Hello from UTAH!!
That’s right! I’m out in the mountains right now with Steven and eight of our friends!
The sky is blue, the weather is gorgeous, the people are the best, and DANG have we been eating delicious food. (I’ll do a whole post about that when I get back because…wow!)
And speaking of delicious food, I have got a phenomenal meal for you guys tonight.
Introducing my Italian Eggplant Pilaf! I served it with broiled sea bass and cauliflower rice!
And wowww it was bursting with flavor.
So let’s talk eggplant for a quick second. Because for a long time, I thought I didn’t like it. The texture with all those seeds, the flavor and bitterness…so I steered clear.
BUT – there’s actually a different VARIETY of eggplant that is SUPER DELICIOUS! Unlike the humongous dark purple eggplant, JAPANESE EGGPLANT are cute, small and thin lavender eggplant and they’re so much more delicious.
They don’t have large seeds, they’re not bitter at all, and they don’t become mushy like their unpalatable cousins.
SO in this recipe, those babies are the star of the show!
And this healthy dish is grain and gluten free, Keto, Paleo, and Specific Carb Diet friendly!
Here’s What You Need: (serves 2)
1 lb Chilean sea bass
1 Tbsp EVOO
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Lemon slices
Salt and pepper
1 bag cauliflower rice (or 1 head of cauliflower riced and wrung dry)
2 green onions, sliced – white parts for the veggies, green for garnish
2 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch half moons
1 red pepper, small dice
1/2 onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
Large nonstick skillet
Good chefs knife
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a large, nonstick skillet, cook your eggplant. (I cook it separately to slow it to get beautifully browned, but you can also cook it in with the rest of the veggies).
Heat 2 Tbsp EVOO over medium-high heat and place your eggplant rounds in a single layer, not overlapping. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let it cook on that side – untouched – for 3-4 minutes. Then flip and let the other side cook – untouched – for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Then, in the same pan, add 2 more Tbsp EVOO and cook your onions over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cook until they become translucent and tender. Then add your garlic and red peppers, along with the dried oregano, basil, and more salt and pepper. Once those begin to become tender, stir in your green peas and let cook until they become bright green. At the last minute, stir in your eggplant to incorporate it, and then transfer to a plate and set aside.
Now is the time to put the fish in! On a tin foil-lined baking sheet, place your sea bass fillets. Drizzle them with olive oil, stuckless with salt and pepper, and top with a lemon slice and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Squeeze a lemon over top, and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the interval temperate reaches 145°.
While it’s cooking, make your cauliflower rice. In that same, large nonstick skillet, heat 2 more Tbsp EVOO. Add your bag of cauliflower rice, along with the white parts of the green onion, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Let cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, until the cauliflower begins to tenderize. But watch, because you don’t want to overcook it so that it gets mushy.
To plate: place a bed of the cauliflower rice on your plate. Top with a generous portion of the Italian eggplant veggie mixture. And place your gorgeous sea bass fillet on top of that. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on top, garnish with the green parts of the green onion, and enjoy!
Ok, this was SO enjoyable.
First of all, we need to talk about the fish. You all KNOW how I feel about sea bass. It is the ultimate of white fish. I mean, buttery doesn’t even begin to cut it. It MELTS in your mouth! Seriously it tastes like someone melted an entire stick of butter over top. It is DIVINE!!
And then the eggplant pilaf! I’ve gotta tell ya – when you take the time to individually cook the eggplant separately, it really is able to brown and caramelize, which gives it this phenomenal flavor and texture! The only way to describe it, is almost like a sweet potato round! (Don’t quote me on that though – that’s coming from a girl who hasn’t eaten a sweet potato in 12 years, thanks to the specific carb diet.) But there was a gentle sweetness to it, with this gorgeous olive-oil-fried savoriness to it.
And those Italian flavors paired with the nutty cauliflower rice, it was a match made in flavor heaven!
So do yourself a favor and make this dish! It’s unbelievable how filling it is too, even without any carbs!!
What’s the best thing YOU cooked this week?
Alright, see you tomorrow for a Utah Update!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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13 responses to “Italian Eggplant Pilaf”
Wow, looks great! Love your pilafs! Best thing cooked this week? Corn chowder! From fresh corn and veggies! Have a fabulous time in Utah…we were there in Zion and Bryce Canyon parks in June, amazing hikes. See photos in https://lightbournecreative.com/2021/06/21/the-privileged-life-the-perfect-hiding-place/ If you’re down in that region, don’t miss the “ghost town” at Grafton where they filmed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!
thank you so much! oooh corn chowder – now THAT sounds delicious! oh nice! that’s a gorgeous area to explore! oooh! adding it to the ilst! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
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thank you for the link up! Hugs and love xox
Utah does have a great variety effect excellent food. Where I live the best restaurant is a chain. Really sad
it really does! i can’t wait to share what we’ve been enjoying! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
[…] Italian Eggplant Pilaf […]
thank you for the link up! Hugs and love xox
Will have to give this a try! May have to modify, not sure I can even find sea bass in land locked Kansas, lol.
Thanks! There are lots of other great options / truly any white fish: Cod, halibut, whatever you have available will work! Happy cooking! Hugs and love xox
I don’t know if you’ll see this or not, but I have a friend who was sent home from the hospital a few months ago. She was there due to an eating disorder. She’s 15 and she shares very openly about her struggles. That’s how she’s always been. She says she’s “trying to do better” and “needs to eat more”, but I’m not convinced she’s actually doing much better. I don’t want to seem condescending or judgemental by addressing it, but I don’t want to ignore the problem either. She “forgot” lunch so many times before cross country practice last year, but we knew something was up – eventually her heart became so unsteady she was banned from running in cross country meets. She missed the track season due to being in the hospital, but now she’s back to running. But she’s not much different than last year. I think the problem stems from a very disjointed and stressful home life due to her parents’ recent divorce. I guess anorexia is her way to have some sort of control. But my friend is hurting and I don’t know what I should say and do.
I also have another friend who eats next to nothing and I think she definitely has an eating disorder as well, though she hasn’t been hospitalized or anything. I know she’s insecure about her eating habits and she’s constantly talking about how much she loves her tiny bags of goldfish, Cheerios, or almonds, but these things that make up her “lunch” would just be a light snack for me. And I know whenever I’ve had some eating insecurities, trying to eat less, I talked about food like that – all the time, trying to convince people I actually loved to eat. She makes other people feel bad about what they eat too though, which sometimes puts me off. She’s always talking about calories, food, weight etc. which is toxic for me to be around too – her insecurities tend to be contagious.
Both girls seem to take any of my input and encouragement but they’re still struggling. Their self esteem is low and I’m helpless as I watch the vicious cycle continue. I would appreciate any advice.
Sorry for the long comment😂.
I love eggplant. 🙂
I love eggplant.