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iEat Green – Interview with Michel Nischan, Chef, Author and Food Equity Advocate – 08.06.15

Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Foundation award winning celebrity chef with over 30 years of leadership experience advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system. He is Founder, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant. He and his Wholesome Wave team were successful at influencing legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill, supporting affordable access to healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables for low income consumers. He’s also the author of three cookbooks and a variety of articles focused on sustainable food systems and social equity through food. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Amazon Conservation Team, and The National Young Farmers Coalition.

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Baked Stuffed Baby Eggplant

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Ingredients

6 baby eggplant

1 can Aduki beans, drained and rinsed

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 Tbs. dill

¼ t. dried thyme

1 cup broccoli, small florets

1 cup cauliflower, small florets

4 white mushrooms, chopped

1 portobello mushroom, chopped

Olive oil

3 Tb. tamari

1 t. salt

1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs. chopped parsley

¾ cup walnuts, chopped

  1. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil. Lay face down and roast in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. When soft, remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté onions in olive oil till translucent. Add carrots. Then add broccoli and cauliflower. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add Aduki beans, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.
  4. Hollow out eggplants, cut into pieces and add to vegetable mixture.
  5. Add dill, thyme, tamari, salt, and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add parsley and walnuts and season to taste.
  7. Fill eggplants with vegetable mixture.
  8. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
  9. Serve over Saffron Quinoa or Rice Pilaf.