Stuffed Eggplant Featured

Stuffed Eggplant with Bulgur, Tomato, and Dried Figs (Vegan)

This stuffed eggplant recipe is filled with bulgur, tomato, chickpeas, dried figs, basil, and spices for a delicious vegan meal everyone will enjoy!

Stuffed Eggplant

Mention any vegetable that’s been “stuffed”, and you’ve got my attention. What an ingenious way to eat more vegetables! Cook them with loads of delicious ingredients inside.

These stuffed eggplants are full of amazing Middle Eastern flavor, thanks to bulgur, chickpeas, dried figs, tahini, olive oil, and ras-el-hanout (a Moroccan spice blend). I used Turkish bulgur, dried figs, and olive oil for this dish, and they are such delicious products!

How to Make Stuffed Eggplant

These beautiful eggplants may look complicated, but this recipe is quite simple.

  • First, cook the eggplants whole. Don’t do anything to them! Just place them on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. They will look super wrinkly and feel very soft when done.
Whole roasted eggplants - stuffed eggplant
  • While the eggplants bake, prepare the filling. Cook bulgur on the stovetop, and mix it in a bowl with chickpeas, tomato, onion, basil, ras-el-hanout, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dried figs, and olive oil.
stuffed eggplant stuffing
  • Prepare a simple tahini sauce by mixing tahini, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice, and cold water.
  • Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch border, and add it to the bulgur filling. Stir to mix everything together.
  • Scoop about 1 cup of bulgur filling into each eggplant half.
  • Drizzle generously with tahini sauce and sesame seeds.
  • Enjoy!

Main Ingredients in Stuffed Eggplant + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Eggplant: Eggplant is a versatile, nutrient-dense veggie that’s full of the good stuff. One cup has three grams of filling fiber! Eggplant is also full of antioxidants, including anthocyanin, the pigment that gives the skin its beautiful purple shade. Since eggplant is part of the nightshade family, it has gotten a lot of negative media attention because some believe that alkaloid compounds in nightshades cause inflammation. But, there has been no research in humans to support this belief. So go and load up your plate with eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes!
  • Bulgur: Bulgur is a popular whole grain ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s delicious and fluffy, with a texture similar to rice or quinoa. One cup of cooked bulgur contains eight grams of fiber, which is good for heart health, blood sugar control, and weight management. It is also super easy to prepare, and cooks quickly!
  • Dried Figs: The dried figs in this stuffed eggplant recipe add even more fiber! One serving of figs (fresh or dried) contains 4 grams of insoluble fiber and 2 grams of soluble fiber. These fruits are also one of the best plant-based sources of calcium! If you’re vegan or dairy free, figs are a great food to include in your diet regularly.
  • Tomato
  • Olive Oil
  • Chickpeas
  • Ras-El-Hanout
  • Tahini
  • Lemon Juice
Stuffed Eggplant

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Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant with Bulgur, Tomato, and Dried Figs (Vegan)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 eggplant halves 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This stuffed eggplant recipe is filled with bulgur, tomato, chickpeas, dried figs, basil, and spices for a delicious vegan meal everyone will enjoy!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium to large eggplants
  • 1 cup Turkish bulgur
  • 1/2 of a white onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium chickpeas (from a drained and rinsed can)
  • 5 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp Turkish olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp ras-el-hanout
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup smooth tahini
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. 
  2. Place eggplants on lined baking sheet whole, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Eggplants will be very soft and the skin wrinkly when done. Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board to cool until you’re able to slice them.
  3. While the eggplants cook, make the bulgur filling.
  4. Cook bulgur on the stovetop by combining 1 cup of bulgur with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until water is gone and bulgur is light and fluffy.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine bulgur with onion, tomato, basil, chickpeas, figs, lemon juice, olive oil, ras-el-hanout, and salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Make tahini sauce by whisking together tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt with a fork. Add cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the sauce becomes creamy and runny. I added about half a cup of cold water total before the sauce reached this creamy consistency. 
  7. Once eggplants are cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch border, and add the flesh to the bulgur filling. Stir to combine.
  8. Scoop about 1 cup of filling into each eggplant half.
  9. Serve, drizzled with tahini sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. 


Notes

  • You may have some leftover filling, depending on the size of your eggplants. Add it to a salad for lunch the next day!
  • If you can’t find ras-el-hanout, you can add 1/4 tsp each ginger, corriander, and paprika. It would also be delicious with curry powder instead. 

Keywords: stuffed eggplant, vegetarian, vegan, bulgur

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Thank you Turkey, Discover the Potential for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Why This Registered Dietitian Loves the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet has been studied extensively as one of the healthiest eating patterns in the world. Read on to find out why!

Greek quinoa salad

One of the oldest diets in the world is back with lots of media attention this year, and just as good as ever. It originated well before “dieting” was even a thing, and has been studied extensively as one of the healthiest eating patterns in the world. It’s a diet where you don’t have to count calories or macros, don’t have to drink detox green juice, and you can eat CARBS! Enter the Mediterranean Diet, one of my favorite patterns of eating.

What makes the Mediterranean diet so great and well loved by health professionals? Firstly, this diet is widely touted for its researched health benefits. It has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Some research also shows an association between the Mediterranean diet and reduced risk of certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

A Lifestyle, Not a Diet

The Mediterranean diet is not so much a “diet”, rather it is a lifestyle pattern of eating. When we hear the word “diet”, we often consider it a quick fix. We’ll “go on a diet” when we want to lose weight for a beach vacation, slim down for a big event, or get back on track after a few months of indulgent eating.

Diets are typically seen as a variance from our norm, and are so restrictive that we cannot realistically keep up with them for more than a few months. They often eliminate whole food groups which contain necessary nutrients our bodies need. Many of us get trapped in the cycle of “yo-yo dieting” – trying the latest fad diet, inevitably falling off the wagon, then trying to pick up another fad diet a few months later when we still don’t see results.

This is why diets don’t work. In order to see long term results, the way you eat must be a sustainable pattern you can seamlessly incorporate into your lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet is the perfect place to start if you are trying to make a lasting dietary lifestyle change!

Why The Mediterranean Diet Works

  • It’s not restrictive. You can enjoy foods from ALL food groups (including wine)! This means you are getting important nutrients other diets are lacking, like fiber, omega-3s, vitamins and minerals.
  • It emphasizes fresh, whole foods. The Mediterranean diet encourages you to eat lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins and healthy fats. When combined into a balanced meal, these foods keep us full and satisfied.
  • It’s simple an inexpensive. You won’t be required to purchase expensive, fancy superfoods, powders or supplements on this diet. It encourages eating some of the most humble, inexpensive foods you can buy in the grocery store, like grains and lentils.
  • It incorporates joy and pleasure into eating. The Mediterranean diet encourages being social and present while enjoying our meals. It is good practice to turn off our screens, put on some soothing music and enjoy a meal together with friends and family. Lifestyle changes become so much easier when our support system is involved!
Greek quinoa salad - the mediterranean diet

What to Eat on The Mediterranean Diet

So, what will you eat when following a Mediterranean diet? The bulk of your meals will come from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. You’ll choose legumes, nuts, fish and seafood as your main sources of protein, followed by poultry and eggs, and choosing red meat occasionally. Season your foods with fresh herbs, spices, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar. Consume dairy like plain yogurt and cheese in moderation daily. Water is your drink of choice, and enjoy a glass of red wine in moderation!

As you can see, there are very little foods you avoid by following this eating pattern. Compare that to Keto, the Atkin’s Diet, Whole30, etc. Easy, right? The Mediterranean diet largely takes the guesswork out of eating well. When your plate is filled with veggies, whole grains, and legumes, it’s hard to get it wrong!

Mediterranean Diet Recipes to Try

Here are some of my favorite, simple Mediterranean Diet recipes. Give one a try for dinner tonight!

Greek quinoa salad
Halloumi salad
Pasta salad with roasted vegetables and tuna - the mediterranean diet
Shrimp scampi zoodles and noodles the Mediterranean diet
the Almond Eater Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini Boats
The Mediterranean Dish Zucchini Salad

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Featured

Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

This kale caesar salad will be your new favorite way to eat kale! For this recipe, you’ll toss kale in a homemade, dairy free Caesar dressing and top it with crunchy roasted chickpeas. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!

kale caesar salad

Kale has become one trendy vegetable over the past decade or so. This hearty, leafy green has become the epitome of the modern wellness scene, gracing farmer’s markets, restaurant menus, and even clothing! While kale is chock full of nutrients, in its raw state, it can be a bit unappealing.

One of my favorite ways to prepare kale is in a salad. The secret to turning this fibrous green into something delicious is to massage the dressing into the kale. It sounds a little extra to massage your vegetables, but this simple step transforms kale into a tender salad you’ll be happy to eat!

kale caesar salad

One great benefit to using kale as a salad base is that it keeps very well in the fridge without getting soggy. I usually prep a big batch, then add whatever salad toppings I feel like having! For this batch, I roasted up some chickpeas and tossed them in my favorite spices. They add such a nice crunchy texture and plant-based protein to this kale caesar salad.

How to make a massaged kale salad

  • Wash and dry one bunch of kale leaves.
  • Remove the stems and discard them, or save them to throw into smoothies.
  • Chop the kale leaves into bite size pieces.
  • Place kale in a large mixing bowl and pour dressing of choice on top. You can go super simple with just olive oil + lemon juice, or get fancy with this dairy free homemade Caesar dressing!
  • Use your hands to massage the kale for 3-5 minutes, until you feel the leaves soften and become tender.
  • Top with whatever salad fixings you’d like!
roasted chickpeas

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Kale: Kale is a very nutrient-dense food! It’s filled with vitamins A, C, and K, and is an excellent source of fiber. Kale is part of the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. These vegetables are all rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
  • Cashews: When blended with some liquid, cashews turn into a great vegan replacement for cream in recipes, thanks to their mild taste. They are also great for us! Cashews are a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain important minerals like magnesium, copper, and iron.
  • Chickpeas: I wrote about some benefits of chickpeas in this post, but I’ll say it again – they are one of the healthiest foods to add to your diet! Pulses, which include legumes, beans, lentils, and peas, are excellent sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Based on research done in the world’s Blue Zones (areas where people live much longer than average), regularly including pulses in your diet may be one contributing factor to good health and longevity.
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Avocado
kale caesar salad bowls

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Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40-45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Category: salad

Description

This salad will be your new favorite way to eat kale! For this recipe, you’ll toss kale in a homemade, dairy free Caesar dressing and top it with crunchy roasted chickpeas. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Large bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 avocado

For the Caesar dressing

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water 10 minutes, then drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a clean tea towel, thoroughly dry the chickpeas, and remove as many skins as possible.
  3. Toss the chickpeas in the avocado oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until browned and crispy.
  4. Once chickpeas are removed from the oven, toss with salt, pepper, and spices.
  5. While the chickpeas roast, prepare Caesar dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Place kale in a large mixing bowl, and pour in about half of the dressing. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to feel soft and tender. Add more dressing as desired.
  7. Divide kale into bowls, and top with chickpeas and pieces of avocado.


Notes

  • You may have leftover dressing – save it for another salad!
  • The massaged kale will keep well in the fridge, so it’s a great recipe to meal prep for the week.
  • The roasted chickpeas enjoyed fresh, and are best stored at room temperature for only 1-2 days. They begin to lose their crunch with time.

Keywords: kale caesar salad, kale, dairy free caesar dressing, homemade caesar dressing, gluten free

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kale caesar salad

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough is perfect for cookie dough lovers! Say hello to your new favorite healthy dessert.

edible chocolate chip cookie dough

Are you one of those people who eats spoonfuls of cookie dough before it makes its way to the oven to become cookies? I definitely am, and think cookie dough is one of the most delicious things to eat! While I’ve never personally gotten sick from eating cookie dough, it’s not good food safety practice to eat it because it contains raw eggs.

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough eliminates the risk of food poisoning because it doesn’t contain eggs. It actually doesn’t contain any other traditional chocolate chip cookie ingredients (except for chocolate chips). Made with chickpeas, tahini, oats, and maple syrup, this cookie dough is actually a good source of fiber and healthy fats!

edible cookie dough jar

How to Make Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

While it sounds strange, chickpeas make an excellent base for edible cookie dough. They have a mild taste and a super creamy texture when blended. Here’s how to make the most delicious edible cookie dough:

  • Purchase low sodium chickpeas. This will allow you to better control the amount of saltiness in your cookie dough!
  • Remove the skins from the chickpeas. This takes about 10-15 minutes, but is totally worth this extra step! This process allows your cookie dough to become even more creamy and smooth. To remove the skins, rub the drained and rinsed chickpeas between a clean tea towel. You’ll see that this removes some of the skins. Gently pinch the chickpeas to push them out of their skins, then discard the skins.
  • Combine chickpeas, maple syrup, tahini, oats, ground flax, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor. Blend together very well for 3-5 minutes until super creamy. Stop blending occasionally to scrape down the sides so everything is well combined.
  • Stir in mini chocolate chips. Your cookie dough is now ready to eat!
edible cookie dough in food processor

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a part of the pulse family. Pulses also include beans, legumes, peas, and lentils. Pulses are an incredibly healthy and affordable source of plant-based protein. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, pulses are staples in the diets of those living in the world’s Blue Zones (areas where people live longer than average)!
  • Tahini: Tahini is a good source of heart healthy polyunsaturated fats. These fats are important to include in your diet because they can help lower LDL cholesterol, and therefore have a positive impact on heart health.
  • Ground Flax: Flax is also a good source of polyunsaturated fats, and is one of the few plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids! It’s also a good source of fiber, plant based protein, Because we are unable to digest the hard outer shell of whole flax, it is important to consume ground flax in order to get all the nutritional benefits.
  • Oats
  • Maple Syrup
edible chocolate chip cookie dough in jar

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Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough is perfect for cookie dough lovers! Say hello to your new favorite healthy dessert.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Remove skins from chickpeas by rubbing them between a clean tea towel to loosen the skins. Use your fingers to gently pinch the chickpeas out of the skins, discarding the skins.
  2. Place chickpeas, tahini, oats, flax, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Blend for 3-5 minutes, until very smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the edges a few times to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Stir the chocolate chips into the dough. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.


Notes

  • This edible cookie dough will thicken slightly in the fridge, just like regular cookie dough.
  • Store in an air tight container for 3-5 days.

Keywords: edible cookie dough, edible chocolate chip cookie dough, vegan, gluten free, healthy desserts

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Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Chana Masala (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I rarely go for Indian food, but a craving hit this week! I absolutely love all the warming flavors and spices in Indian cuisine, and I felt a hot and cozy meal would be perfect for the low temperatures this week in Boston (although, I really can’t compare Boston to what the Midwest is dealing with right now)! Ben won’t be home for dinner for three nights, and when he’s out, I like to have a super easy meal prepped to eat so all I need to do is reheat it when I’m hungry. Gives me more time to catch up on my solo shows 🙂 We watch a show together when we are both home most nights, but we also have our own separate ones! Right now, I’m into Riverdale, but definitely need some suggestions!

Chana masala is an Indian dish comprised of chickpeas cooked in a spicy, tomato-based sauce. I wanted to make a veggie-heavy, one pot meal with inspired by these flavors, so I added butternut squash, cauliflower and spinach in addition to chickpeas. This recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger and turmeric, as well as antioxidant vitamins A and C. If you’re feeling a cold coming on, make yourself a batch of this to load up on these nutrients! This recipe ended up more than enough for three meals, so it would be perfect to serve your whole family or a larger group.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, grated and finely minced
  • 3 serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • Large handful of cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for serving)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • 1 whole head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 cans low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3 large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp garam masala

Instructions:

  1. Add avocado oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  2. Mix together garlic, ginger, chilies and lemon zest in a small bowl. Add to the pot and stir to combine with onions.
  3. Add salt, pepper and spices to the pot and stir to combine. Let cook for 1 minute until fragrant so the spices can bloom.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, chickpeas and enough water to just reach the top of all the veggies. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butternut squash is fork tender.
  6. Add fresh spinach, lemon juice and garam masala and stir to combine. Add more salt to taste as needed.
  7. Serve warm with more cilantro to garnish. Can be served over rice (I used short grain brown rice), with bread or naan, or on its own!

This recipe made 6-8 servings.

Can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days. Tastes great cold or reheated.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂