I believe that, the best recipes are born in that very moment when we stand right in front of the refrigerator; hoping for inspirations to put together something for dinner. Specially with the limited choice of ingredients we might have at home. This “Eggplant Boats Stuffed with Quinoa and Mushrooms” recipe was a creation of that moment.
Let me tell you more
Not long ago, I was exactly in the situation I described earlier. In my fridge, there were some cooked rice from the night before, couple of eggplants, mushrooms, some fresh herbs, quinoa and with loads of species in the pantry, I had enough ingredients to put together something fast and delicious.
This recipe makes 8 eggplant boats as main course for 4 persons (two for each) or a nice entrée for 8. Drizzle the eggplant boats with yogurt for extra yumminess.
For the Eggplant Boats:
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 150ml water
- 50g quinoa
- 4 medium eggplants, cut half lengthways
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil to drizzle
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika powder
- Pinch of cloves powder
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 400g (1 Can) organic chopped tomato
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 200g white mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
- 12 small cherry tomatoes cut in half
- Handful of chopped chives for garnish
For the Yogurt:
- 1 Cup vegan yogurt
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- In a dry pan over a medium-low heat on a stove, toast the pine nuts for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Keep an eye on it as it goes fast.
- In a small saucepan, bring 150ml water to the boil, add the quinoa and bring gently back to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with the lid and let it simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Carefully score the flesh of the eggplants in a crosshatch pattern. Be careful not to damage and cut through the skin.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil over the eggplants. Place the eggplants cut side up in a non-stick baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together the spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, cloves, paprika and saffron). Set aside.
- Over a medium heat in a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion for about 2 minutes or until translucent. Add the tomatoes, garlic and the spices to the tomato mixture and let it simmer for about 45 minutes or until the sauce is thickened, mashing the tomato pieces with a fork during the cooking process.
- Take the eggplants out of the oven, using a small spoon take out the flesh to create space for the stuffing without cutting through the skin. Place the flesh in a bowl.
- In a saucepan, over a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the eggplant flesh, mushrooms and quinoa for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley, coriander and the pine nuts.
- Once the tomato mixture is ready, remove from the heat and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Then add the eggplant mixture and combine all together. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the eggplant boats with some salt and pepper then place the filling of tomato and eggplant mixture inside the each eggplant boats, top with cherry tomatoes (3 on each boat) and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the skin of the tomatoes are shriveled.
- Now to make the yogurt, in a bowl whisk the yogurt to form a smooth and creamy texture. Then add the dried mint and garlic powder and season with salt and black pepper.
- to serve, Garnish each eggplant boats with chopped chives, drizzle over with yogurt salad and serve hot with your favorite green salad.