Comfort food can be healthy. I admit, I love ground beef. I could use it in a hundred dishes and each one is different and homey and just yummy to me. I can’t even explain why other than possibly it wasn’t something we had much growing up? Maybe it’s like my Kraft Mac and Cheese obsession; it’s something I love because we didn’t buy a lot of boxed foods growing up. Any time I think “comfort food” I immediately think mac and cheese, rice and ground beef.
The nice thing about this dish is I’ve substituted many proteins in this dish, shrimp, chicken, ground turkey, but the eggplant is most certainly the focal point of this dish. It began as an eggplant parmigiana type recipe with eggplant and a fried ground beef patty of sorts. Certainly delicious but when I’m in a hurry (and trying to feed a baby knowing this was one dish he’d most certainly eat with me) I started taking shortcuts to achieve the same desired comfort taste without the cheese, egg, and longer process to acquire the taste I remembered. My mom would make her version of this for me and this brings me back to her kitchen. I’ve developed quit a love for the taste of eggplant and I sneak it into meals whenever I can. Here’s my favorite comfort dish loaded with eggplant, vegetables, and of course, ground beef.
- 1/4 lb. ground beef
- 1 large, or 2 small eggplant, cut into thin chunks
- 1 large zucchini or 2 small Italian squash, cut into thin chunks
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 leek, sliced thin
- 1 clove of garlic
- Vegetable or olive oil
- Garlic salt
- Brown ground beef. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Drain and set aside.
- In a large frying pan or skillet, heat oil.
- Stir fry eggplant and zucchini. You may need to add a bit of oil to keep the vegetables from sticking. When the eggplant has lost its white color, add in the leek, tomato and garlic. Stir fry until tomatoes are softened a bit.
- Add in the cooked ground beef. Stir fry to warm up the ground beef if it has cooled.
- Season with garlic salt, pepper and basil.
- Serve over rice or all by itself.