This Eggplant Polenta Quinoa Bake is a great way to switch up your quinoa lunches. The polenta adds a great texture and flavor. It takes a little bit longer since you need to first cook the eggplant, then layer and bake. It is definitely worth it!
Start by soaking your cubed eggplant in cold water with salt for 20 minutes.
While you are soaking the eggplant, cook the quinoa according to the package directions and start cooking the polenta. I used half water and half vegetable broth for my polenta. In a large saucepan bring 3 cups of water and vegetable broth to a boil (Note: You can use all water or all vegetable broth if you prefer). Add two tsps of salt and polenta. Use a whisk to be sure there are no clumps. Stir frequently to prevent polenta from caking on the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes until thickened.
Once polenta is cooked, mix in thawed kale. Leave over medium heat and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes until heated throughout.
Next, saute onions until slightly translucent and softened. Then add in eggplant, cooking for 7 minutes before adding in zucchini. Cook zucchini for 2 more minutes and add crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme, and sage. Stir in 1/2 cup of water and mix together will. Cook for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Once the eggplant mixture is cooked, you are ready to layer your dish. I chose to do this is 8 2-cup glass containers. You could also use a large baking dish and just put it in one container. I like to do mine separately so that it is all ready for me to bring as a lunch. First spray well with coconut oil and divide the eggplant mixture between the dishes.
Next layer in the quinoa, then the polenta and kale mixture.
Top with a bit of shredded mozzarella.
Line up the containers on a baking sheet to easily put them in and out of the oven.
Top with a bit of fresh sage and eat hot. Lasts up to 5 days in the fridge and reheats very well!
Eggplant Polenta Quinoa Bake
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
- ¾ cup red quinoa, uncooked
- 1 ½ cups polenta
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 8 oz frozen chopped kale
- 1 large eggplant, cubed
- 1 large zucchini, cubed
- 1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes with garlic
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp sage
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- After cubing the eggplant, fill a large bowl with cold water and a teaspoon of salt. Add eggplant and let soak for about 20 minutes. This helps to remove any bitterness from the eggplant.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- In a large saucepan bring 3 cups of water and vegetable broth to a boil (Note: You can use all water or all vegetable broth if you prefer). Add two tsps of salt and polenta. Use a whisk to be sure there are no clumps. Stir frequently to prevent polenta from caking on the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes until thickened. Mix in chopped kale and stir well. Keep over heat until warmed throughout.
- While the polenta is cooking, saute onions until softened. Next, add eggplant and cook for about 7 minutes, then add zucchini. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme and sage. Add ½ cup of water, mix together well and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Using 8 2-cup glass ramekins, spray with coconut oil, layer dish with eggplant mixture. quinoa, and polenta kale. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf.