Exposing another human being to the way I eat is.  Well.  A process.

There are rules.  Clauses.

Entire treatises on high fructose corn syrup and why I would never willingly allow myself or anyone I love to ingest it.


It’s really a full-on legal document.  A contract between myself and…myself.  Of the non-negotiable variety.


It starts off with my major food rules:

Thou shalt not eat inorganic leafy greens.

Which is second only to:

Thou shalt not eat anything deep fried.*


And then in really really tiny fine print.

*Except for falafel.

Because the truth of the matter is that I could live without eating a single French fry for the rest of my life.  But…I really do love falafel.


…this recipe is making me rethink that exception.  Because why eat something saturated in oil when you can have it baked into your favorite purple vegetable and smothered in tahini sauce?

That’s, like. My new mantra.



Although we’re well aware that I’m totally a fan of the runner’s high, you know what else gets me really jazzed to go to the gym or to hit the pavement?  Cute workout clothes.  For real.

But when you’re running double digit miles, “cute” just doesn’t cut it.  You need “cute” and functional.  By which I mean, dri-fit, moisture wicking and comfortable.

So when the folks at Russell Athletic offered to send me a Full Coverage Performance Tank, a DriPower 360 Round Neck T, Cotton Stretch Capris, Semi-Fit Performance Capris to try…I jumped on it.  After wearing the DriPower T to the gym last week and the Semi-Fit Performance Capris this week….I’m enamored.  They are so comfortable.  And cute.  And kinda make me want to head out for a workout just so I have an excuse to wear them.  I’ve always thought of Russell Athletic as the brand of sweatshirts that my brother used to wear, not as good workout clothing material…but my mind has officially been changed.  So if you’re in the market for new workout clothes, consider giving them a try!

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consultingon behalf of Russell Athletics and received a product sample to facilitate my review.


Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish
Serves 4, adapted from Cooking Light

For the tahini sauce:

  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the eggplant:

  • 2 eggplants (about 12 oz each)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups chickpeas

For the relish:

  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomato (I used kumatos)
  • 1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion, vertically sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. To prepare the sauce, whisk together the warm water, tahini, lemon juice, honey, cumin and garlic in a small bowl.  Season with salt to taste.  Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 475.
  3. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise.  Score the cut sides with a crosshatch pattern.  Place facedown on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 7 minutes or until slightly tender and brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and carefully scoop out the pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch edge.  Reserve the pulp for another use.  Season with salt.
  5. Combine 1/2 tsp salt, onion, breadcrumbs, parsley, tahini, olive oil, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne, eggs, garlic, and chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Season to taste.
  6. Spoon the chickpea mixture evenly into the 4 eggplant shells.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggplant halves are tender and the chickpea mixture is lightly brown.
  7. Combine the tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley, balsamic, and olive oil in a bowl.  Stir to combine.
  8. Place one eggplant half on each of 4 plates. Drizzle with tahini sauce and top with relish. 


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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99 Responses to Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish {}

  1. Falafel!! It’s so fun to say 🙂 And so fun to eat! What a great-loooking dish 🙂 And those workout clothes do sound pretty awesome!!

  2. bellini says:

    I saw something similar on Pinterest yesterday and pinned away!

  3. Adrienne says:

    Jesus this looks tasty. I can’t imagine few things better than eggplant and falafel. I desperately need some new work out clothes…I don’t think my 10 year old shorts and t-shirts from college are cutting it anymore 😀

  4. Oh my. This is absolutely gorgeous. Look at all those vibrant colors! Yeah, I could totally be vegetarian if I could eat this everyday 🙂

  5. Great idea! I’m not big on eggplant but this is easily transferrable to zuchs or squash or peppers… can’t wait to try!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Two of my favorite things. I love the presentation!

  7. london bakes says:

    I love baked falafel and this manages to combine them with my favourite vegetable! Perfect!

  8. I like the way you think – eggplant smothered with a falafel spread and tahini sauce?! YES please! Also, I am over the top jealous that you get sent free work out clothes. Amazing. Oh, and I like deep fried onion rings from this super-amazing-organic-burger-joint-in-Ottawa….it’s one of those loves I can’t escape. Other than that I’m with you on the deep fried thing. I eat enough oil in salads!

  9. Falafel stuffed eggplant?? Yes please. In fact, I’m having leftover homemade falafel for lunch today…yum yum yum!!

  10. This is totally my idea of a great summer lunch… paired with a crisp white wine. 🙂

  11. Amy says:

    Ya, that’s the one thing about exercising in the privacy of your own garage…nobody sees you. Which means no cute clothing is worn. I find this sad. I should get some cute clothing, just because.

    I love falafel. Loooooove. But I also love french fries and would seriously struggle with giving them up. I had fresh from the ocean deep fried abalone a few weeks ago. Sigh… no, I can’t give up fried food. I might hurt someone.

  12. Chef Connie says:

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning. I love this blog and glad to have stopped by today!

  13. Oooh, I love, love, love falafel! Cannot wait to try this over the weekend, as Little League has consumed all of our free time…

  14. Cathleen says:

    Oh how I love falafel!
    I just bought some eggplant the other day, which is weird because I have no idea how to cook with eggplants, it was a spur of the moment kind of thing. Well now I know what I can make with it!

  15. Lyndsey says:

    I am amazed by all the colorful, flavorful and healthful dishes you make!! This one is no different. I know it would be a big hit at our house.
    My husband is a runner, and we run every Wed evening at Mr Beery’s a local pub. It’s a fun evening and they have 24 beer taps with fantastic micro brewerys from all over. Their slogan “No crap on tap”. Anyway today we are there to celebrate a friend’s victory of running the Florida Key’s last weekend! He ran 100 miles and finished just over 26 hours. His last attempt to run 100 miles he made it to mile 93, and just couldn’t go on! It’s amazing…or he’s just crazy!

  16. Saguna says:

    This is the totally the veggie equivalent of a juicy steak. Love it! The flavours of this sound so amazing- almost like baba ganoush… Must make this soon.

  17. I just saw this recipe in cooking light and thought it was genius. Your version looks even more amazing!

  18. nina says:

    Wow i simply love this one….what a beautiful looking eggplant:). great flavors…am gona try this one:)

  19. love2dine says:

    oh my god you are my hero – these look amazing!

  20. Lora says:

    What a brilliant idea to stuff eggplant with falafel. this is genius!

  21. I had some roasted eggplant yesterday and I can imagine how awesome it would’ve been with falafel!

  22. Pierce says:

    Eggplant is always on the top of my list for favorite veggies,. Damn that looks good, Joanne! High Fructose syrup – yeah, I am with you on this. I check labels all the time for that crap.

  23. I agree, falafel is awesome! I’m still not entirely in love with eggplant though. This does sound really good and extrememly healthy!

  24. Laura says:

    WOWZA-I have never tried tahini with eggplant. Your recipes never to cease to amaze me pretty lady!

  25. There is definitely something to say about new workout clothes! I barely ever buy them for myself so it is always a special occasion.

    This eggplant looks delicious! Who needs fried falafel?!

  26. Jenna says:

    Personally, I think baked rather than fried falafel sounds much more appealing. And it looks so beautiful, with its grass green color and brown bits!

  27. Margarita says:

    I love falafel in all forms. But I love the idea of baking falafel on top af an eggplant instead of frying it. Also, I am a big fan of cute workout outfits… I used to just workout in whatever old clothes I could find but after I bought a few cute ones, it definitely increased my motivation to work out. Is that vain? I seriously need nice workout clothes though because it has become my go to outfit… for going pretty much everywhere except work. P.S. We have the same measuring spoons. I love how it fits perfectly in spice jars!

  28. Pam says:

    I love the idea of this…except for the eggplant. Maybe zucchini?

  29. Lauren T says:

    That recipe looks like a great way to get all your colorful foods in in one meal! And another great brand of workout clothes to try that are super cute and comfortable are from just in case you haven’t heard of them. My mom teaches fitness classes and loves their clothes especially. I’m impressed to hear that Russell has stepped it up too! I’ll have to go try those sometime. I’m a sucker for cute work out clothes too!

  30. Rachel says:

    Falafal recipes seem to be calling out to me lately. So far this is the most delicious looking one to date and I am adding the ingredients to my grocery list!

  31. Joanne I am so glad you made this! I was totally eyeing up this recipe in Cooking Light. I love how youd adapted it and am going to try it 🙂

  32. woman!
    put more tomato relish on there!!

  33. I’m on an eggplant quick right now (can’t get enough of them for some reason. Looking forward to trying this.

  34. Pam says:

    I really need to give eggplant another try. This recipe make it look so good! No fried food ever except falafal? I couldn’t live without fried onion rings every once in awhile. It’s a weakness of mine.

  35. Ben says:

    Hmmmm eggplant is so mysterious to me. I see them all the time but I never really know how to prepare them. This looks very intriguing.

  36. Gloria says:

    OMG Falafel look stunning!

  37. Lynn says:

    Mmm – love falafal. And that sauce – yum.

  38. Kristen says:

    I am sad that there is not a photo or two of you in said athletic wear. Really, we need to see you running. Isn’t there someone who could take a few shots? Bribe them with falafel!!

  39. Reeni says:

    Given my love of falafel I see something like this in my near future! I’ve been looking for something new to do with eggplant. This is crave-worthy stuff!

  40. Hotly Spiced says:

    I promise I have no corn syrup in my pantry. The gymwear sounds great and yes, when working out, functional needs to be up there with pretty. Love the eggplant dish xx

  41. Jay says:

    looks delishh & absolutely mouthwatery..
    Tasty Appetite

  42. Im bookmarking this to make next week. Stud doesnt like falafel or eggplant so its a perfect dish to eat while he is away!

  43. Katie says:

    I want to eat this right now. Instead I just had cheesecake (this sounds SO much healthier). Looking forward to trying it soon!

  44. Eileen says:

    Ha, I totally changed into cute workout clothes just to do yoga in my living room today! It’simultaneously awful that clothing & appearance are that big a deal in western female society…and also just a relief to know that X or Y clothing item looks good & you therefore no longer have to think about it. ANYWAY. I am definitely intrigued by the falafel-stuffed eggplant! It seems like it would fill you up for an entire day of high-powered running around. 🙂

  45. Jeanette says:

    I wish I could have this right now – this looks fabulous Joanne. I just had an Indian stuffed eggplant dish this past week made by a friend of mine, so stuffed eggplant is on my mind, and now it is definitely on my list to make this week!

  46. Dawn says:

    Damn you beat me to it! I made this exact recipe on Monday and was telling Cara I found it in Cooking Light! I just posted my wine post for wine down wednesday but should be posting a vegan version of this using Mila tomorrow. Too funny.

  47. Never eat another french fry? I’d need therapy. I love fries, but I space out how how I eat them. OK, I have to confess something. I.don’ There is no particular reason why. I guess I never grew up eating it. Maybe German moms are unfamiliar with them? I need to change that. OK, that’s my new mantra.
    This does look good.
    Debby, “A Feast for the Eyes”

  48. tigerfish says:

    What a great idea to stuff the eggplant with falafel! And I like that the falafels don’t have to be fried – just spread on the eggplant and bake…how ingenious!

  49. Carolyn Jung says:

    Move over pita. Eggplant has supplanted you. Looks awesome! 😉

  50. That Girl says:

    It’s always scary to bring someone in to the inner circle.

  51. We also don’t do fried food if possible! I was thinking about these very same ingredients last night 🙂

  52. Betsy says:

    This meal looks amazing! All my favorite things in one!

  53. Josie says:

    Surprise, surprise,I have this bookmarked too! And you are a much better person than i – there’s no way I could live the rest of my life without french fries.

  54. Tahini stuffed eggplant?! You’re a genius, Joanne!

  55. 1. Have you seen ‘s BAKED falafel recipe? I’ve been meaning to try it because I, too, LOVE falafel but greasy foods are dangerous to my stomach these days.

    2. Pizza is another no-good food for me, and I’ve been thinking of ways to get the same yummy pizza experience with less heavy grease, cheese, and sauce. This looks like it might do the trick! A veggie base, piled with more veggie goodness! Maybe I’d add some sharp cheese of some sort too…

  56. Johanna GGG says:

    now this is one of the best eggplant recipes I have seen for ever and ever – because we have a food rule in our house that e doesn’t eat eggplant unless it is spectacular – and this is!

  57. daphne says:

    I am such a fan of stuffed eggplant so this is a winner for me- i wonder if i can get away by not adding breadcrumbs..

  58. Danielle says:

    Oh my goodness – I need to try this. I am a falafel lover and in eggplant – looks fabulous!!

  59. vianney says:

    This eggplant topped with the strawberry salsa from the previous post, flavor overload!!! yum!

  60. Erica says:

    What a beautiful dish!My husband loves eggplant and I am always making the same dish….Eggplant parmesan….Wonderful dish!

  61. Love falafel, has to be amazing as a stuffing! Looks fantastic. Could never give up fries though.

  62. marie says:

    What a great post, I totally have food rules too. So many to list but fresh ingredients are a must. This dish looks great, and baked instead of fried, awesome!

  63. What a fantastic eggplant recipe! Love real food like this…you can feel, see and taste the freshness.

  64. What a gorgeous and deliciously decadent vegetarian recipe, Joanne! This looks very, very tasty and surprisingly easy! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  65. joannnnne! i have such a passion for falafel but hate frying so i always avoided making it! and i love eggplant so this is happening asap. have you tried baking falafel balls yet? i bet they would be just as good, right?

  66. Jenn Kendall says:

    i never really know what to do with eggplant when i happen to actually pick it up – next time i am doing this, it sounds absolutely delicious!

  67. Dining Alone says:

    I am a huge falafel fan, and a tahini fan. This looks awesome!

  68. I LOVE THIS!!! It’s absolutely gorgeous!

  69. kellypea says:

    I’m drooling over the eggplant and that’s saying a lot considering I have to circle it a few times before digging in. Gorgeous! As far as the dry clothes go, I have converted to dry socks and it’s amazing how great my shoes are compared to before. Talk about taking care of an investment. Who knew?

  70. Blond Duck says:

    Love the princess sign! What do you do for marshmallows? I can’t find any non HFCS for the life of me and want to make smores!

  71. Camila Faria says:

    I adoro tahine sauce with anything! One of my favorites!

  72. Lynna says:

    looks delicious! & the photos are gorgeous!

  73. All my favorite ingredients are used here. This is a must try recipe for me.

  74. I hope we can still be friends even though I can’t (won’t!!!) give up fried foods entirely. 🙂 French Fries are my happy, comfort food and they just hit the spot now and then. 🙂 But I DO love this oh so healthy recipe. Falafel is marvy stuff. 🙂

  75. JoJo says:

    This looks amazing!
    I love red onions because of how they taste, and how they look. It adds a nice color:D

  76. Megan says:

    What I wouldn’t give for this right now! I love eggplant and falafel but don’t think I would ever have thought to stuff an eggplant with falafel.

  77. Deborah says:

    I never know what to do with tahini besides hummus – this sounds great!!

  78. What a great idea, it looks like something that everyone here would love. The photos are terrific.

  79. Kim says:

    This looks so delicious. I want like, everything you make to magically appear in my kitchen. K Thanks.

  80. you are a genius. GENIUS i tell you!

  81. Gwen says:

    YES! Now your talkin! I am right there w u on your food philosophies! NO HFCS & frying allowed for falafel. My dad actually requested a Home made Greek dinner for fathers day this year because I introduced him to falafel pitas a while back. I will def be making this!

  82. Mmm – what a fabulous spin on falafel! I love eggplant.
    (ps – do you watch Supernatural? The big evil at the end of the season involves HFCS. Heeheehee!

  83. Ranjani says:

    Totally tagged this recipe in CL – it’s always good to see your posts to remind me to actually make what I tag! Looks fabulous

  84. Kerstin says:

    What a cool idea – I also completely love falafel and pairing it with eggplant just sounds divine!

  85. I agree, Falafel breaks the the rules 🙂 Great idea!

  86. Anonymous says:

    O. M. G!!!

  87. Anonymous says:

    Made and brought this to a barbecue last night, definitely a hit!

  88. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, This is a wonderful recipe. I love eggplant and this is eggplant that I would love to try. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  89. Shannon says:

    wait, can’t you just wear workout clothes to lab? ha 😉 love love love this recipe!!!

  90. afracooking says:

    I totally subscibe to your rule of not never eating anything deep-fried. Although my foot note is “unless it is served up in a star(worthy) restaurant”. But maybe that is cause I bake my falafel in the oven instead of frying them. If you would like to try some time here is the recipe I use

  91. Amber says:

    You are my new best friend, actually! Love your enthusiasm for cooking/food sharing!

  92. […] Recipe and Photo credit to […]

  93. Eric davenport says:

    This looks delicious and I will be trying it soon and most likely many times In the future. What are the first few pictures of? It looks like roasted eggplant with pesto?

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