium heat.  Then  add your chopped garlic and spices. Cook for several minutes.
  3. Add your chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook for several more minutes.  Then add your sauce and continue cooking for as long as possible.
  4. If you choose to add the romano/parmesan cheese, wait until about 30 minutes prior to serving.
  5. While your sauce is cooking, cut the eggplants in half, lengthwise and remove the flesh from the center – reserving for use later.
  6. In a separate pot, bring water seasoned with a little salt to a boil and add your eggplant “boats” to the pot.  Let them cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until tender.  Drain from water and save for later.
  7. Chop up the flesh that you have removed from the epplants as you will be using it in the meat mixture.
  8. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Then add in the eggplant flesh and continue cooking until soft. Then add in your ground meat, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Continue cooking until the meat is cooked all the way through and no longer pink.
  9. While your meat mixture is cooking, make your pesto.
  10. Add your walnuts, garlic clove, and basil to the food processor and turn on. Then begin to add the olive oil while the food processor is still running. Then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Taste to see if you need more basil or lemon or salt and pepper.
  11. Once the meat mixture is thoroughly cooked, add in 2 tbsps of pesto and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes.
  12. Then add a little of your sauce to the meat mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. After everything is done cooking, add a little of the sauce (just the red sauce) to the bottom of a baking dish, then place your eggplant “boats” on top of the sauce.  Spoon the filling into the eggplant shells.
  14. Spoon about half of the sauce over the eggplants and sprinkle with the remaining of grated romano/parmesan (if you choose to use the cheese).
  15. Bake the eggplant until browned and bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve, passing the remaining tomato sauce on the side.
You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature then reheat in a 375° oven.
Enjoy.
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