Thursday, September 22, 2011

Easy filler

I finally put my imagination back to work to pull together something different for dinner. I had some fresh corn on the cob, a large butternut squash and eggplant amongst my usual veg staples. I thought to myself that I could always make that butternut squash and lentil soup that we like, or roasted eggplant puree with pasta or corn bisque; but then again, I make those all the time.

This time I wanted something comforting and hearty. So I thought to make stuffed eggplant and why not stuff them with the squash and corn. Being my first time stuffing this vegetable I may have made the walls too thin as they were a bit flimsy after baking. It still was very delicious and the easy filling that I pulled together would easily work being stuffed in red bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini or even large tomatoes.
Stuffed eggplant with butternut squash and corn

2 eggplant cut in half lengthwise with filling scooped out saved and chopped.
1 small butternut squash cut in 1/2 cubes
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 onion chopped
pinch of salt and black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup water or vegetable broth

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large pan heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil then add your onion and pepper and cook until soft. Add the cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, pepper, corn and squash. Combine well and simmer for about 10 minutes or until squash becomes tender. Add a little water or broth as needed to prevent sticking and to make items stay together.

Place your hollowed eggplant in a baking dish and fill them with your squash stuffing mixture. Bake covered for about 20 minutes or until eggplant looks done. I uncovered mine an additional 5 minutes while I quickly cooked my spinach.
I love spinach so much I always tend to eat it first on my plate, no matter what it is accompanied with. This time instead of using olive oil to cook it I put three cloves of chopped garlic in my pan and covered them with about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Let the broth get to a boil so it could braise the garlic and then threw in my spinach.

This time, the spinach had more of that garlic flavor than cooking with oil and I also felt I could eat pounds of it without too much guilt. Too bad it shrinks so much when you cook it. I could go Popeye crazy and fill up on it!

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