Aromatic Turkey & Rice with Eggplant Steaks & Jerusalem Salad

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Remember when I shared my mom's aromatic turkey and rice dish with you guys? Well, I'm bringing that spice blend back in a similar way but this time a little different. In her original recipe, she used eggplant but it was chopped up in the turkey (she used lamb) and rice. In my version, I actually used other veggies like zucchini & squash since I didn't have any eggplant on hand. This time I do in fact have eggplant but I wanted it to stand alone. So I found a method for roasting eggplant "steaks" and tried it out! PS how do you feel about veggies being called steaks? Cauliflower steaks, etc?

Anywho, I needed a good fresh crunchy green to go with my flavorful but rather soft textured meal otherwise and what perfect way to use up some aging cherry tomatoes & a bell pepper from my imperfect box but to make my favorite Jerusalem salad.

What I Used

For the turkey & eggplant:

  • 1lb ground turkey thigh
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 Tbsp of this spice blend
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 in thick "steaks"
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup cooked rice, I used Trader Joe's frozen variety
  • Salt/Pep/Lots of grapeseed or olive oil

For the Jerusalem Salad:

  • 4 small Persian cucumbers, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Eggplant:

  1. Once the eggplant is sliced, lay it out on a baking rack over a baking sheet and lightly salt both sides of each piece. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, rinse each piece of eggplant in cold water and pat dry with a towel or paper towel.
  3. In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, paprika, and 3 Tbsp of oil and then brush that combination on each side of each piece of eggplant.
  4. Roast the eggplant at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then flip to the other side for 10-20 more minutes or until golden brown & tender.

For the Turkey & Rice:

  1. In a large pan, saute the turkey until lightly browned. Add the 2 Tbsp of seasoning and saute for another minute.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes & simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  3. If using Trader Joe's frozen rice, you can add it when you add the tomatoes and let it simmer as well to fluff up. If you are using rice you cook yourself you can add it in closer to serving and give it all a big toss.

For the Jerusalem Salad:

  1. Add all of the ingredients together & toss.
  2. For this dinner, I wanted extra greens so I added a handful of arugula.
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