Greek-Inspired Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Dressing

My Saturday mornings are always the same.  I don’t mind.  In fact, I love having a routine and a rhythm to life.  I wake up, spend some quality time with my superstar, Jesus, drink my herbal medicine, plan meals and make a grocery list, then go shopping!  I like to go early in the morning for a couple of reasons – that’s when Sprouts gets most of its fresh produce, and I can keep my sanity by avoiding the shoppers who seem to lose the concept of peripheral vision in the crowds that form later on in the day.

This past Saturday was a bit different.  I felt the urge to live on the edge.  I knew just what to do – I went to the store without a shopping list!  Instead, I grabbed anything that caught my attention.  It was a neat experience bc I saw items that I never would’ve noticed had I gone in with my usual list mentality (not on the list, no buy).  I’m going to do this more often, as I think it will help me get out of my food rut.  I am learning everyday…Change can be a good thing!

Eggplants lured me with their pretty and exotic appearance.  It’s been a while since I cooked with them, and even though I had no clue at the moment as to what I’d make, I couldn’t grab them fast enough.  Well, it also helped that they were on sale ;).

Come Monday, after staring at my unexpected purchase for quite some time, I decided to stuff them.  Their potential as the perfect vessel was undeniable.  After searching frantically for recipes, Michael Chiarello’s recipe inspired me.  His was Italian-Style, but as I had a carton of Greek Yogurt about to expire, I decided to follow his recipe loosely and come up with my own Greek-Style version instead.  Funny how one ingredient can inspire and awaken your creativity.

Greek-Inspired Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Dressing

Serving size: 4 | Prep time: 50 min | Cooking time:  30 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants, cut lengthwise
  • 1 Ib. ground bison meat (or any protein source of your choice)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbs. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (I used Orowheat)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs. EVOO
  • Cheese *

* I used brie cheese bc that’s what I had on hand.  Feta cheese would work beautifully too, I would imagine!

Cucumber Yogurt Dressing

recipe by Laura @ sprint2thetable

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 Tsp. almond flour
  • S+P to taste
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced (optional, but highly recommended)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut eggplants lengthwise.  Scoop out pulp from halves, leaving 1/2 in thick shells.  Sprinkle salt in the insides of eggplants, lay them face down, set aside for 30 min. *
  3. Season meat with S+P and cook meat in a med pan with 1 Tbs EVOO over med high heat.  Drain excess fat.  Set aside in a bowl.
  4. In the same pan, add 2 Tbs. EVOO, sautee onion, garlic, bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, approx 8 min.
  5. Combine with meat.  Add and mix together egg and breadcrumbs.
  6. Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with mixture, top with cheese, season with s+p.
  7. Bake for about 30 min.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.
  9. Top the baked eggplants with dressing.

* My mom does this to a lot of vegetable side dishes.  The salt will suck out excess water which will help prevent sogginess.

Steps 2, 4, 6, 8

Can’t forget my sriracha!

Tim, who doesn’t like eggplants or Greek Yogurt, gave this a 9 out of 10!  Score!!  This was a huge success.  Thank you eggplant for enticing me at the store ;).

If you have any delicious eggplant recipes up your sleeve, do share!    

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27 Responses to Greek-Inspired Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Dressing

  1. Min… thank you so much for the shout out! I love you addition of almond flour. I must try it when I make this eggplant. Such pretty dish, too!

    • Min says:

      No, thank YOU for the amazing recipe!! I knew just the person to go to for this one ;). I would’ve followed it to the t, but I didn’t have peanut flour haha. This was def fun to make! There’re SOO many recipes that I want to try from your recipage so keep them comin’!!

  2. Oh wow this looks SO delicious- such a creative spin on eggplant…bookmarking it! I love making muttabul out of roasted eggplant (same concept as hummus but eggplant instead of chickpeas)! I always order it when I’m in Dubai and go to town with the stuff…do I dare say that I may even prefer it to my beloved hummus!! ;)!

  3. Min says:

    Thanks, Khushboo! Ooh I’ve never heard of muttabul before. I MUST try it now that you say you prefer it over hummus! I’m very curious now ;). Do you mind sharing the recipe? Oh and guess what? I just did a google search, and your blog came up second on the list!! Pretty cool 😉

  4. YUM! This looks seriously amazing!

  5. This looks SO good! I’ve actually never made stuffed eggplant and eggplant is one of my favorite veggies. And great pictures again! Love the sriracha on top 🙂

    • Min says:

      You know, I’ve only eaten eggplants as one of “banchans” or side dishes with soy and chili pepper marinade. The regular eggplants taste slightly diff from the Japanese one too, I noticed. Oh, can’t forget the final touch 😉

  6. Oh wow, this looks delicious!
    I have never thought to use eggplant like that! YUM!
    You won my Yasso giveaway! If you get a chance, email me with your address @ swankydietitian@yahoo.com Thanks!

  7. Michelle says:

    Min, this looks amazing! I have never tried cooking with eggplant but now I want to. And if I show Craig that picture with the sriracha, he might actually try it too 🙂
    You ARE living on the edge – grocery shopping with no list?!? Honestly, that frightens me a little bit. Almost enough to try it sometime… I think I’ll go for it!

    • Min says:

      Ooh! Craig’s a sriracha lover too? It’s how I got Tim to eat it. He really really doesn’t like Greek yogurt!
      Haha! good to know that I’m not alone 😉 And yes! You should go for it! It’s a whole new world out there hehe

  8. Alisha says:

    Your pictures are gorgeous! I bought two eggplants at the farmer’s market the other weekend and I can’t get enough. I made the eggplant parmesan recipe off of Oh She Glows and it was a huge success. My husband loved it, so maybe Tim would like it too!

  9. These look great Min! I would love to try them with a lentil filling 🙂

  10. Ellie says:

    people make lists for groceries?! haha, jk. But I actually never make a list! I just have the budget in mind, my handy phone calculator, and browse the aisles as I have an idea of what I feel like eating/cooking that week.. And I love sriracha! Mmmmm. the bestest in the world eggplant dish I’ve tried is the Korean way of seasoning and vinegar side dish and a spread/dip that’s full of garlic. It’s Greek! It’s called melitzanosalata.

    • Min says:

      WHAT?! NEVER?!?! So people like you do exist! haha. But you sound more hardcore than me, busting out your calculator! If I go over my budget, I just take some “less urgent” things out from the counter hehe. It’s never happened to my beloved ice cream though ;). Whoa! that’s a mouthful – melitzanosalata! With all that garlic, I know I’ll like it! Ooh and I know what banchan you’re talking about, I think hehe

  11. Lauren says:

    Min! Your blog and pictures are looking soooo great!!!! I love eggplant and bison, so I will definitely be trying this scrumptious dish! I love the addition of nutmeg in savory dishes…it’s one of my favorite spices to work with. Just curious, in Laura’s dressing, does the almond flour serve as a thickener?

    • Min says:

      Right? nutmeg really adds a little something something. Learned it from my girl, Rachel Ray hehe. Laura actually uses peanut flour, and I believe she used it to add a nutty flavor to the sauce. It added another dimension to the dish, I think!

  12. Gabby says:

    Yum looks good! I think sriracha makes mostly anything it touches infinitely better. 🙂

  13. Great recipe!! I love bison meat, but have only had it in restaurants and one time when a friend brought us some from her family farm. Where do you get yours from?

    I’m also a list-maker…plus, I have to be super efficient when I grocery shop now that Malia is so active 🙂 Whenever I go to the grocery store by myself, I always take my time and just stroll the aisles, it’s such a luxury! Glad you found some new inspiration, how fun!!

    • Min says:

      I actually purchase it online from this farm in Kansas. It’s great! They have all different cuts of bison meat. I usually get the 20Ibs. individually packaged ground meat. It’s so nice to have it on hand for a quick weekday meal. I don’t really trust ground beef so this is an awesome alternative! It is A LOT leaner so Tim had a hard time getting used to it in the beginning (go figure), but he’s starting to appreciate it more and more.

      I’m always on the go and so efficiency is a top priority of mine! Hope it will come in handy when God blesses me with a child ;). You think it’s a luxury? OK..I must try this more often when I can!

  14. Mmm this looks really good! I was never really a big eggplant fan until my mom made a noodle-less veggie lasagna. Instead of noodles, she used eggplant, and instead of meat, she used walnuts. The sauce was made from butternut squash with just a hint of tomato sauce. I keep meaning to see if she still has the recipe so I can try to make it! Maybe I’ll just do what I normally do and throw some things together to see how it turns out haha.

    • Min says:

      Ooh! Can you get that recipe from you mom? I like the idea of adding butternut squash to the tomato sauce! I’m going to try it!! Thanks for the inspiration ;).
      And there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing..that’s how some of the best recipes are born so keep it up! 🙂

  15. Pingback: All Settled In « Better with Berries

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