Roasted Eggplant and Bison Crumbles

OK, THIS … IS THE SHIT.

I know, I know…if you’re not a vegetarian, you’ve probably got an eyebrow raised and going, “yeah right!” Eggplant? Psssshhh!!

I get it. But there’s also Bison in it so… a little faith here folks 🙂

Hey so here’s a small secret – I’ve never cooked Eggplant before. *gasp*

Ever.

I just never heard/tasted anything exciting about Eggplant so I’ve always, purposefully overlooked it.

But this weekend, I caught myself staring at this big, purple vegetable and thought “There’s got to be a way to cook this damn thing and make something great out of it.”

Now I know I could have just Googled 1000 ways to cook Eggplant or Awesome Eggplant recipes, but I love experimenting with new foods. And  it’s not an experiment if you’re following an established direction. So I challenged myself to create something enjoyable. I don’t always succeed at these challenges but this time – I nailed it!

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Roasted Eggplant and Bison Crumbles

What I Used

2/3 Eggplants. Ground Bison. 1 bunch Scallions. Minced Garlic/2 Garlic Cloves. Fresh Ginger. Low Sodium Soy Sauce. Balsamic Vinegar. Chili-Garlic sauce [aka Oelek]. Olive Oil. Salt. Pepper. 

What I Did

This is super simple to make so here goes:

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425F on the oven.

Slice the Eggplant in half and lightly score the flesh. Scoring just means to make criss-cross lines across something without cutting into the flesh.

Also – depending on how big the initial half is – you may want to slice the ‘half’ again in half.

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Next, place the Eggplant on a baking sheet, drizzling about 2 tbsp of Olive Oil over them and seasoning generously with Salt & Pepper and baking, cut-side down until  the skin (purple side) starts to brown. About 15 mins.

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I sort of overdid it on the Olive Oil *wince*

After 15 mins, flip it over and let it finish cooking for 15 more mins.

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Onto the Bison.

Heat 2 tbsp Olive Oil over a med-high flame in a large sauté pan and add the Bison. Cook until it is no longer pink.

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When it’s lightly brown add ¼ cup Scallions (white & greens), 1 tbsp Minced Garlic & 1 tbsp freshly shredded Ginger.

Roasted Eggplant and Bison Crumbles

Mix it all up and let it cook, stirring occasionally for a couple of mins.

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Then stir in 2 tbsp of Chili-Garlic Sauce [more if you can handle the heat], ¼ cup Soy Sauce, ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar & another ¼ cup Water.

Let it cook, simmering over med-low heat for about 10 mins.  You want to integrate those flavors 🙂

A couple mins before you take it off the heat, stir in ¼ cup Scallions [the green part]…..

And BOOM – just like that, you’re done.

Roasted Eggplant and Bison Crumbles

Roasted Eggplant and Bison Crumbles

The Fresh Spinach I used as a garnish ended up being the perfect leafy accompaniment to this dish.

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