STUFFED EGGPLANT BOATS

A simple delicious combination of carbohydrate(low), protein(high) healthy fats and vegetable with loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients(antioxidants)that are brain and heart healthy.

Egg plant or Aubergine stuffed with spicy ground beef and chick pea sauce, the egg plant balances the flavours from the fiery ingredients in the sauce, giving this meal a subtler taste, simply divine.
Great for a week day dinner, easy and simple to make. This meal was inspired by “Moussaka” a Greek cuisine made with eggplant or potatoes, flour, milk and seasonings. I fell in love with this dish while on vacation in Greece mainly due to it’s simplicity. And the chef at the hotel was kind enough to write me the recipe( I had to ask for the recipe to satisfy my adventurous palate πŸ˜ƒ).
As always I had to recreate the recipe to make it healthier and that’s how I ended up with these lovely boats!20180626_190339.jpg
Before we go to how to make, let’s get a sneak peek into our base AUBERGINE which is the main ingredient for this dish. If you’ ve read my About page, you’ll know why I pay close attention to my ingredients I like to know what I’m eating and how it benefits my body. So, I don’t mean to bore you with long reads…Ha-ha

sure, you’ll find it useful!

Aubergine is a great low calorie addition to any meal. it is high in dietary fibre both soluble and insoluble fibre (about 3g fibre per cup) and adds a lot of bulk to your meal which helps reduce your appetite because it absorbs water in the digestive tract making you feel fuller for longer. Fibre regulates rate at which food is digested and contributes to satiety which keeps us feeling fuller for longer.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel that moves through the intestine and slows digestion preventing cholesterol and high blood sugar.(so great for maintaining a stable blood sugar)
while insoluble fibre– does not dissolve in water, helps to bulk up stool and so that it can be passed easily. prevents constipation, eliminates toxic wastes through the colon and balances the PH level in the intestine stopping your gut bacteria from producing substances that can cause colon cancer both types of fibre are needed for weightloss or weight management and for a better digestive health.

I try to add more fibre to my meals and tend to go for ingredients that contain a fair dose of both soluble and insoluble fibre and egg plant is one of them.

Also why getting enough fibre in is good it also important to maintain a balance because if fibre is taken in excess it can make food move too quickly reducing the amount of minerals absorbed from food and can lead to digestive problems like
Gastritis, bloating, diarrhoea and cramps.

the recommended daily reference intake for adults is about 30g according to the British nutrition foundation
AGE 2-5(15g), 5-11 years (20g), 17 and over (30g).

So it is important to keep your meals as balanced as possible because no single ingredient is magic on it’s own.
TYPE OF AUBERGINE TO USEaviary-image-1530220687445.jpeg

choose ones that are firm, smooth shiny with a vibrant colour. I have also learnt to check that my egg plant is not bruised before buying as this means that the flesh inside is decayed.
the stem and cap should still be green as pictured above.
Always test for ripeness by gently pressing the skin with your thumb, if it bounces back the egg plant is ripe, but if the mark remains then it is not.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 Large Aubergine(egg plant)
– 1/2 pack ground beef
– 1/2 can chick peas ( I used freshly cooked, i always batch cook my chickpeas store in tubs and freeze makes it handy for speedy meal preps)
– 1/2 canned tomatoes(low sugar option)I used 3 fresh red tomatoes
– 1 scotch bonnet or 1tsp chilli powder(depends largely on how spicy you can go, adjust accordingly)
– 1/2 Tsp dried oregano
– 1 onion (chopped)
– 1 Tsp coriander or cumin
– 2 cloves of garlic and oregano
– 1Tbsp olive oil and pinch of salt to taste
– handful of grated mozzarella for topping
– Parsley or herb of choice and a slice of lemon for garnishing

METHOD

1- wash and half your egg plant, use a spoon to scoop out the inside leaving about an inch, careful not to pierce the skin. Gently rub with pinch of salt oregano and olive oil(feel free to use any other herb)
Place in a greased oven tray and pop into pre heated oven and bake for 10mins. Then chop the meaty part scooped and set aside.

2- While the eggplant is baking, sautΓ© your garlic and onions in a skillet, then add ground beef crumbling with a wooden spoon till meat is brown and no longer red. then add tomatoes, chopped meaty flesh of the egg plant, season with the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 8mins and remove skillet from hob.

3- divide sauce between the halved eggplant, sprinkle with cheese
20180626_185136.jpgand pop back into the oven just for the cheese to melt. take out and garnish with lemon and parsley.

VEGAN/VEGETARIAN
just use chickpeas with other veggies of choice.

Serves 1

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