Healthy Recipe: Eggplant Dirty Rice

I’m still terribly behind on life and haven’t written up a race report about Sacramento. But I can at least feed you!

This is another of the recipes I made for the blind dinner party, and we all liked it a lot. One of the guests said it was like “jambalaya without the jambalaya” … by which I assume he meant vegetarian jambalaya. It’s a little spicy as-is, but heat-lovers should feel free to pour on the Louisiana-style hot sauce, it goes perfectly!

Be warned: this recipe makes a LOT. We were eating leftovers all week (and it held up great). Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: Cedric Angeles, FoodandWine.com

EGGPLANT DIRTY RICE
from Food & Wine

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 cups medium-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Hot sauce, for serving

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large, deep casserole, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the celery, bell peppers and onion and season with salt. Cover and cook over low heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the eggplant, thyme, black and white peppers and cayenne and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat until the eggplant is softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the casserole. Stir in the rice and broth and bring to a boil.

Cover and bake for 17 minutes, until the rice is just tender (I used a heavy cast iron dutch oven and it took closer to 25). Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice and serve with hot sauce.

Nutritional Information (1/8 of recipe, which is a good-sized bowl!): 239 Calories, 6.9 grams Fat, 39 grams Carbohydrates, 4 grams Protein

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