Pop the champagne and uhh, stuffed vegetables…
I officially hit the halfway mark in my internship year.
If that doesn’t send you into a celebratory frenzy, I’ll rejoice on your behalf. You just leave it to me. *pops champagne and a stuffed eggplant with 2 noisemakers in between lips*
In terms of nutrition, this dish hits the jackpot. Lentils are an excellent choice when it comes to both protein and fiber- just one cup has 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. Fiber stabilizes your blood sugar to prevent diabetes, improves your digestion to prevent constipation, and helps you lose weight by keeping your stomach fuller for longer. In fact, one study showed that when it comes to a knockout fight between beans and beef, the plant-based option beat out animal protein in terms of satiety. BOOM.
Go ahead, go
nuts, coconuts because fat is in.
Did you know the fat inside coconut milk and cream is the kind you want more of?! About 60% of the fats inside this creamy, dreamy liquid are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are transported directly to the liver to be used up as energy faster and more efficiently than other types of fats. Studies like this one demonstrate this kind of fat as a potential weight loss agent.
Skittles, piss off. With the heavy dose of anthocyanins inside the eggplant, which give it that delicious dark purple color, you’re eating your way through the antioxidant rainbow.
Also, the beautiful fork you see in the photos was made by my talented sister, a glass artist in Yreka, CA. You can find more of her work on her site- peep www.togetheragainmemorybeads.com/ for jewelry, beads, and a ton of other insanely cool thangs.
This is a dinner you can whip out on literally any night of the week, be it Monday when you’re falling asleep stirring on the stove top or Friday when you’re getting ready to head out with friends and need something quick, filling, and undeniably delicious. Chewy, tender lentils are soaked in a coconut cream bath and stuffed inside a savory eggplant, then drizzled with gooey, nutty tahini and a balsamic glaze. Vegan, gluten-free, and the perfect mid-week meal to cozy up to!
So, cheers to my internship and of course, to your health.
Eggplant Stuffed with Creamy Coconut Lentils
Makes: 4 servings
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 cup dry green lentils
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup coconut cream (not milk)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup baby spinach
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons tahini
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise; drizzle each half with olive oil, soy sauce, and a sprinkle of black pepper. Place face down on greased baking sheet (so you’re looking at the purple skin) and roast for 30 mins or until tender and cooked through. Remove from oven when done and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring lentils and water to a boil. Turn down heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in coconut cream, cumin, red pepper flakes, spinach, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place scoops of lentils on top of the flesh of each eggplant, drizzle with tahini and balsamic, and serve warm.