Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

I had one eggplant sitting on my island in the kitchen that was leftover from the eggplant roll up dinner. It was good timing that I used that eggplant last night because it was really ripe. If I would’ve waited a few days to use it, it would have probably gone bad. I have a love/hate relationship with eggplant. I’ll eat it but I just won’t go out of my way to eat it. The Hubs and I agree on this vegetable. Even though it’s full of nutrients, it’s the texture that puts us off.

I found this recipe while I was browsing Pintrest and thought that the photo made it look good. The roll up recipe said to sprinkle salt on the eggplant to draw the moisture and bitterness out. This recipe said to soak it in salted water.

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While those were soaking, I worked on the quinoa. This recipe explains that you’ll only need about one cup of uncooked quinoa to get two cups of cooked quinoa. Not like I did with the lentils the other day.

So, I followed the directions and added two cups of water for the quinoa. You cook quinoa like rice…bring it to a boil and let it simmer. I let the quinoa cook and then got to work on the vegetables.

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I’ve learned that the quickest way to chop up an onion is to half it and then slice it horizontally. You keep slicing it horizontally until you get to the top.

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Once you get to the top, then you’ll slice it vertically all the way across.

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Then you can go ahead and chop your onion like normal and this is out it will come out. Cool huh?

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Next, I worked on the basil. I love the way fresh basil smells. When you chop basil, or any fresh herb, just roll them up and slice.

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While I was cooking the vegetables, the quinoa was done. All I did was just fluff it with a fork to make sure it was fluffy and done. Then you toss all the eggplant, basil, and tomato sauce together. You’re supposed to let it simmer but I didn’t because I got supper started late and the little one kept running in the kitchen to tell me he was hungry.

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Now, the next step is to “toast” your quinoa in another pan. I had problems with this step. You’ll have to be careful because the quinoa will stick to the bottom. This is what the bottom of my pan looked like.

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When you mix everything together, I used nutritional yeast to make our dish vegan and dairy free. If you choose to use regular parmesan, then by all means do what makes your mouth and stomach happy. Then I topped it with nutritional yeast and let everything bake.

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I didn’t have time to brown the top by broiling it. Anyway, I think that’s a step if you’re using parmesan and not nutritional yeast. This is how it came out.

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When you think about it, the eggplant replaces the chicken (in chicken parm) and the quinoa replaces the pasta. This dish wasn’t bad, but that’s just because I’m not a huge fan of eggplant. The little one didn’t like eggplant at all with this dish. We just had to take the eggplant out of his plate. Well, I made it, we all tried it, and we’ve all made our decision. You’ll never know until you try, right? That’s exactly what we did. Some of y’all out there might actually like it. Who knows. Using parmesan might be the thing that makes this dish. You’ll never know until you try. In my case, unfortunately, I can’t try it with parmesan.

Tonight we’re having vegan pho. The Hubs will be cooking because I have an appointment with a naturopath to try to figure out what’s making me ill once and for all. So, we’ll see!

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