Dishing Up the Dirt

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
For the Tahini Sauce
  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the tahini sauce together in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cook couscous
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

Leave a Reply

42 thoughts on “chickpea stuffed eggplant with couscous and tahini sauce

  1. Very cool interview! Jess is amazing. Oh, and this is unrelated, but that shot of you holding up the carrots? So grunge chic. I could NOT look that cute after a day of sweating and working in the dirt!

    1. Andrea says:

      Haha! thank you for the lovely compliment!

  2. Simply Life says:

    off to read the interview now!

  3. Mmm tahini sauce is my favorite. I could eat anything as long as it is drizzled on, and these stuffed eggplants look especially gorgeous! I am super impressed that you have the energy to cook after a long day spent on your feet outdoors. But I know what you mean about the kitchen being your happy place! I feel the same.

    1. Andrea says:

      kitchens really are the best place to hang out after a long day! I had a feeling you felt the same way.

  4. Lena says:

    I can’t even imagine cooking after working all the at the farm, even after spending 8 hours at my desk job or at university I sometimes feel like I am too tired to cook. But then I always end up cooking because it makes me feel connected to something real.
    I love how your stuffed eggplant looks. And I just adore chickpeas. I could eat them every day. I’ll have to bookmark this recipe and try to get my hands on some eggplants as long as they are still local.

    1. Andrea says:

      Let me know if you try the recipe!

  5. Your pictures are so fantastically gorgeous!! Kudos on an absolutely stunning shoot!!!!

    I love a quick dinner, as well. I really wish I had time to whip up masterpieces in the kitchen. Truth is, there is just not enough time in my day to do that! By the time the kids are home, it’s time to turn around for a busy evening of sports, classes, and whatever else!

    This looks so fresh and full of flavor – thank you for a new dinner recipe! 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you!

  6. Love this post! I’m so unbelievably impressed by all you do and that you still manage to make healthy, delicious meals after it all. You’re inspiring, lady!

    1. Andrea says:

      You know how to make a girl feel good. thanks for the lovely comment.

  7. I love this post! You guys are so motivating with how hard you work and the amazing and healthy meals you manage to produce at the end of the day. Keep it up!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you! I am a huge fan of all of your recipes too!

  8. I would love to see a ‘day in the life post’ from you! I’ve been wondering if you come in from the fields before Taylor to start cooking!
    This looks like another great eggplant dish! You’re on a roll! 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      I will definitely do a day in the life post one of these days!

  9. What a bright + vibrant blog you have yourself here. I found you via Kiersten’s Potluck. So lovely to connect with you!


    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you so much!

  10. Julia says:

    I’m glad you answered that question, because I’ve totally been wondering how you’re able to fit cooking in after a long day on the farm. The short prep time is a huge plus…simple, healthy, and easy to prepare recipes are what everyone should focus their efforts on – the world (or at least America) would be a much healthier/happier place! You’re a wonderful influence, my dear, and I’m so glad you’re here to share your recipes and farming experiences 🙂 Oh, and your stuffed eggplant looks BOOOOOMB! Let’s make some and drink some Oregon beer, waaaahooo!

    1. Andrea says:

      We will have to clink glasses over some oregon beer one of these days! Get your booty to Oregon lady!

  11. I saw this post on facebook, looks super yummy! It sounds like you guys got a pretty good system worked out – I’d pick the cooking before the cleaning for sure, too! And I’m happy that your kitchen is a happy place for you 🙂

  12. Stephanie says:

    How much couscous do you make for this recipe, it isn’t listed in the ingredients.

    1. Andrea says:

      My bad! Just changed it in the recipe. It’s one cup!

  13. Melissa says:

    Making this tonight! Just finished pinning almost every recipe you have everything looks AMAZING!!!!!

  14. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your yummy recipes! I’ve made quite a few of them & they’ve all been fantastic. Just finished having this for dinner & it was a huge hit in my vegetarian home. You’ve got fans in western Pennsylvania!
    : )

  15. Dina says:

    I have been meaning to try this recipe for ages! And today, I finally got all the ingredients together and made it. These eggplants were AMAZING. Light and fluffy, yet so so filling. Definitely a keeper for my recipe book.

  16. Suzanne says:

    I just made this dish with a few adjustments. I was looking on my phone on pinterest and came across this delicious looking eggplant dish and pinned it to my recipes to try. So as I was driving home from work I was in the mood for roasted butternut squash and quinoa. So I decided to make the eggplant but just substituted the couscous with the quinoa and added the roasted butternut squash which gave it a subtle sweetness to it and I added cumin which gave it a little smokey flavor. This is a fabulous dish, thank you enlightening me such flavors. Definitely making it again and again.

  17. Pippy says:

    Hi there… Just wondering would you be able to pre-make this dish and reheat it when it is time to serve? It looks amazing and am really excited to try it! 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      I haven’t tried pre-making this but I think it would work fine. However, I cannot guarantee how it will turn out. Let me know if you do!!

  18. Fiorella says:

    Andrea, is the eggplant skin soft enough to eat after baking? I’ve had some bad experiences in the past when cooking eggplant and the skin is too hard to be eaten! Also how do you take the bitter out of the eggplants?
    Thank you! Your blog is awesome.

    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Fiorella,
      Thanks for your comment. Fresh young eggplants should not be bitter. It’s usually age and time spent in cold storage that produces bitterness. The skin in this recipe should be soft enough to eat but feel free to use the skin as more of a “bowl” if you don’t like the taste or texture. I hope this was helpful!!

  19. Wendy Berrington says:

    This is the life I dream about – working on the farm all day to harvest my meals. You are so lucky!!! enJOY

  20. Trish says:

    Made these last night and WOWZA! Made a triple batch, which I’m glad I did, as the rest of the family dove right into them too! My non-vegan husband couldn’t get enough of these 🙂
    Thanks for a great, super yummy meal 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy you loved it!

  21. Lyn says:

    just made this dish for dinner–absolutely delicious. All of your recipes look fantastic and I can’t wait to make more.

  22. Chantel says:

    Just came across your website and this recipe sounds phenomenal! So excited to get back to the farmers market and make this, thank you!

  23. Cassie says:

    I love eggplant!

  24. Alison says:

    Andrea thanks so much for posting this recipe it was awesomeeeee! I added leftover chopped roasted beets to the sauté, and I didn’t have ingredients to do the tahini sauce so make an oil/vinegar ceasar dressing, so yum! Thanks again for sharing your world!

  25. Giulio says:

    Andrea…I feel like you just inspiring me….lifestyle about I mean…..big time… just happened to me looking the pictures…..thank you.

    1. Andrea says:

      thank you for following along! xoxo

  26. Katharina says:

    I’ve just finished eating and I had to comment right away!
    It was the first time I tried tahini and, man, where has it been all my life? It’s so delicious and in combination with the eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes and in my case quinoa (super yummy, too) even better!
    Thank you for this recipe! I found it through pinterest and now I’ll for sure browse your blog.

    Many greetings from Germany, Katharina 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      so happy you loved this dish too! xo

  27. Caren Elkan says:

    I have made this dish lots of times, we love it! It’s fresh and simple and a wonderful way to use those beautiful summer eggplants. Wish I was close enough to visit your farm, you guys are awesome, thanks so much for the recipe!!

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