Monday, October 27, 2008

When The Cat's Away...

...the mice will eat simple dinners not loaded down with potatoes, pasta and tons of bread!

With Justin being gone for the month, I've taken advantage of being able to cook whatever I want for dinner! He's a big pasta, potatoes and bread kinda guy so a lot of what I make for dinner includes at least two, if not all three, of those ingredients. Sadly, I was not blessed with a metabolism the speed of a Lamborghini. I can't eat all the carbs I want and still live a content life, happily strolling along in size 2 jeans. Le sigh. I was super excited for tonight's dinner to be light, major veggie-centered, with no carbs in sight!

I found this recipe in a recipe booklet at the grocery store over the summer. I've only made it once before and Justin loved it! I had an eggplant in the fridge and a couple frozen italian sausages so I thought it would be perfect for a light, small dinner for one. The recipe calls for cheese, but I didn't have any in the house so I figured it'd be fine without it! It is very good with the feta though. I chopped up a lot more veggies than the recipe called for so that, paired with the fact that I also only used one eggplant, made my stuffing a little too overzealous for my teeny eggplants. I made good use of my new ramekins and baked the extra stuffing in there.

Stuffed Eggplant
1 pkg turkey italian sausage (I always get hot, not isn't very spicy but has a TON more flavor!)
2 eggplants
1 Cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese (Didn't have any)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1-2 Tbsp Basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Diced veggies of your choice (This time I used zucchini, squash, red & green pepper, onion and mushrooms)
Salt & Pepper to taste (be easy on the salt...the sausage is a bit salty!)
Cook italian sausages over medium/medium-high heat. Cut up and set aside.

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp to make a well in each eggplant. Set pulp aside.

Combine veggies (incl. eggplant pulp), garlic, basil (Confession: I was too lazy to dice up a bunch of garlic and basil so I used onion powder, garlic powder, Italian Seasonings and pepper...delish!) and sausage together in a bowl. Fill eggplants. Top with feta cheese.

Set stuffed eggplants in a casserole dish for baking. Don't use a cookie sheet! The eggplant softens and the juices will run out and alllll over the oven. Bake at 360° (random, but does make a difference!) for 17 minutes or until eggplant has softened and feta becomes gooey. I dipped bites in a small side of marinara. Yum!
Confession #2: This is another "Before" be honest, it pretty much looked the exact same after being cooked so I figured another photo session wasn't necessary!)

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