Whole grains make great fillings for vegetables like these hearty stuffed eggplant halves. Millet freezes well, too, so you might want to double or triple the recipe and freeze the extras for fast, filling weeknight meals.
YIELD: SERVES 4
EGGPLANT
2 eggplants, halved lengthwise
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided, plus more to coat pan
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
1½ cups chopped button mushrooms
½ cup millet
⅓ cup green lentils
3 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
½ tsp. ground allspice
pinch of cayenne pepper
2½ Tbs. chopped fresh mint
TOMATO SAUCE
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 tsp. tomato paste
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (1½ cups)

  1. To make Eggplant: Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly score cut sides of each eggplant half all around to within ¼ inch of edges. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
  2. Lightly oil roasting pan, and heat in oven 2 minutes. Place eggplant halves cut-side down in hot roasting pan, and bake 10 minutes. Flip. Spread 1 tsp. oil on each eggplant half. Bake 15 minutes, or until flesh is just tender. Cool 10 minutes.
  3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Remove ¼ cup onion, and set aside. Add mushrooms to pan, increase heat to medium-high, and sauté 3 minutes, or until tender. Transfer mushrooms to bowl.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, return ¼ cup onion to pan; add millet, and sauté 2 minutes. Add lentils and 2 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushroom mixture.
  5. To make Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 2 minutes. Add ½ cup water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Scoop out eggplant flesh, leaving ¼-inch-thick edges for shells. Chop eggplant flesh, and add to mushroom-millet mixture. Add pine nuts, and stir in allspice and Aleppo pepper. Spoon 1 cup filling into each eggplant shell, top each with 2 Tbs. Tomato Sauce, and bake 15 minutes. Serve with remaining Tomato Sauce, and garnish with mint.
    VEGAN

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Calories: 371
Protein: 11 g
Total Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 47 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 36 mg
Fiber: 13 g
Sugar: 9 g