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Good ‘n healthy Mushroom-Stuffed Eggplant

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During the summer and fall months, the versatile eggplant is at its peak with so many ways to be prepared. We tried it stuffed mushroom for an eye-pleasing side dish or vegetarian meal.

Both vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and health benefits. Eggplants are known for their rich source of dietary fiber, and mushrooms help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and boost the immune system.

Be creative and use other fresh vegetables on hand to stuff the eggplant, such as tomatoes or zucchini; or substitute lean ground turkey or beef for the mushrooms. Eating the skin is optional.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Baking Time: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 medium eggplants (about 16 to 20 ounces each)

1 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion (about 1 cup), chopped

1 red bell pepper (about 1 cup), chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

8 ounces mushrooms (such as cremini or white button), sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Handful freshly chopped parsley, about 1/4 cup

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or a mixture of dried oregano, basil and thyme

1 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs (see instructions below), divided

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Several tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut eggplants in half then use a paring knife to cut around the edge of each half, leaving about ¼-inch shell. Scoop pulp out of eggplant and chop into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
  3. Lightly coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place eggplant shells, face down, on the cookie sheet. Bake shells 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce heat in oven to 350°F.
  4. Prepare your stuffing while eggplant shells bake.
  5. Heat large skillet to medium high and add olive oil. Add onion, red bell pepper, salt and pepper, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add the eggplant pulp, mushrooms, garlic, parsley and Italian seasoning to the skillet and cover with lid. Cook vegetable mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Mix together 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and stir into vegetables in skillet.
  8. Make soft bread crumbs by tearing a slice of whole wheat bread into pieces and grating in the blender. Best if bread is several days old or has been left out to dry for a few hours.
  9. Turn eggplant shells over and spoon vegetable mixture into shells. Combine the remaining bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and sprinkle over eggplants.
  10. Bake eggplants in 350°F oven for 25 minutes.
  11. Remove stuffed eggplants from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon slices and olive oil to sprinkle over baked stuffed eggplants, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 245 calories; 12.8g total fat (6.0g saturated, 0.9g polyunsaturated, 5.1g monounsaturated); 854.2mg sodium; 22.4mg cholesterol; 19.3g carbohydrate; 5.4g fiber; 8.3g sugars; 15.6g protein; 565.3mg potassium.

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