This is the season for farmers’ markets, making it easy to purchase farm fresh veggies. I have to admit that I am in love with veggies! When going to a farmers’ market, I look for veggies that are unusual or something that I have not eaten before. On my trip to the farmers’ market this week, I found a mysterious vegetable lurking behind the zucchini. It was an eggplant, but not your typical eggplant, which is usually dark purple and black and pear-shaped. This eggplant resembled a very, very large tomato and has purple and white stripes.
When I used to live in Southern New Jersey, my friend and I would go to a farm nearby and buy these interesting eggplants. The farmer told us that he received the seeds for these eggplants from Sicily and that is how he began growing these Sicilian eggplants. I hadn’t seen them since I moved up to Northern New Jersey, so I when I spotted the familiar veggie at the farmers’ market, I felt like I was home again. The best part of these eggplants is their sweetness and they have little to no seeds in them. All I could think about was the various ways I used to cook these eggplants, so I bought a bushel.
You’re probably thinking that I am obsessed with this veggie and I guess I might be, but it also has great nutrients. I researched the nutritional information online and found out that they are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help protect against colon cancer and can also keep the digestive system regular. Eggplant contains vitamin A, B, C and folate. They are also rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. They have no fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates and only 27 calories in a 1 cup serving.
When people think about eggplant, a familiar recipe is eggplant parmigiana. But, you can also grill them, stuff them or can them in vinegar for a nice salad topping. I could write a cookbook with so many ways to use this veggie. What did I do with my bushel of eggplants? I roasted some of them to be used as a side dish and to make an eggplant parmigiana with. I also put them in a salad. However, my favorite way to prepare them is to stuff them. Below is my recipe for stuffed Sicilian eggplant.
Since I started my journey to wellness, I have discovered so many interesting veggies and fruits. I have tried to incorporate them into my daily menus. It makes life a bit more interesting and your body loves you for it. The next time you are at the supermarket or farmers’ market, look for these Sicilian eggplants. I am sure that once you try them you will love them as much as I do.
Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant
4 Sicilian eggplants
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup whole grain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 egg whites, beaten
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
4 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
Combine the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg whites, garlic, onion and basil. Mix well and set aside. The mixture should be moist. If it is not, add an additional beaten egg white.
Cut off the tops of the Sicilian eggplants. Scoop out the inside of each eggplant and cut scooped part into small chunks. Sauté the chunks in 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook until wilted.
Mix the turkey mixture with the cooked eggplant. Stuff all 4 eggplants with this mixture and place them into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover with chicken broth. Bake at 350˚F degree until you can piece the outside of the eggplant with a fork.
Serve with a tossed salad topped with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Mangia!
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