It's amazing to me how quickly time flies by when you're preparing for a baby! I haven't posted a recipe in so long, mostly because I really haven't been super creative in the kitchen. I've been cooking a lot of easy repeat recipes; Asian stir-fry, steak and sweet potato, chicken cobb salad, chicken or pork tacos, etc. You know, those easy go-to meals that you've made so many times you can do it on auto-pilot. But I got tired of eating the same vegetables and needed something new in the rotation. I'm trying very hard not to go overboard on eating junk food during my pregnancy, so to avoid bread but still feel like I'm having pizza, I give you this...
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 3-4 people
Large saute pan
Medium sauce pot
1 large eggplant (mine was about 9-10 inches)
1 lb of grass-fed beef (I used White Oak Pastures)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 Mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning, divided
Fresh chopped basil (about 10 leaves)
Black olives (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut into 3/4 inch slices. Lay on paper towels and sprinkle salt on each one to draw out the moisture for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef with some garlic and Italian seasoning in a saute pan. While there are still juices in the pan from the browned ground beef, add chopped onion and green pepper and cook until they begin to soften and the juice evaporates.
In another pot, put 1 can of diced tomatoes (or about two cups of freshly diced) and 1/4 cup (or 4 oz) of tomato paste. Add in some Italian seasoning and half of the fresh chopped basil and simmer. Then combine the ground beef mixture with the sauce. It should be thick.
Check the eggplant after about 30 minutes and pat dry them to remove the excess moisture. This will also remove some of the salt so it won't be overly salty. Lightly brush the eggplant with olive oil and Italian seasoning and roast them in a 375F oven for about 20-25 minutes. Don't let them get soggy. They still need to retain their shape.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and top each one with the meat sauce, any additional toppings you may want (fresh basil, black olives, red pepper flakes, etc.), and a generous portion of Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.
Place under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to get nice and melted and golden brown.