Falafel Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Mint Sauce

I love falafel and I love eggplant. Putting them together this intimately was one of the best things it ever happen in my kitchen. No exaggeration here. And topping it all up with a creamy and tangy yogurt sauce makes this combo even better. Sounds like vegan porn to me.

Here is how you make it:

Wash and dry 2 medium eggplants. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Drizzle some olive oil and salt on the eggplant halves. Place them cut sides down, on a baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender.

While the eggplant halves are baking prepare the falafel mixture according to box directions–I used a whole box of Cashab Falafel Mix for this recipe and it was almost the perfect amount of stuffing. I overfilled mine halves and, if you love falafel as much as I do, you should overfilled yours too!

Remove from oven and carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. You can reserve the pulp for another use or you can shamelessly eat it right away just like it did!

  

Spoon the falafel mixture into each eggplant shell. Bake at 450° for 25-30 minutes or until the falafel is browned and crispy.

To make the Mint Yogurt Sauce, follow the recipe below. You can serve the sauce on the side or drizzle it all over the eggplant. Why not do both?

Since I made this recipe I keep thinking what else can I possibly stuff with falafel. I’m obsessed!


Yogurt Mint Sauce
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt. No regrets!)
  • ¼ cup minced mint
  • ½ clove garlic, finely diced or grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (Start with a little and add as much as you like, always tasting in between. I'm horrible when it comes to salting my recipes. Still learning!)
Instructions
  1. Place yogurt, mint, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It'll be best to let sit for 30 minutes but it can be served right away. Store on an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

Black Rice with Kale, Mushrooms, Marsala Wine and Feta Cheese

Heirloom Forbidden Rice Package

This ‘black rice’ came in my Easter basket and to tell you the truth I thought it was just wild rice. I was not excited. Disappointed even.  As I put the bag in the pantry, I briefly read the package description…which led to Google search…that proved I live under a rock. As it turns out this Heirloom forbidden rice is NOT wild rice and it’s the healthiest rice in the world.  How haven’t I heard of it?

Down to the facts. Heirloom forbidden rice (aka black rice) has high level of minerals, antioxidants, is rich in a class of flavonoid antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are potent anti-inflammatories and have specifically been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer as well as improvements in memory.

Best of all, black rice taste a zillion times better than white or brown rice. It’s nutty, slightly sweet and it looks way sexier than any other rice.

This rice is not cheap so if you want to make it ‘dealicious’ keep checking the Whole Foods bulk section (it goes on sale sometimes) or try Cost Plus World Market where the one I got seems to come from.

There are good recipes out there for black rice but I had to use the kale and mushrooms in the fridge, so I came up with this recipe. It was the perfect side for our baked salmon.  Any type of kale would work for this recipe, but I used Earthbound Organic Baby Kale from Costco. Broccoli rabe (Rapini) or spinach would work too.

Black Rice, Kale, Mushroom with Marsala rice and Feta

 

Black Rice with Kale, Mushrooms, Marsala Wine and Feta Cheese
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked heirloom forbidden rice
  • ½ medium purple onion, chopped
  • 2 cups crimini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups of raw baby kale
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Marsala wine
  • ¼ cup of crumbed goat cheese or feta cheese
  • 2¾ cups of beef broth or water (to cook the rice)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • black pepper
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the rice with the beef broth in the rice cook. If you don’t have a rice cook, simply follow the directions in the package replacing the water with beef broth. If you don’t have directions (bought it in bulk) bring beef broth to a boil and add the rice. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes in medium heat. Remove from heat and let stand covered. Reserve.
  2. On a separate pan, sauté the onion in the olive oil until it becomes translucent. Add mushrooms and Marsala wine. Cook for about 3 minutes and add kale, salt and some pepper. Cook until kale reduces its size and looks fully steamed. Turn heat off. Add the cooked black rice mixing it well. Taste and adjust with more salt and/or pepper. Cover and let it stand for a few minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the kale/mushrooms/Marsala wine juice. Sprinkle the cheese over the rice before serving.