After a long day I was feeling pretty lazy and didn’t want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I decided that I was going to cook up some quinoa penne, marinara and top it with eggplant. I have been dying to use eggplant as a healthy alternative and I think this here is about as healthy as comfort food gets!
The idea is easy! Grab some penne, I used quinoa penne as a substitute for noodles, boil it and strain as directed. Dice and sauté some mushrooms, onion and garlic and add them to whatever store bought marinara you like (or make your own if you want). Combined the diced veggies into the marinara and keep warm. Then prep the eggplant by slicing it into thin slices (about 1/8 inch), and start warming a pan full of cooking oil. I used vegetable oil but coconut oil and olive oil work well too. Take two bowls and fill one with bread crumbs and the other with eggs. Add salt and pepper to the eggs and whisk them so the whites and the yokes blend together. Dip both sides of your slices into the eggs and then move to the second bowl and coat with bread crumbs. Next, lay carefully into the hot oil using a fork or tongs. I prefer using a fork because tongs can sometimes pull the breading off once it’s cooked. Wait a few minutes until bottom of the eggplant has browned and then flip to cook other side. You may need to add more oil as you go to keep the bottom of the pan good and coated. Put as many eggplant slices into your pan as can fit- just be sure they are not touching or overlapping! After everything has been cooked then layer your dish: penne, sauce and eggplant on top! Honestly, this eggplant is so good you can eat it by itself! The time took about 35 minutes and I used these ingredients:
1 box quinoa penne pasta*
1 jar of marinara sauce
1/2 cup of diced mushrooms (optional)
1/4 diced onion (optional)
2 cloves diced garlic (optional)
1 sliced eggplant
1 cup of bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with minced basil, cracked pepper or parmesan cheese (all optional)
*Feel free to try any type of penne out there- make it your own!
**If you are vegan you can use a cup of unsweet almond milk whisked with a tbsp of corn starch to replace the egg in this recipe or any egg substitute you prefer.