I have found myself incredibly lucky that my husband is totally fine with eat anything I put in front of him. Often I totally forget about this, and when I’m coming up with a recipe and trying to file it out to make any kind of sense on paper- I don’t even think twice or wonder “Will my fireman eat this?” Last week my little brother came into town for a night while he was getting things squared away with school and such preparing for his move to the Big D for college. He will be moving in with us for the time being, and I am so exctied to have him :) Dinner was served, and from the way-too-tiny-portion-size-for-an-18-year-old-boy, to the look on his face, I apparently was serving monkey brains with a side of baby penguin. He was looking, jaw-dropped, across the table at my fireman watching him shovel in his serving..and here I am observing this whole thing. I really didn’t take into account that outside of broccoli and canned green beans, he has hardly had exposure to the vast array of vegetables mixed into my colorful casserole dish. Oops. Come to find out, he pretty much lives on Ramen Noodles, Hamburger Helper, and Pizza Rolls. As prime, non-picky eaters, my husband and I have already decided that when we have kiddos they will most definitly be exposed to all kinds of foods, creating the basis for eating well as an adult. I really don’t want to have to ‘hide’ the ‘healthy stuff’ in my family’s foods. I am not against this, because kids are kids- and they will choose what they want, but my goal is for them to recognize and be excited and willing to eat it. After the evening with my little brother, I may have to be one of those ‘mom’ types that will be hiding vegetables in my 18yo brother’s foods whenever I can..good news is that he has already seen this dish, right? Packed with so many perfectly delicious vegetables, this is an easy way to ‘hide’ the good stuff, and it is sooo worth repeating.
1 medium sized eggplant (about 1 pound)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 medium sized sweet potatoes ( you may use Russet potatoes, but use 4-5 medium)
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tsp paprika
2 whole egg
4 tsp canola or extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) container Baby Bella or cremini mushrooms
1 lb lean ground turkey breast
3 Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Chicken Sausage links (I used Hans’ All Natural)
1 (15 oz) can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes w/ Garlic
Green onion, (white and light green tops only)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Half the eggplant and score the exposed flesh with shallow criss cross cuts. Drizzle with 2 tsp canola or EVOO, and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking dish, cut side down and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside, allowing to cool.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, 18-20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to hot pot. Mash potatoes with buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs until combined.
Decrease the oven to 375 degrees. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in a large saute pan, add onions and garlic, and cook until softened. Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and place in pan with onion mixture. Add in turkey, and cook until both sausage and turkey are no longer pink. Add mushrooms and cook until darkened- 6 to 7 minutes. Add in tomatoes, undrained, stirring constantly, bring to a simmer. Remove the eggplant from it’s skin and rought chop. Add into pan, tossing to heat. Pour meat mixture into 9X13 casserole dish. Top with sweet potatoes, making a seal on the sides of the baking dish. Bake until topping is set, and golden brown at the edges.