Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes: Ragu Stuffed Eggplant

December 19, 2016
This week winter announced its arrival with wind and ice. I dreaded leaving the house bundled up in heavy layers of outerwear. I prefer to fight the cold with my weapon of choice: the oven. I love having the oven on in the winter because it makes the kitchen a place of warmth and comfort. There was an eggplant waiting for me in the fresh drawer of my fridge. I have a love-hate relationship with eggplant. Prepared incorrectly, as I have many times, it can be off-putting and bitter. But I keep coming back to its bulbous purple shape for more. I am fascinated by the way it acts as a veggie chameleon, absorbing added flavors to take on a new taste. I also have a thing for vegetables that can become a meal within themselves. I've made eggplant ragu before, but this time decided to stuff the filling back into the eggplant shell. The result is a dish that is equal parts elegance and taste. It's not hard to imagine away your PJs and slippers for an LBD while (politely) devouring these shells. Serve the eggplant halves on their own or over a bed of quinoa or your favorite grain. The dish is light but filling with the addition of chickpeas for added protein. You can get creative with the vegetables that you add into the mix. I just happened to have a bell pepper and mushrooms on hand, but you can replace these or omit them entirely. This would be lovely for a holiday dinner, side dish, or for just eating in front of the Christmas tree wrapped in blankets like I do.
Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes: Ragu Stuffed Eggplant

Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes: Ragu Stuffed Eggplant

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 2-4 servings
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  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 diced white onion
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 giant handful spinach
  • 15 oz canned chickpeas
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari lite
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • toasted pine nuts
  • fresh parsley
tomato
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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Halve one medium sized eggplant. Score the inside of the eggplant in a check pattern, cutting close to the skin but careful not to pierce it. Next, take a spoon and scrape out the cubes, leaving 1/4" of eggplant meat on the eggplant shell.
3. Rub a drizzle of avocado oil on the interior of the shells and place face down on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes.
3. Next, heat a pan over medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon avocado oil.
4. Add 1/2 diced white onion, 1 diced bell pepper, a handful of white button mushrooms, and the eggplant cubes, and sauté for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent and eggplant and vegggies soften.
5. Add 1 can garbanzo beans and cook another 5 minutes.
6. Add 2 cups diced tomatoes, spices (garlic powder - dried basil), and tamari. Stir to combine and simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat. In the last 5 minutes, add 1 giant handful of baby spinach and allow to wilt.
7. When the eggplant shells are done baking, remove from the oven and flip over.
8. Stuff with contents from the pan and top with toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley. Serve over quinoa or your favorite grain.

Also by Lauren: Cherry Almond Museli Cookies

Related: Vegan Eggplant Rollatini

Vegan Pasta with with Broccoli and Chickpeas

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Photos: Lauren Kirchmaier


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Lauren is a vegan recipe creator, food photographer, and writer. You can find her in the kitchen making healthy plant-based eats, at the gym working up an appetite for her next meal, or curled up with a good book and a glass of red. She actively seeks wellness and balanced living in an unbalanced world. Follow her on Instagram @flora_and_vino and her blog floraandvino.com.

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