This dish is full of great and healthy ingredients. But today I chose to write a thing or two about lentils and eggplants. Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber.
Lentils are a great source of health-promoting polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with potential cancer-cell inhibiting effects.They may protect your heart by supporting weight loss, preventing homocysteine accumulation in your body and improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Eggplant provides a good amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals in few calories. They are high in anthocyanins, a pigment with antioxidant properties that can protect against cellular damage.
Some studies have found that eggplants may improve heart function and reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, though human research is needed. They can help promote weight loss. It can also be used in place of higher-calorie ingredients.
I think that these are some pretty good reasons to try and include eggplant into your meals every now and then. And if you are short on ideas, why not start with this wonderful Moroccan stuffed eggplant?
GF Vegan Moroccan Style Stuffed Aubergine
- 1 medium eggplant
- 100g lentils
- 100 ml water
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
- to taste salt, pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/3 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- freshly chopped parsley
- 200 g chopped tomatoes
- to garnish (optional) vegan parmesan
1. In a medium pot, bring the water to boil. Rinse the lentils and add them to the water. Let it boil again, reduce the temperature to low and let them cook for 20 minutes (with no lid on). Remove from the stove and drain the water.
2. Meanwhile clean the eggplants and cut them in halves (lengthwise). Heat some oil in a non-stick pan and cook the eggplants on each side for 5 minutes. Remove from the stove and put them in a baking dish lined with some parchment paper. Trace the part that you want to cut out from the middle of each half with a knife. Take a teaspoon and scoop out the eggplant from the middle. Be careful not to burn yourself.
3. Roughly chop the onion and the bell pepper. Place them in a blender along with the eggplant parts you just removed, the tomato paste, vinegar, maple syrup and all of the spices. Blend everything together.
4. Add the mix, along with some chopped parsley, to the cooked lentils and mix well. Add the chopped tomatoes and the lentils in a deep pan and bring them to boil. Reduce the temperature to low and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Taste the mix to see if you need to spice it up some more.
5. Fill the eggplants with the lentil mix. Bake them in preheated oven for 30 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius.
Serve immediately with vegan Parmesan on top, or even with vegan sour cream.
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Photo: Imola Toth