Mmm sometimes I'm just craving some ooey gooey Italian food, and this experiment really hit the spot. The quinoa, eggplant and cheese really hold it together so it's more like a lasagna consistency.
The BF refuses to eat eggplant and thinks quinoa is "too weird" so told him this was lasagna and he ate 3 helpings. That was easy.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked ($1.00)
- 1/2-lb ground turkey ($1.50)*
- 1/3 cup natural chicken broth ($.50)
- 1 medium white onion, diced ($.80)
- 1 large eggplant, cubed ($1.00)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (if you're not as garlic-crazy as us use 2)
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 14-oz can natural, no sugar added tomato sauce ($1.00)
- 1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes ($1.00)
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese ($2.00)
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese ($1.00)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil/coconut oil/your oil of choice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the eggplant into cubes and put the cubes into a bowl of ice water. Let the cubes set in the ice water for about 20 minutes- I read somewhere that this pulls the bitterness out of the eggplant, and since I had to trick the BF into eating it I figured the less eggplant taste the better.
While the eggplant is setting, pour the broth into a small frying pan. Add the turkey meat and cook until the turkey is brown and the broth is absorbed.
In a medium frying pan, combine a tablespoon of coconut/olive oil with onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute together for about 2 minutes. Add the eggplant cubes and saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently (do NOT let that eggplant get stuck to the pan- that is the WORST).
Add the crushed tomatoes, sauce, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings and half the basil. Mix well, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 25 mins.
After 25 mins, remove it from the heat and combine with the quinoa, red pepper, turkey, and half the parmesan cheese. Mix well and add it to a greased 9x9 baking dish (I only have my 9x13 so I built a barrier with aluminum foil). Top with remaining parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and basil.
Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
Cut up and enjoy!