Quinoa is a grain powerhouse and an excellent source of protein. In just one cup of quinoa, you get 9 grams of protein (more than an egg). It contains all 8 of the essential amino acids, is rich in fiber, gluten free, and is low glycemic. It also has the vitamins/minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
Here is one way you can incorporate Quinoa and many other healthy elements into one delicious meal: Stuffed Eggplant.
What You Need:
2 Whole Eggplants, 1 White Onion (diced), 1 Shallot (diced), 3 Garlic cloves (diced), 1 Lemon Quarter, Small Bunch of Kale (any variety, chopped)
1/3 Cup White Quinoa, 1/3 Cup Red Quinoa, 1/3 Cup Amaranth
1/2 Cup Lentils (any color/variety)
1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube
Olive Oil (refined, not extra virgin)
1 Tbsp of Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance, Soy Free)
Cracked Pepper, Sea Salt, Oregano (dried)
1 small can of Diced Tomatoes
How To Prepare:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the Quinoa, Amaranth, one bouillon cube, and a Tbsp of Olive Oil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. In a separate pot, bring to a boil 1 and a half cups of water and add the lentils. Check the quinoa after 15 minutes and if there is any water left, stir and come back and check. When the quinoa has absorbed the water, turn the burner off. Check the lentils after 20 minutes with the same criteria: No water – They’re done. Turn off the burner when they’re done.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the two eggplants down the middle length-wise and scoop out the insides of the halves with a spoon. You can leave what you scoop on the side to be used later in the filling, or you can discard it (which is what I did in this recipe). Lightly drizzle the olive oil back and forth between the halves and add cracked pepper, sea salt, and oregano to taste. Put the 4 halves on a baking sheet and put the sheet into the oven and let it sit for 30 minutes.
In a saute pan, combine the white onion, shallot, garlic cloves, and butter. Add salt, pepper, and a squeeze of the lemon to taste and stir occasionally. Cook until the onion is translucent, at which point, you add the kale, stir it in, let it cook for 5 more minutes and then turn the burner off. Add the can of tomatoes and stir in.
Combine everything (except the Eggplant) into one bowl and stir. Take the eggplant out of the over after 30 minutes and stuff the hollowed skins with the ingredients in the bowl. Throw the pan back into the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Take the pan out, and sprinkle on a healthy portion of nutritional yeast (like it was Parmesan cheese). Voila! Serve and enjoy.
If you have any leftover quinoa and/or lentils, store in the refrigerator to use again for stuffing other vegetables (like peppers, zucchini, or squash), save as a base for another meal, or as quick protein pack snack!