A Mediterranean dish that is enjoyed from Turkey to Spain, stuffed eggplant suits a variety of flavors and ingredients.
Using the heart-healthy ingredients and spices renowned in this region of the world, this recipe utilizes tofu for protein and omits the usual high-fat cheese that is often liberally sprinkled on top.
An eggplant is the perfect medium for holding the thick tomato mixture. It retains it shape when cooked, yet adds a meatiness to this vegan dish.
- 1 eggplant, large; scrubbed and top removed
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 block firm tofu, chopped finely
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- salt, to taste
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup low-fat soy ‘mozzarella’ cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop out the middle of the vegetable, so there is ½-inch of the flesh left inside the skin. Sprinkle salt liberally over the removed contents and the halved eggplant. Set aside for 30 minutes, allowing the salt to remove the bitter flavor.
- Toss together the olive oil, tofu, and onion in a medium saucepan. Place it on the stove and set the heat to medium-high.
- Toss the contents of the pan until the tofu is browned and the onions and garlic are caramelized – between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Add the basil, oregano, and black pepper and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Spoon in the tomato paste, chopped tomato and vegetable stock.
- Reduce the heat to medium and allow the mixture to thicken.
- Rinse the salt off of the eggplant pieces and pat them dry with paper towel.
- Chop the removed middle pieces of the eggplant finely and add them to the simmering tomato mixture.
- Salt the mixture to taste, and simmer until almost all liquid is evaporated and it has thickened to a texture similar to a paste.
- Lightly grease a 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with olive oil.
- Set the eggplant halves in the dish, hollowed interiors up.
- Line each hollow with the fresh spinach leaves, divided evenly between each half.
- Spoon the thick tomato mixture in to the top of the eggplants, creating two even mounds on top of the hollowed vegetable halves.
- Sprinkle on the cheese, if desired, or omit it for a lower-fat version.
- Insert the baking dish in to the oven.
- Cook for 45 minutes, or until the edges of the mixture are browned, and the eggplant is soft when pierced with a fork.
- Remove and serve alongside pasta, rice or a salad.
Amount Per Serving Calories 318Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 22mgSodium 599mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 9gSugar 11gProtein 22g