Get Your Fill of Liver-Friendly Fiber in These Eggplant Grain “Bowls”
This power combination of creamy chickpeas, nutty quinoa, nutrient-dense veggies and flavorful herbs makes for a delicious vegetarian meal.
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Are you getting enough fiber? You might think you are – but according to recent research, you’re likely not even close. Just 7.4% of American adults get enough fiber each day. And you don’t want to miss out on this nutrient if you’re hoping to keep your liver in good health. Fiber is key for liver health has been associated with lower accumulation of fat and sugar storage in the liver and better blood glucose management. High-fiber plant-based foods like these vegetarian Eggplant Grain Bowls help prevent fat from building up in your liver, and they can also help with weight loss.
Beyond your liver health, there are even more reasons to make sure you’re getting your recommended daily fiber intake. High-fiber diets just might help you live longer and fend off various disease, research suggests. Fiber-rich meals help you build a healthier gut, reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, feed a healthier brain and even fight depression.
That’s why our Eggplant Grain “Bowls” are so good for you. This vegetarian meal is an excellent source of all the fiber you need. Eggplant, which is both a delicious ingredient and a unique vessel for your meal, is low in calories and high in fiber, with antioxidants that can offer a cardioprotective effect. Protein-rich chickpeas and quinoa offer more plant-based benefits and fill you up so your meal is as satisfying as it is good for you. Top off the finished recipe with a garnish of additional parsley and basil for a bit of color, and you’ll love how well-rounded this dish is when it’s ready to eat.
Eggplant Grain “Bowls”
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1⁄2 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄3 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1⁄8 –1⁄4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
- pomegranate seeds, for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out eggplant flesh, leaving about 1⁄2 inch of flesh in bottom and sides of eggplant skins. Brush eggplant skins inside and out with one-half of oil; season insides with one-half of salt and all of pepper. Place on the baking sheet, cut sides up, and roast until just tender, about 20 minutes.
- Finely chop eggplant flesh and set aside. In a large skillet on medium, heat remaining one-half of oil. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cumin; sauté until warmed through and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add eggplant flesh and oregano, season with remaining one-half of salt. Pour in water and cook, scraping up any browned bits in skillet. Sauté until water has evaporated and vegetables are very tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas, quinoa, parsley and basil. Stir in pepper flakes (if using).
- Divide quinoa mixture among eggplant skins. Divide goat cheese among tops. Bake until warmed through and cheese has softened, 10 to 15 minutes longer. (Broil for a minute to lightly brown the cheese, if you like.) Garnish with pomegranate seeds and additional herbs, if desired.
- Serving Size 1⁄4 of recipe
- Calories 434
- Carbohydrate Content 57 g
- Cholesterol Content 7 mg
- Fat Content 19 g
- Fiber Content 17 g
- Protein Content 15 g
- Saturated Fat Content 4 g
- Sodium Content 490 mg
- Sugar Content 16 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content 10 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g