Quinoa Crusted Eggplant and Zucchini with Mozzarella

We celebrated my fabulous mother-in-law's birthday with this delicious, home cooked meal. We enjoyed this casserole of quinoa crusted zucchini and eggplant baked with mozzarella and ricotta, then finished with a Greek yogurt creme brulee. 

A few weeks ago, we prepared a birthday dinner for Scott's mom. Since I know she's trying to make healthy changes to her diet, we prepared a vegetarian feast packed with summer produce from the farmer's market. For a main dish, I prepared quinoa baked eggplant and zucchini with mozzarella. Along with it, I served a simple salad garnished with sweet and spicy candied walnuts. Dessert was my favorite! Who knew Greek yogurt could make such a creamy and decadent stand in for creme brulee? 

Quinoa Crusted Eggplant and Zucchini with Mozzarella

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup whole grain panko (or gluten free whole grain breadcrumbs)
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic,minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups your favorite tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, panko and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. In another medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs.
  3. Working in a line, dip the eggplant and zucchini slices in the eggs, then in the quinoa mixture. Press to adhere, then place vegetables on an oiled baking sheet. If it's not sticking, feel free to sprinkle to quinoa mixture over the vegetables.
  4. When all the vegetables are coated, spray with olive oil, season with black pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp and lightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, mix 1 egg, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, ricotta, basil, and garlic in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix red pepper flakes with tomato sauce.
  6. In a 9X13 inch baking dish, spread about 2 cups of sauce on the bottom. Place a layer of a third of the vegetables over the sauce and spread the vegetables with half the ricotta mixture. Top with another cup of sauce, then layer with another third of the vegetables. Top with the other half of ricotta and half the mozzarella cheese and another cup of sauce. Top with the remaining vegetables, 2 cups of sauce and mozzarella. Cover with foil or a lid and bake 30-35 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until bubbling and cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Roasted Blueberry Greek Yogurt Creme Brulee

Makes 4

Adapted from Hungry Girl Por Vida

Ingredients

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt, preferably full fat
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 teaspoons turbinado sugar (or regular white sugar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss blueberries with coconut oil and spread evenly on a baking dish. Roast 10-15 minutes until bluberries are starting to burst. Check them after 10 minutes - I let mine go a little too long and some were gummy and burnt. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl (or the yogurt container), mix together yogurt, honey and vanilla extract.
  3. Divide blueberries between four ramekins. Top each with 1/2 cup yogurt and shake side to side to even out the top. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. With a kitchen blow torch, heat the sugar until bubbling and dark golden brown, being careful not to burn it. The ones pictured here aren't quite dark enough - I thought I burnt it but I really just melted it at this point, so I had to go back again before serving with the blow torch.