27 August 2012
I’m not going to lie. This was one of those “use up all the veggies in the fridge” type of dinners. But was it easy? Yes. Was it delicious? Um, you know I wouldn’t have eaten it if it weren’t.
I was inspired by a coworker’s lunch: a lasagna-style eggplant casserole with lots of yummy mozzarella and parmesan. Since I’m sticking to a Whole30-style diet and trying to minimize my dairy consumption, I wanted to create something similar but cheeseless. Since cheese is what really holds that type of dish together, I decided to move away from the casserole idea. A stir-fry seemed like the best way to marry all the flavors.
Since cheese lends a lot of flavor and decadence to a dish like this, I knew I had to find something to replace it. I knew immediately what that decadent ingredient would be: BACON. Bacon was key to making this recipe the rich, hearty dish it turned into.
You’ll need (serves 4-6):
- 1 small eggplant, chopped
- 2 small yellow squash or zucchini, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large tomato (you could use 2-3 tomatoes or even a large can of diced tomatoes to add more tomato flavor if you like)
- 1 lb 85% grass-fed ground beef
- 4-5 slices bacon, diced
- handful of fresh basil, torn or cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- crushed red pepper to taste (if you want to make it spicy!)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by sauteing the bacon in a very large pan until it begins to crisp up (but don’t let it get too crispy!).
- Add the onion, eggplant, and squash/zucchini and saute over medium heat until the onion begins to become translucent, 5-10 minutes. While you’re doing this, saute the ground beef in a separate pan until 75% cooked through.
- Add the tomato and basil to the veggie mixture, then add the ground beef.
- Season with additional dried basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper if desired.
- Simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Make sure the beef is cooked through.
- Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.
I served my eggplant stir-fry with some Apple-Pine Nut Kale Salad and called it a night. I do feel like this dish would be more suited for the upcoming cooler temps, but I’ll eat something this tasty in any season.