Eggplant Quinoa Parmesan

Have you ever imagined something and it came out exactly how you thought it would be? Perhaps it’s the perfect wedding day that you actually got to have, after imagining it since you were 10 years old.  Or maybe it’s the weight lifted off your shoulders that you hoped for, after finishing three long years of law school.

Today a dream came true when I finally made a recipe that I’d been thinking about for months. And you know what?  It came out just as tasty as I envisioned it would.  Sure, not all dreams are the same size, but I think you have to take the little wins with the big ones.     🙂  Here enters my dream dish, a mouth-watering and healthy eggplant quinoa parmesan.

04Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

Eggplant Quinoa Parmesan Recipe
(Serves 2 personal sized dishes)

Ingredients:  

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced thin (the goal is 6 total slices, so you may have some leftover eggplant)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used  Italian Style bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (I used Hunt’s Basil, Garlic & Oregano)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 tablespoons shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 4 teaspoons grated low fat Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay a silicon mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet and set it aside.
  3. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg, then into the bread crumbs.
  4. Place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake them for 6 minutes on each side (12 total minutes), or until they are slightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according the directions on the package.  (Note that I used vegetable broth to enhance the flavor, but you could use water if you prefer.)
  6. In a medium skillet, heat the butter on Medium, and cook the chopped onion until it’s tender.
  7. Add in the minced garlic and cook it for about 1 minute.
  8. Pour in the tomato sauce.
  9. Season with pepper and sugar.
  10. Turn the heat down to Low/Simmer and cook for it for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and parsley.
  12. NOTE:  Your various ingredients are all only 1/2 used for each ramekin!
  13. To assemble, spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a 4×3 inch ramekin (see note below).
  14. Lay down 1 slice of eggplant.
  15. Spread a layer of quinoa on top (about 1/4 cup).
  16. Spoon a layer of sauce on top (about 1 tablespoon).
  17. Spoon a layer of the Greek yogurt (about 1/4 cup).
  18. Lay down 1 slice of eggplant.
  19. Spread a layer of quinoa on top (about 1/4 cup).
  20. Spoon a layer of sauce on top (about 1 tablespoon).
  21. Sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 tablespoon).
  22. Sprinkle a layer of grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 teaspoon).
  23. Lay down 1 slice of eggplant.
  24. Spread a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture (about 1/4 cup).
  25. Spoon a layer of sauce on top (about 1 tablespoon).
  26. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 tablespoon) and grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 teaspoon).
  27. Repeat the assembly for the other ramekin.  (Use the other half of all the ingredients.)
  28. Bake the 2 assembled ramekins in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

* Note, ramekins (or souffle dishes) are relatively inexpensive and they’re versatile.  You can find them easily in most department stores or online, like amazon.com.  I realize that you may not have them or want to invest in them.  If there is enough interest I may try to update the recipe using a baking dish instead.

 

There are a lot of moving parts to this recipe, but it’s quite simple once you break it down.  Once you’ve baked the eggplant slices and made the sauce, it’s just like building a personal sized lasagna (except way healthier).  It looks like there are a lot of steps, but it’s just stacking things up.  Some assembly required…     😉

01Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

Still stacking…

02Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

Almost there but ready to bake…

03Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

In the words of George Takei, “Oh my!”  I could not have imagined this tasting any better than it does.  It’s full of wonderful Italian flavors but lacks virtually all the guilt from typical Italian food.

04Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

Healthy vegetarian meal for 2?  Yes please.  If you want to make some feel special, create their own personal size dish straight from the oven.     🙂

This is a healthy meal for a variety of reasons:

  1. I baked the eggplant instead of frying it.  I think the baked version tastes better here because it doesn’t make the dish oily or greasy tasting.
  2. I used all low fat cheeses and you can’t tell the difference.
  3. It’s packed with protein from the quinoa and Greek yogurt.  Did you say yogurt?  In an Italian meal?  Yup, it makes it more creamy.
  4. I used low sodium vegetable broth (to cook the quinoa) to help keep the sodium levels low.  Speaking of salty goodness, I didn’t even add any additional salt to the dish or sauce because I think there is plenty from the broth and cheeses (of course feel free to add, if that’s what you like).

05Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

Can you see all the glorious layers?  Alright, so it looks like a complete mess in the below photo, but I assure you that your taste buds will be very happy.     🙂  You’ve got all sorts of texture going on here with the baked eggplant, the layers of creamy yogurt and ricotta cheese, and the layers of chewy quinoa.

10Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

Maybe the photo below is better for you to see the various layers on the spoon.  Let’s not forget the ooey gooey cheeses.  It only takes a little bit to get that stringy action.

Again, all the flavor, all the moisture, and all the awesomeness still remain, without sacrificing the taste.

I sprinkled some fresh basil on top just before serving.  I love that stuff.

08Eggplant Quinoa Parmesian

It feels so good to be able to create a recipe and have it come out fant-abulous.     🙂

 

Rating:

5 Hats

Source: Tina’s Chic Corner

 

Here are some other Italian meals that you might enjoy.

Italian Meat Sauce

07Italian Meat Sauce

Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

08Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

Marinara Sauce

04Marinara_1024x768

Comments

  1. Look’s great. I really want to get more quinoa in my diet and this is a light and tasty recipe to that end.

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! 🙂

  2. What a creative recipe! Love how you incorporated quinoa and greek yogurt into this! This is going on my “to try” list!

    1. Tina says:

      Sweet! I have very high standards (i.e. I’m picky) when I cook with quinoa because quite frankly I don’t always like how it tastes or how it turns out the entire meal. But when you surround it with wonderful flavors, like here, it just works and everything tastes delicious. I hope you love it as much as I do. 🙂

  3. Okay totally loving this recipe! I love quinoa and eggplant and love how simple these look! Pinned 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Thanks so much! 🙂

  4. I love when that happens! The best feeling. And the worst feeling is when a recipe flops and you have to go back to the drawing board. All the flavors in this sound amazing! And love the individual sizes too.

    1. Tina says:

      The successes sure are the best feelings. 🙂

  5. This is such a unique recipe and I love that you can make individual servings. For how delicious it is though I might need a few servings.. 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks! 🙂 I have 6 ramekins on hand so I’ll make more than 2 when you come over. 😉

  6. I rarely have anything come out exactly the way I want it too! This looks amazing!!

    1. Tina says:

      I find that hard to believe because you have so many wonderful creations on your blog! I’d have you cook for me any day of the week. 🙂

  7. Ashley says:

    Eggplant is a favorite of mine but for some reason I rarely ever use it! This looks delicious – I need to give it a try! And I love when recipes that you’ve been thinking of for a long time come out just right – it’s such a good feeling!

    1. Tina says:

      Such a good feeling! 🙂

  8. Don’t you just looooooove making a recipe you’ve been waiting forever to make? Then it turns out perfectly? YES! The best feeling ever! So glad you got to do this recipe – just like you planned!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  9. Joanne says:

    So much drool happened while reading this. I mean, eggplant parm is one of my favorite dishes to begin with! And then you threw in quinoa. Totally in love with this!

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe, that’s awesome! 🙂

  10. Mary Frances says:

    Isn’t it fun when you make all these healthy substitutions and they work?! This is definitely a winner! I cannot believe how good this is for you. Consider me duly impressed!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome sauce! 🙂

  11. This might be the most perfect recipe I’ve seen for a looooong time! I mean… To me it pretty much sounds like lasagna without meat and pasta. WONDERFUL! Thanks a lot for the recipe

    1. Tina says:

      So glad you love! 🙂

  12. This dish couldn’t have turned out any more perfect!! Love how healthy it is, and the addition of greek yogurt is genius. It must make such a creamy lasagna ;–)
    I want this for dinner today too. First the quesadilla pie and then this baby hehe. I’d be so happy that way!

    1. Tina says:

      I’ll make the quesadilla pie for lunch and this eggplant quinoa parm for dinner, if you make me your mouth-watering chocolate chip cookie dough pancakes for me for breakfast! Sounds fair to me. 😉

  13. I totally love this idea! Looks so yummy. It’s great to find new ways to enjoy quinoa. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Thanks. 🙂

  14. Amy Tong says:

    oh my…it looks and sounds scrumptious! I wish I have this for lunch now. 😛 You’ve got me thinking about this dish now, hope I don’t have to wait for months before trying to make it at home. 😀

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

  15. This is magnificent, Tina! I’m so happy that you finally got to make it and that it turned out so perfectly. Beautiful job!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Andi! 🙂

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