I wrote a whole long intro here about why you haven’t seen much from me lately on my blog. But then I realized it sounded totally whiny. Instead I just wrote this post with a few pics so you could see for yourself what I’ve been living in. Pretty exciting stuff.
Anyway, despite all that crazy mess you see, I was able to make a new recipe. It’s one that Levi quite enjoyed. It really does amaze me how far he’s changed in his food tastes in the past 12 years since we’ve been together. The Whopper burger-loving candy addict is really a different man. Okay, he’s still a candy addict. But he lives without Whoppers happily now. But yes, where I had to try a few before I decided I really liked these, he liked them instantly.
So here’s the thing. These could be like a new veggie burger patty. But, they’re not meant to be. They stick together well for a mini-ball or patty but for a big patty I think it might fall apart easier.
I made these with skin-on eggplant. I like the skin. I didn’t find it too tough and I liked seeing the dark purple chunks throughout my mini patties. But, if you’re anti-skin then take it off. Easy peasy.
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced width wise into 1" thick slices (peeled or unpeeled)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup quinoa
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place slice eggplant on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Salt generously. Let sit at least 20 minutes to draw out the excess moisture. Rinse and pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lay out salted eggplant on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until softened but not mushy.
- Let eggplant cool then chop into small pieces.
- Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl combine chopped eggplant, cooked quinoa, hemp hearts, garlic, ground almonds, balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as needed.
- The mixture should be sticky enough to roll into balls or small patties.
- Place on a lightly greased and parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes per side until browned and crispy.
- Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.