So, I have a little secret, I’ve been making this super awesome super healthy casserole for a while and I haven’t shared it. Ekkkk. However, I think all will be forgiven once you try this. Now, I’m a firm believer my meals should have meat in them, and I’m not even a huge eggplant eater but in this recipe between the eggplant and the mushrooms you will forget there isn’t a traditional meat in it.

I’m going to tell you another secret now, I know there are all these fancy ways to “prep” an eggplant for cooking, but I don’t do them. I don’t peel them, I don’t soak them in ice water, I don’t salt them and let them strain. I wash them and cut them, and that’s good enough for me. Now if that fancy eggplant stuff is your thing, then go on with your bad self, but I don’t find it to be necessary. I’m going to sidebar that and say if you notice your eggplant’s skin is particularly tough, give it a quick peel before you cook it, but I’ve never had that problem. Now go, enjoy!

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Casserole   (Print Me)

Ingredients :
2 cups cooked quinoa (you’ll need about 1 cup uncooked quinoa)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 large eggplant (about 1 lb) cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar tomato sauce (I use 1 25 oz jar Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Sauce)
~ 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
~ ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 ½ cups italian cheeses, grated (Trader Joes Quattro Formaggio is great)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease 9x13 baking dish.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms then saute for 6 to 7 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add eggplant cubes and saute for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently, making sure that the eggplant doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

In the meantime, in another dry non-stick pan (or skillet) over medium-high heat, toast quinoa with red pepper flakes, black pepper and a pinch of salt for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Remove eggplant mixture from heat, add tomato sauce, quinoa and a handful of cheese, mix to combine. Salt to taste. Transfer to baking dish, top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until warmed through and cheese is bubbling (turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the top of the cheese if needed). Allow to sit a few minutes before serving.

Adapted from: The Iron You

**add other/more veggies if you prefer 🙂

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