Quinoa, Eggplant & Marinara Bake
SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME: 20 MINUTES. TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR, 20 MINUTES.
2 eggplants (about 2 lb) 3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 2 cups packed baby spinach
1½ cups all natural marinara sauce, divided 2 large eggs, beaten 1 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp red pepper flakes ½ cup full-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Slice stem off eggplant and cut into ¼-inch slices. Arrange on prepared sheets and brush both sides with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway.
3. In a large saucepan, bring quinoa and 1¾ cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and stir in spinach. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
4. Spread ½ cup marinara sauce on bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Layer half of the eggplant over sauce, covering bottom of baking dish.
5. In a large bowl, stir together quinoa mixture, eggs, oregano and pepper flakes. 7ransfer to baking dish and spread in an even layer, pressing down with a moist spatula. Dollop ricotta on top of casserole and top with ½ cup mozzarella.
6. Place another layer of eggplant slices on top. Cover casserole with 1 cup marinara sauce and top remaining ½ cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden in some spots.
PER SERVING (1∕8 of recipe): Calories: 371, Total Fat: 18 g, Sat. Fat: 6 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 38 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 11 g, Protein: 17 g, Sodium: 753 mg, Cholesterol: 92 mg