Stuffed Round Zucchini with Pesto Quinoa

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What do you love the most about seasons? Is it the changing weather, temperature, fashion, or the color of the leaves in the trees? For me, it’s the flavorful seasonal produce that come with each one of them. Throughout the Spring season specifically, many of my favorite fruits and vegetables become perfectly ripe. That’s when I like to spend some time at the grocery store, and get lost in the fresh produce aisle. As I was walking there the other day actually, I saw a cart filled with round zucchini and couldn’t resist. They looked so good, and round, and green, and perfect. Don’t you agree?

Continue reading “Stuffed Round Zucchini with Pesto Quinoa”

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Red Pepper-Baked Egg with Mushrooms and Tomato Rice

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Have you ever had a sudden realization that rocked your (culinary) world? Like a kitchen revelation? That “Eureka effect” or “Aha! moment”?

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Baked Eggplant stuffed with Couscous

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Lately, eggplant’s been at the top of my vegetables crush list. Seriously though. I don’t know why I love it so much, but I can eat it three times a day. Ok, maybe not for breakfast. But definitely for lunch and dinner. I use it in sauces, stews, dips or even just on its own, and I never get tired of it. This time though, I chose to stuff it with a delicious couscous mixture. It turned out to be an ideal dish for dinner. Stuffed vegetables appeal to me because they can be transformed in many ways. The combinations of grains, meat or stuffing with their tender roasted flesh always make for satisfying and diverse meals. Here, the paired eggplant and couscous offer you plenty of good nutrients in a tasty fashion. Bon appétit!

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Recipe inspired by Dishing up the Dirt


Prep time: 40 min 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1/4 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/3 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (chopped finely)
  • 1/4 cup zucchini (chopped very finely)
  • crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • chopped parsley (optional)
  • olive oil

Spicy lemon-yogurt sauce:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice and zest
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • drizzle of sriracha
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scoop (and save) the seeds out of your eggplant half, leaving about a 1/2in border, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast flesh-down for about 30 minutes.
  2. As the eggplant roasts, make the lemon-yogurt sauce by mixing the lemon juice and zest with yogurt, water, salt, pepper and a splash of sriracha.
  3. To cook the couscous, bring 1/3 cup water with 3/4 tbsp of butter to a boil. Cut the heat and add the dried couscous, stir well, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then fluff it up with a fork (timing instructions may vary depending on the type of grain).
  4. Meanwhile, sauté the onions with olive oil, on high heat, in a small pot for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and let it evaporate to further soften the onions. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes and diced zucchini, and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium heat.
  5. Once the couscous is ready, add it to the pot and stir well so that all the ingredients are well incorporated. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and crumbled feta and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Once the eggplant is fully roasted, scoop the couscous mixture in it. Drizzle with the spicy lemon-yogurt sauce and eat with a spoon!

TIP: you can substitute lentils or quinoa for the couscous if you don’t have any on hand.