J and I are cutting out grains, sugars, and starchy vegetables for the next three weeks as a primal, healthy eating challenge that will hopefully help to permanently shape better eating habits. It’s very exciting because I’m learning to use new types of food in creative ways. That means you won’t be getting any pasta or risotto recipes from me for awhile, and then let’s be honest, I’ll probably ravenously load up on them in August just in time for our upcoming Greek islands vacation… perfect lol.
So for our first primal dinner yesterday, we had this really good eggplant dish with a side of cauliflower mash. Now, I’m going to start off by singing cauliflower’s praises. It is such an underutilized veggie! I’m a huge mashed potato girl, but potatoes aren’t really primal – they’re too starchy. Trust me when I say this mash legitimately 1) tasted like potatoes, 2) had the same consistency as mashed potatoes, and 3) is so easy to make!
Isn’t it beautiful??? So you use a whole head of cauliflower, which you chop into small florets (the same way you would with broccoli). You steam the cauliflower (you do NOT need a steamer – just put an inch of water into a large pot, dump the cauliflower in, put the lid on it, and cook it over medium heat until it’s really fork tender). Put your steamed cauliflower into a large food processor, along with 4 tbs of unsalted butter, and a whole head’s worth of roasted garlic. Pulse it until it’s creamy (might take several minutes). Add in a handful of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, and pulse it a couple times. Then season to taste with salt and white ground pepper. Top it with fresh chives to make it pretty 🙂
Look at that, I guess you end up with two recipes in one post! Back to today’s star – the eggplant! This dish has rich Indian flavors, and you could actually do it with ground lamb if you’d like. I don’t like my lamb too… lamby, so I steer clear of that. I chose turkey.
First, you will roast the eggplant in the oven to get it nice and tender.
Then you make the filling. Start off with sauteing onions and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil.
You’ll add your ground meat to that mixture, along with minced garlic, spices, and tomato paste.
Cook it until the ground meat has browned, then stir in some parsley for good measure.
Next, you’ll just top the eggplant halves with your filling, add a bit of grated cheese, and pop everything back in the oven for a few minutes to heat it through!
Serve with ❤ cheesy roasted garlic cauliflower mash ❤
Turkey and Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant
3 baby eggplants, halved lengthwise (or 2 large ones)
1 lb ground turkey
6 oz white mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp paprika
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and lightly coat a large baking dish with cooking spray.
- Score the interiors of each eggplant half with a knife in a crosshatch manner (see picture above) without breaking the skin, brush each with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Leave the oven on after you take out the eggplant.
- Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, and saute the onions until tender (about 8 minutes), adding the mushrooms to the pan halfway through.
- Add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and tomato paste. Cook and stir the mixture until tomato paste is fully incorporated.
- Add the ground turkey, and cook the mixture until the turkey has browned. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the parsley.
- Top the roasted eggplant halves with a heaping amount of filling (you might have a bit leftover), then top each with a generous sprinkle of cheese. Heat in the oven for about 10 minutes.