So yesterday was one of the jam-packed, schedule-every-second-of-my-day-fit-everything-in kinda day. One of those things I made sure to schedule was experimenting with this recipe I had been scribbling down during lulls at work.
The picture is shitty because I took it for my mom when I was pulling it out of the oven haha but whatever, it’s so good and took me about 25 minutes from start to finish! (Which is how long I gave myself to make dinner before a workout and a Red Wings game complete with a gigantic, over-priced Genesee beer…ahh baseball <3).
Of course you could use pasta, but I didn’t have any at home so I used quinoa and stuck in the veggies I had on hand along with leftover jarred tomato sauce. I’m trying to push myself to be more creative with the ingredients I have rather than always run to the store for one or two things I need for a certain recipe….basically I’m broke and want to make an effort to not be. Anyway, even with the time crunch and the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink attitude I had about the ingredients, I am extremely happy with this dish! One pan dishes and casseroles aren’t really my thing, but it definitely satisfied my unusual (for me) craving and I can’t wait for lunch time so I can dig into the leftovers at work!
This really is more of a casserole than a lasagna, but it was inspired by my weird and sudden craving for lasagna yesterday so I’m callin’ it like I crave it.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed
- 2 cups frozen and thawed spinach
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I love Trader Joe’s traditional marinara)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I just love it, can’t help it)
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp. oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook quinoa on stove top according to directions on the box. While it’s cooking, put 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add sliced onion, cubed eggplant, and thawed spinach. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once veggies are soft (you don’t have to worry about cooking them completely through at this point…browned a bit and pretty soft is fine), add in balsamic vinegar and garlic and cook until liquid is absorbed and turn heat to low. While your veggies are soaking up the vinegar, put almonds, cashews, nutritional yeast, remaining olive oil, and rosemary into a food processor/chopper/blender and blend until it looks like bread crumbs. Once quinoa is cooked, add to the pan with the veggies and add in the marinara sauce and re-season to taste. Make sure the mixture is all incorporated and everything is coated in sauce and transfer to a 8X8 baking dish. Top mixture with nut topping and bake for 10-15 minutes or until top is golden brown and the inside is hot. Serve in a HUGE bowl and enjoy!