These sweet and spicy chicken drumsticks are a go-to recipe in my house — ball games, picnics, pig-outs… Read more
This vegan stuffed eggplant is roasted in the oven so the veggies get caramelized and delicious!
Sometimes when I make a vegan dinner, I brace myself for complaints from my diners. When I say my “diners” I mean my family. And when I say complaints I mean I get grunts and groans because there’s no “real food” and “not enough protein.” This is B.S. But, I aim to please, so I’ve been working on more filling and “meatier” vegan recipes. This vegan stuffed eggplant is a crowd pleaser.
When I made this recipe last week, I knew the time was right because Steve had just come home from a guys trip and I know when he comes home from one of these trips, he feels like he needs to clean up his act and eat healthy. So, call me a chicken, but I waited for this time to test out this recipe on him. It worked like a charm. He loved it so much that he even took some of the leftovers with him for lunch the next day. In my book, that’s a big win!
I am not a big fan of meat substitutes. I just don’t appreciate faux foods, I guess. I see lots of recipes that look awesome using faux meat products, but I’d almost always rather eat my meals without them. And, I don’t like to eat a lot of soy, so I shy away from tofu.
I do, however, love eggplant. Eggplant, when cooked well, is as satisfying as meat.
This eggplant dish is filling, delicious, healing, and fills the need for “meat” that my non-vegan eaters look for. And I hid some semi-spicy peppers in the mix, so there are some delicious surprises inside.
In Chinese medicine, we use eggplant to help reduce inflammation, lessen pain, and smooth your digestion. What a delicious way to heal…
The filling here is made with lots of tomatoes and peppers and onions and it is amazing. The stuffed eggplant roasts in the oven and the tomatoes get caramelized and sweet. I melted some vegan mozzarella on some of these vegan stuffed eggplant and I left some plain. Melting the cheese really took them up a level… OMG this is so good!
For another crowd-pleasing eggplant recipe, try my Paleo Eggplant Meatballs.
Here are some of the healing ingredients in this vegan stuffed eggplant recipe:
In eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! During cold and flu season, I recommend onions to everyone, and in lots of ways and forms; they actually can rid the body of bacteria.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.
It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.
- 4 slender eggplants
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more from brushing the pan
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1-1/2 cups baby spinach, torn into pieces
- 8 garlic cloves, smashed
- ¼ cup jarred sliced pepperonci or banana peppers
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste
- vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Slice the eggplants lengthwise until they are almost sliced all the way through, but not all the way through.
- Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt onto each half of eggplant, then place them in a colander and let them sit for 30 minutes (this helps remove some of the water and bitterness from the eggplant).
- Place the eggplants, partially opened, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbs oil.
- Add the onion, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, peppers, and tomato paste to the skillet and sauté, stirring until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the coconut sugar and red pepper flakes.
- Open the eggplants so they are butterflied, and place them in a baking dish.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
- Spoon the filling evenly into the eggplant.
- Roast in the oven for 45 mins. (If using vegan cheese, slice some up and tuck it into the eggplants when there is about 10 mins of cooking time remaining.)
This saucy peach chicken is made with peach preserves so you can make it even when fresh peaches are not available!
Are you like me in that even though you are an adult, you still go through “phases”? I remember when my kids were young, I would hope that so many behaviors were “just a phase”. Well, now I’m a lot older and I hope a lot wiser, but I still go through phases.
Thankfully a lot of my phases are centered around my cooking and my eating, so nothing too bad can happen. Unless of course it’s a really fattening phase…
The phase I seem to be in now is a cooking with fruit phase. I don’t know what it is, and I didn’t even recognize that I was doing it until recently, but every recipe I’m cooking lately has fruit in it. I’ve been using all versions — fresh, frozen, jarred… I’m Stacey and I’m addicted to fruit.
Also a few months ago, everything I was making was vegan. Now, I’m in a chicken mood. I stopped trying to figure out why these food moods come and go, and I just assume that my body craves what it needs so I just go with it!
The last recipe I posted was a recipe for orange chicken that used the whole entire orange — rind and all — it’s so good: Orange Peel Chicken.
Today’s recipe uses fruit in a whole different way. There’s no fresh fruit in this recipe, but there’s a whole jar of amazing peach preserves in it. I got the idea for this saucy peach chicken recipe when I was reading one of my favorite food blogs: Half Baked Harvest. The sauce for this chicken is a fruity combination of the preserves mixed with the healthy equivalent of a Russian dressing. This is awesome and simple and so amazing, you have to try it!
I just love when a recipe tastes decadent but really is good for you:
Peaches moisten the body; they can alleviate a dry cough, help with dry mouth, and can be good if you are experiencing constipation. In Chinese medicine, we have an herb that is made from the peach kernel (Tao Ren). This herb is great for constipation and some menstrual problems. Isn’t it great when something so delicious is also so healthy?
Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…
Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.
Chili powder is rich in vitamins A and C and also in essential minerals. Spicy pepper is one of the most nutritious spices available. Consuming small amounts gives you a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Spicy peppers have also been shown to ease the pain of some types of arthritis and muscle soreness.
Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body. In this recipe I only used a teaspoon of it, but I really think it would be could with a lot more. The next time I make this, I will keep adding the apple cider vinegar by the 1/2-tsp to see how much I can add and still have it taste so amazing!
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs (preferably organic)
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups of a healthy mayonnaise (I like this one)
- 1 cup ketchup (try to use one with natural ingredients -- I've used this one in the past) or you can make your own (here's my recipe)
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp (or more) raw apple cider vinegar (here's my favorite)
- 10 oz jar peach preserves (I used this kind)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting or 425°F regular bake setting.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish with coconut oil.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour them over the chicken.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through and starting to get a few brown patches on the top. (Mine took 35 minutes on the convection setting.)
These 10 clean eating recipes are one’s you’ll make again and again!
Okay, so Day One is here! If any part of your New Year’s resolution involves clean eating, you’ll love these recipes.
Here are 10 of my favorite easy to make clean eating recipes. And, each one can be made in advance, so you can make enough for the week in one batch and store the rest in the fridge for the week.
Make a few of these each week and I promise you will feel better. Really. All that bloat that you have from the holidays (okay… all that bloat that I have from the holidays…) will start to disappear. I mean it.
Are you with me? Click on the recipe links beneath each picture and let’s get cooking!!!
Here they are:
This is the best soup. It’s healthy. It keeps well in the fridge. And you can change it up each night with different toppings…
This chickpea salad can be treated like chicken salad, but it’s vegan. Make sandwiches, salads, or eat it plain…
Here’s your new favorite breakfast. Switch it up by experimenting with different fruits and berries…
This is a genius recipe. Make one chicken and you can eat all week; top your salads, stuff your wraps…
You need a dessert, right? This “nice cream” is made with bananas. It’s vegan and it’s amazing…
This is my favorite pasta recipe ever! It’s grain-free and it’s fabulous…
This is a copy-cat version of my favorite raw foods restaurant’s vegan Caesar salad…
The best vegan chili ever! And, it’s filled with superfoods…
A pot of healthy and spicy comfort food is just what the doctor ordered…
Here’s a seafood salad that tastes great the next day, is so healthy and clean, and tastes amazing…