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eggplant meatballs and sugar snap peas in a sesame ginger sauce

Truth: these past few weeks, I felt like I was a marathon training chicken running around with its head cut off.

Which, for those of you who don’t speak “Joanne”, really means that I would get distracted and leave lab later than I’d planned, which means I’d have less time than anticipated to cook something before heading to the gym, which means I’d finally come home in the wee hours of the night (okay, 8:45) to some sort of half cooked meal that I’d attempted to start earlier in the day but didn’t have time to finish. Those of you who have kids are nodding sympathetically and the rest of you are like, “Giiiirrrllll you don’t even HAVE kids AND you use run-on sentences with reckless abandon. Get yourself together.”

Sigh. I’m trying!

But now I’m about to become a wedding planning chicken running around with its head cut off whose mother is already like “So! What’s next?! What should we do?! What kind of dress do you want?! Have you picked a venue?! How many people are you going to have?!”.

Yada yada yada.

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Let’s all just take a big collective step back and breathe, shall we?

And then let’s pick up one of these Campbell’s Skillet Sauces on our way home from the gym (because we still have to work out so that we can look stellar in a white dress at some point in the next year) and get dinner on the table in thirty minutes or less.  Mmmkay?

For this meal I chose to go the Toasted Sesame with Garlic and Ginger route because what is faster than a stir fry, right?

You know, other than a stir fry for which the sauce is already made for you. WIN.

And yes, I did overcomplicate mine just a tad bit with these eggplant “meatballs” but even they are really pretty fast. 10 minutes of eggplant boiling followed by stirring together all the ingredients and rolling them into little balls will take as much time as it will for you to cook up a pot of rice. So really, no time at all.  Weeknights – we totally got this.

One year ago…Acorn Squash Boats with Quinoa, Root Vegetable Tagine

Four years ago…Mexican Nacho Pizza

Eggplant “Meatballs” and Sugar Snap Peas in a Toasted Sesame Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe

Eggplant “Meatballs” and Sugar Snap Peas in a Toasted Sesame Sauce

Vegetarian meatballs get an Asian twist when stir fried with sugar snap peas and a toasted sesame sauce with ginger and garlic.

Ingredients

    For the eggplant meatballs
  • 1 large eggplant, unpeeled
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated manchego
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • olive oil, for frying
  • For the stir fry
  • 1/2 lb sugar snap peas
  • Campbell's Toasted Sesame with Garlic and Ginger Skillet Sauce

Instructions

  1. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the eggplant cubes for 10 minutes, pushing them down as necessary to ensure they remain immersed in the water. Drain. Allow to cool a bit.
  2. Using a potato ricer or the back of a wooden spoon, squeeze out as much water as possible from the eggplant. Chop finely by hand.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, breadcrumbs, manchego, cilantro, garlic, and black pepper until well combined. Mix in the egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Form the eggplant mixture into small balls that are about 1 inch in diameter.
  5. Pour olive oil into a 10-inch skillet to a depth of about 1/2-inch. Turn the heat to medium. When the olive oil starts to shimmer, put one eggplant-ball in the pan. If it starts to sizzle immediately, then it is hot enough. If not, wait for the oil to get hotter. Fry the balls, turning gently with a spoon, for about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all the balls are cooked.
  6. Clean out the skillet and then pour the toasted sesame sauce in it. Warm over medium heat. Add in the sugar snap peas and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly tender but still crisp. Add in the eggplant meatballs and saute until coated in sauce and warmed through. Serve over rice.

Notes

Eggplant meatballs adapted from My Calabria via Big Flavors From a Tiny Kitchen

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This post brought to you by Campbell’s Dinner Sauces. Weekend-worthy dinners with only weekday-level effort needed! Learn more at http://www.campbellsauces.com/.
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60 Responses to Eggplant “Meatballs” and Sugar Snap Peas in a Toasted Sesame Sauce #CampbellSauces

  1. Yes, breathing is good:-) Enjoy being engaged and try not to get too overwhelmed with wedding craziness yet!

  2. What a unique dish! Looks so flavorful with the sesame sauce.
    Have FUN with the wedding planning – always remember that you should enjoy the whole process – and really, just enjoy being engaged, as it’s such a fun time :)

  3. Beth says:

    Ooh, your mother. I didn’t even think about how much your mother will enjoy the next year of planning. Enjoy everything this time of your life brings you!

  4. Megan says:

    I love the idea of eggplant meatballs and would never think to boil the eggplant. Looks like a great dinner! As far as wedding planning, I recommend starting with a spreadsheet and listing everyone you might possibly invite so you get an idea of your number… that helps you budget, figure out the venue, etc. Good luck with all of it and remember to enjoy it along the way too!

  5. You take eggplants to places I haven’t even dreamed of. These meatballs sound killer! Do you think they’d hold up okay to baking? Me + pots of shimmering oil = fire!

  6. Hey, it’s Miranda of A Duck in Her Pond. (The Blond Duck). My sister’s engaged and going through the same insanity you are– just have fun with it. Soon you’ll be old and married like the rest of us! :)

  7. I don’t even want to think about what my Mom is going to be like when I get engaged. Well I know exactly what she’ll be like since my sister got married a few years ago. Let’s just say I’m not looking forward to it! Maybe I’ll just elope?

  8. these eggplant “meatballs” look amazing. I bet I could even get my husband to eat eggplant if it were in this way!

  9. This is my favorite recipe you’ve ever posted yet – I’m determined to start liking eggplant and I’m going to make these tonight!! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I am really digging this eggplant meatball idea!

  11. SallyBR says:

    Eggplant “meat”balls are right up my alley! Love the idea and the possibilities… zucchini might follow!

  12. Hehe, I hope you and your mom enjoy wedding planning together! My mom and I got into quite a few epic arguments…let’s just say my parents almost decided to disown me. I wish I could say I was joking, haha. Sometimes you just need a few shortcuts in the kitchen when life gets busy, and this sauce looks delicious! Also, these eggplant meatballs sound amazing.

  13. I’m sooo making these as an appetizer for my holiday parties! Thanks so much for sharing. :) Truly awesome idea.

  14. danielle says:

    I love how you used the eggplant in this. I love eggplant and Im always looking for new ways to incorporate it into our meals.

  15. P says:

    Even your “quick” dinners look like you took forever to make them. These eggplant meatballs look incredible!

  16. Very nice use of eggplant!! Great post, Joanne!

  17. Looks really good! Makes me hungry looking at the photos. Take my advise, pop a few B-12 vitamins each day to keep your stress levels from rising every time someone asks you about wedding plans. LOl… You are so nice. Thanks again for the tip – about Facebook, I will try again later today.

  18. Vegetarian meatballs looks so yummy. I love the vegetarian version, the colors llook so good.
    Enjoy the process, nice to involve everyone.

  19. i dont how moms with jobs do everything – they are really superwoman! I have never heard of Campbells sauce – on the lookout now.

  20. Ha I can barely keep it together and I live alone with a cat. IDK how people do it with kids and others around to tend to. Love the eggplant meatballs!

  21. I really love the look of the “meatballs” what a clever idea! Just what you need to fuel up before the horror of wedding planning!

  22. Wow – Love these eggplant meat balls! They are brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Good luck with the wedding planning :)

  23. Pam says:

    I am so excited to hear all about your wedding planning!

    The meatballs look amazing! I’ll have to check out that sauce.

  24. I haven’t seen that flavor of sauce, but I’ll be on the lookout! I hope all the dress trying on, etc will be well documented on Instagram :-) So FUN! (ok, and stressful…but try to enjoy it as much as possible!)

  25. Jeanette says:

    I love the idea of eggplant “meatballs” – kind of like eggplant parm in meatball form. Good luck with your wedding plans!

  26. Kate says:

    Oh – I didn’t give you my favorite wedding advice yet! Elope! Not a secret elopement, but run off and do it without a guestlist, the important people (close friends and immediate family) will be there and you will be able to enjoy it with less stress.

  27. How creative and they look so delicious too!

  28. Jessie says:

    I’m all for shortcuts when we’re low on time (and even if we’re not low on time :) ). My favorite shortcut sauce is to use curry pastes – so good! These eggplant “meatballs” sounds so good in the sesame sauce. Best of luck with your wedding planning – so exciting!! :)

  29. Those meatballs are freaking awesome! I would never have thought to throw eggplant in there!!

  30. Abby says:

    oh wow I need these meatballs! Enjoy these moments of being engaged! There’s plenty of time to plan.

  31. These eggplant meatballs are 100% calling my name- I’ve never even thought to make eggplants into something deliciously rolled in breadcrumbs, and for that I am sorry to myself. Such a great idea!!

  32. First of all congratulations!! :) I am very happy to hear the news!
    I am really excited on hearing the follow up of this wedding planning ;) my cousin had it last year and it was really nerve-wracking, so don’t start getting stressed right now!
    This recipe sounds great, and really original. I am willing to give it a real try !
    Good luck with the plans !

  33. Erica says:

    Congratulations on your engagement, that’s so awesome!!

  34. Teffy says:

    This sounds amazing! I had eggplant croquettes in Italy this summer and fell in love. I never think to buy it, and this recipe gives me the perfect excuse!

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

  35. Tracey says:

    I feel your pain – I feel like I can barely hold things together for the past month or so. I need a clone to help me get through my days (and yep, no kids here either). Sometimes shortcuts are necessary, and this sauce sounds like a winner!

  36. These look better than real meatballs. I’ve never tried to make them with egg-palnt, but hey they look awesome :)

  37. gloria says:

    look delicious I love eggplants and sesame seeds!

  38. I am so excited for you my friend, oh the thrill of being engaged :D

    Cheers
    CCU

  39. I love eggplant! I never knew you could make meatballs with them! Looks so delicious, and the sauce sounds great too. And by the way… congrats! :)

  40. They look like falafel. And by that, I mean delicious!

  41. I don’t think I could end my hectic, work/child rearing day any better than a glass of wine and reading your refreshingly thoughtful and heartfelt words. Your recipes are just an added bonus, you and I are soul sisters as far as food is concerned.

  42. Hotly Spiced says:

    So then, Joanne, how are the wedding plans??? You do sound so very, very busy but I’m sure you will find the time to squeeze in wedding plans xx

  43. Congratulations about the engagement! My mother was the same when I was engaged but she has since learned to back off a bit and let us do our own planning :)

    It’s great that you can take a deeeeeep breath and relax with cooking. I love using eggplant in my meals for that meaty flavour!

  44. Congrats!
    Eggplant ‘meatballs’ is so creative! The dish looks beautiful.

  45. Sometimes mid-week just feels like one long headless chicken. And at times like those – ready make sauces are definitely a win. This flavour looks great and I love the idea of eggplant meatballs too!

  46. Johanna GGG says:

    fantastic use for stir fry sauce – and I get you when you say that you can’t concentrate on anything for a moment – at least you have your mother to organise the whole wedding for you (ha ha)

  47. We are overloaded with sugar snap peas right now, just bags and bags full – thanks for this recipe!

  48. Cate says:

    I saw these yesterday and coveted them. Today I opened up my co-op box and saw a big eggplant inside! Wonderful :o)

    Congrats on your engagement!
    I got engaged at a half. He chose the ring, I’ve chosen the dress, and everything else has been pretty much dictated to us by our mothers. “You gotta have this, you need to do that, and so on.” (And we’re not all that young . We’re um….in the next age group up from where you are.) Anyways, judging by your blog, you’ve got some solid planning skills. You’ll be fine.

  49. Shannon says:

    yes, definitely breathe. especially if you’re thinking november–plenty of time!!

  50. Deena kakaya says:

    Oh my goodness, they look amazing! I’m very impressed and I can’t wait to try them. Do they hold well in a sauce? X

  51. rika@vm says:

    I dig stir fries with sugar snap peas! Mmmm have you tried garlicky black bean Thai eggplants? Love them! And big congrats to you!! Have a lovely weekend!

  52. These pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I would love to try this recipe out. I saw the commercial for those sauces and they look tasty, but I’m sure that they have an unfortunate amount of sodium :( I really miss eating like a normal person haha. I will have to try the meatballs out with a marinara sauce. They are mouthwatering :)

  53. Ashley says:

    I love a quick weeknight meal. And theknot.com will be your BFF and make things soooo much easier. Trust me! :)

  54. Eggplant meatballs are genius! I can’t wait to make them. I haven’t tried the Campbell’s sauces yet, but I like the ethnic variety they give. Really branching out from the boring.

  55. Annie says:

    Oh man these look amazing! I have made veggie meatballs before but never with eggplant, I will have to try these out!

  56. sandra says:

    I tried to make these and they were definitely not like the ones in your picture – I think I am patty-impaired – I just cannot make a good fried veggie patty. They were delicious, though, so no big loss.

  57. LeAndra says:

    I love eggplant, and I love meatballs but am trying not to eat meat, so this is perfect!

  58. Eggplant meatballs….who would have thought!? They look delicious!

  59. […] Adapted from the always amazing  Eats Well With Others […]

  60. […] partial to anything that has mushrooms in it (you can check out Joanne’s take on it in her Toasted Sesame Sauce review here). When getting the dish ready, I took a slightly different approach than just adding meat. I made […]

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