Eggplant and Quinoa Casserole

*Originally posted January 3, 2013

There is a lot…..ok may be some….ok may be just the people who watch The Chew…. of hype about going meatless on Mondays.  I go meatless on a lot of meals, mostly because I live on a preschool teachers salary in the Boston area.  I really don’t mind, since I can satisfy my protein cravings with quinoa, which is much cheaper than meat, although treating myself to a steak is amazing.

I would have had a hard time giving up couscous if it were not for quinoa.  This dish is very versatile- you could substitute the eggplant for zucchini, or you could change up the sauce and cheese.

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • Roughly 3 Cups cooked quinoa (about 1.5 dry boiled in 3 cups of water)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp  paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a dash of dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Place eggplant on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add red pepper flakes, chopped onion and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until veggies begin to soften. Add canned tomatoes and spices, and simmer for 3 minutes.  Add in cooked quinoa and simmer for 3 more minutes to thicken.

Begin layering casserole: Grease a 9X9 pan and spoon a layer of sauce onto the bottom. Next add the eggplant, followed by a layer of ricotta. Repeat layers one more time, and top with remaining sauce. Top with grated parmesan, and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

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