Lebanese-Style Stuffed Eggplant - "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing..." -Helen Keller
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing..." -Helen Keller
Isn't it pretty cool that there's this vegetable that's bright purple? I've certainly encountered more of it in the last year living here than I had my whole life before that, and I think I really like it!

I ran across this recipe called "Lebanese Style Stuffed Eggplant" and decided that Austin would likely be 1/4 more likely to appreciate this one. Sure enough, he loved it! "Can we eat this like, everyday?"
5-6 eggplants, 7-9 inches in length (I used only 4 eggplants because of the size of my wok, and had leftover filling)
3 T. chopped cashews
1/2 c. white rice
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 c. chicken broth
5-6 small tomatoes, diced, with juice
1 t. five spice
black pepper
1/2 lemon

To prepare:
Brown the beef, and set aside into a bowl. Wash the rice and add it to the bowl as well. Add five spice, 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. black pepper to the same bowl.

Wash the eggplants and hollow them with a spoon or melon-baller. Chop the tomatoes.
Brown the cashews. Remove and add to meat/rice mixture. Simmer the onion and garlic 6-8 minutes, until brown and soft. Add half of this to the meat/rice bowl and stir thoroughly.

Add tomatoes, chicken broth, 3/4 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper to the wok and simmer, uncovered, while stuffing the eggplant.

Stuff eggplant with meat mixture, being careful not to stuff it too full. (The rice will expand while cooking, and the eggplant will probably combust and kill everyone in a 1 mile radius if you stuff it to capacity now.) Lay stuffed eggplants in the sauce mixture inside the wok/skillet and cover, simmering for about 50 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Flip the eggplants half way through. (The original recipe called for 50 minutes; I cooked mine only about 35 minutes... they were really soft.)
Remove from wok and squeeze lemon juice over the eggplant before serving.

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