Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

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Eggplant season has just begun, and you can enjoy this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit—not a vegetable!) through October. Monday’s blog entry covered organic eggplant basics: nutrition, shopping tips and preparation hints.

Today’s recipe features ingredients that can be easily found at your local natural and organic food store. If you have trouble finding organic eggplant, you may substitute organic zucchini or yellow squash.

Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

Makes 8 servings

Canola cooking spray

4 small eggplants, stems removed, cut in half lengthwise

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a large, shallow baking dish with canola spray.

Scoop out flesh from eggplants; cut into chunks and reserve. Lightly sprinkle inside of the shells with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place upside down on paper towels. Let stand 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, spray large skillet with cooking spray. Cook garlic and onion over medium-high heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, reserved eggplant flesh and allspice. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, remaining salt and pepper.

Pat eggplant shells dry with paper towels. Spoon eggplant mixture loosely into shells. Place filled shells in prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until shells are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle tops evenly with feta cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes, then serve.

Nutrition information (per serving): 71 calories, 2 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 236 mg sodium.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research

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