Good in your mouth Stuffed Eggplant.

A few months ago, I set out on a path to eat better, exercise more and lose weight.

So far, so good.

The exercise has been surprisingly easy, because I have discovered that I love running, and I just finished up running my fifth race - a half marathon.  Oy.

The challenge, I have found, is cooking for my entire family at the same time.  Right after I started my healthier eating plan, RJ lost 20 pounds, which he didn't necessarily need to do.  The bastard.  

Totally not fair.

Anyway, there has to be a middle ground.  Surely there is food that a) doesn't taste like dirt b) won't make my ass huge and c) won't make my hubby &/or children look emaciated.

I'm slowly figuring it out.  It's a diet that includes lots and lots of fruits and vegetables, a little bit of meat, a few carbs, and cheese.  Plenty of cheese.  And chocolate.  And beer.  Oh wait.  That may be how I got here in the first place...  

So, I though I'd try to incorporate vegetables that weren't on our usual corn and green beans radar.  Enter ... Stuffed Eggplant.

1 Eggplant
4 oz. turkey smoked sausage, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, give or take, depending on how much you like garlic.  I like it.
1 stalk celery, chopped
either 3/4 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced, or one small can chopped mushrooms  
1 tsp. dried italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce.  I used Ragu Garden Vegetable, because it tastes good.
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350ish.  Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop the guts out.  Discard.  They're like medical waste and you do not want to eat them.  Make sure you have scooped out enough so that a small hollow forms.  Pop the two eggplant halves in the oven for a few minutes to start softening them up.  Ten minutes or so ought to do.  Meanwhile... Put the olive oil in a skillet, then add the onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms.  Saute that mess up until the onions start to become translucent, then add in the smoked sausage and Italian seasoning and cook until the smoked sausage starts to brown a bit a and look delicious.

By this point, your eggplant should be out of the oven.  Scoop half the sausage mixture into one half and the rest into the other half.  Top these with the pasta sauce, then both kinds of cheese.  

Put them back into the oven until the cheese melts and is bubbly and good - about 10 more minutes.

Good news:  One eggplant yields two servings.
Better news: Each serving is about 500 calories.
Bad news: There will be no leftovers.

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