chickpea stuffed eggplant with couscous and tahini sauce
I am not sure if you all were able to read my interview with The Wellness Warrior yet, but if not I invite you to hop on over and check out Jess’s blog and amazing story. She is one of my heroes and I am so honored to have been featured on her site.
This past weekend I received quite a few emails from new readers asking about our farm and how we balance farm life with time spent cooking in the kitchen. I thought now would be as good of a time as any to fill you all in on why cooking healthy meals after a long day on the farm is a priority for us.
Without turning this blog post into a novel I will give you the long and short answer. When Taylor and I decided to quit our day jobs and get into farming we thought we were choosing a romantic and joyful life spent outside in nature watching the sun rise, our crops flourish, and loving every minute of it all. As it turns out, farming really isn’t all that romantic. The days are long, the tasks are mundane, the summer heat will almost kill you, the pests will crush your spirits, and the heavy lifting will guarantee multiple trips to the chiropractor throughout the farming season. Another tough thing about farming….it doesn’t pay all that well. (We both work part time jobs to make ends meet when farming chores are not as intense.) Once I learned all of these things (it took about 2 days of working on a farm to learn all of this!) I made a promise to myself that I would cook and eat all of the food that we work so hard to produce. When we pour our hearts and souls into the dirt we need something to look forward to at the end of the day. Sometimes dinner is just a plate of carrots with a side of hummus. (This happens a LOT) However, more times that not I like to whip up a farm fresh meal after a long day at the farm. The truth is, my kitchen is my happy place. I get to stand in front of the stove and relax for the first time all day.
If you look closely, you will notice that most of my meals take less than 30 minutes to prepare. Taylor and I have worked out a great system for dinnertime. I cook dinner while he takes a shower. We then enjoy dinner together (and a glass of wine/beer) Then I hop into the shower while Taylor cleans the dishes. Soon there after we go to bed, wake up, get to the farm and do it all over again!
If you are feeling strapped for time and don’t think you have energy to cook a proper meal for yourself or your family I really think you have come to the right place. I hope my meals are easy and accessible to everyone.
I hope this answered some of your questions. We are definitely still a work in progress but I just wanted to let people know that cooking a healthy and fresh meal is not very time consuming. And hey, it can be pretty darn fun too. Just pour a glass of wine and listen to your favorite music and enjoy the process!
Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant With Couscous And Tahini Sauce
Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook Time: 30 mins. Serves: 2-4
- 2 medium-sized Italian Eggplants. sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 TBS cooking oil (I used grapeseed oil) divided
- 1 small bunch of parsley, minced
- 1/4 cup organic tahini
- 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, mined
- 1/4 cup water
- dash of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine all the ingredients for the tahini sauce together in a blender or with an immersion blender. Process until smooth. Set aside.
- Once eggplant is sliced in half lengthwise, use a small spoon to scoop out the center (leaving a 1/4 inch wide shell.) Save the scooped out eggplant and quickly dice it up.
- Drizzle about 1 TBS of the oil onto the eggplant and place cut side down on a prepared baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 15-25 minutes (or until eggplant is evenly cooked and slightly browned on the bottom.) Check often to make sure eggplant doesn't burn.
- Cook couscous
- While couscous cooks heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, diced eggplant and chickpeas. Turn heat to low and cook string often (for about 5 more minutes). Add cooked couscous to the pan and mix well to combine. Season everything with a little salt and pepper.
- Scoop a healthy portion of the couscous mixture into each eggplant. Drizzle with a little tahini sauce and garnish with a few tablespoons of minced parsley.
NotesUse this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.