Stuffed Eggplant

While preparing dinner tonight, we found out that a friend was accepted into medical school! We convinced her come over, and a boring eggplant dinner immediately became a celebratory feast -- complete with a bottle of wine and a simple spaghetti dish that we threw together in 10 minutes. We always feel guilty skimping on carbohydrates when there are guests to feed.

Stuffed vegetables generally mean heaps of cheese and breadcrumbs, but we thought we could do a healthier version with a fresher taste. My mom sometimes bakes eggplant innards with just cheese and tomato sauce, and we figured we'd add some peppers, onions and mushrooms too. Fueled by this idea and a kiss of guidance from recipes on the interwebs, we created our very own stuffed eggplant. For a pasta side, we simply mixed some cheese, mushrooms and peppers into the sauce and tossed it over spaghetti.

2 eggplants
1 pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups cheese (we used a part-skim mixture of mozzarella and asiago)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven 350. Slice the eggplants in half, and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/2 inch around the rim. Place the eggplant shells in the oven for 10 minutes. In the meantime, chop the remaining eggplant into small pieces. Cook the eggplant, peppers, mushrooms and onion in the oil for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and mix the vegetables with the tomato sauce and almost all of the cheese. Scoop this mixture into the eggplant shells, and top with the remaining cheese. Bake the stuffed eggplants again for about 15 minutes.