Quinoa Stuffed Baked Eggplants – Healthy and Gluten Free

I am so glad to have stuffed eggplants with quinoa, it was delicious…

This was the first time I am cooking with quinoa and I loved how fluffy and nutty it was. Good thing is it’s gluten free so even my hubby could have it. During my last visit to bulk barn I had bought quinoa and I had been thinking of making something out of it for so long. My wait ended when I saw eggplants in my refrigerator, I had a feeling that it would be good to stuff the eggplants with cooked quinoa and then bake it. I didn’t want to postpone for any longer this time and so made it right away. I first cooked quinoa along with some veggies which took about 20 minutes, then stuffed the baked eggplant with it, sprinkled with cheese and again baked it for 20 minutes. The eggplant was perfectly baked and the quinoa along with cheese tasted incredible. A very healthy meal which can be made very easily.

What is Quinoa:

  • Quinoa is not a grain but the seeds of a leafy plant.

Health benefits of Quinoa:

  • Quinoa is one of the best sources of protein. It is packed with almost all kinds of nutrients.
  • Quinoa is gluten free so gluten intolerant people can include this in their diet.

Quinoa Stuffed Baked Eggplants

Ingredients:

  • Eggplants, cut vertically into halves- 1 or 2
  • Parmesan cheese, grated- to sprinkle while baking

For cooking Quinoa:

  • Quinoa- 1 cup
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Whole cardamom- 2
  • Whole cloves- 1
  • Whole cinnamon- 2 inch slice
  • Bay leaves- 1
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Ginger, chopped- 2 tsp
  • Garlic, chopped- 2 tsp
  • Onion, chopped small- 1 large
  • Zucchini, chopped small- 3
  • Eggplant flesh scooped out and chopped small
  • Chili powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
  • Water- 2 cups
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handful
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste

Instruction

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Cut 2 eggplants vertically into 2 halves and create room in them by scooping out the eggplant from it.
  • Make sure there is some flesh at the bottom and at the sides.
  • Chop the scooped out eggplant into small and keep it aside  as we will be using this while cooking quinoa.
  • Spray it with non-stick cooking spray, place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.

How to cook quinoa:

  • Rinse quinoa taken in a sieve under running water, this will help to remove the natural bitterness of quinoa’s outer coating.
  • Place a large pan over medium heat, add oil.
  • Add whole cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds to it, saute for a second.
  • Add chopped ginger and garlic, saute till aromatic and not let it brown.
  • Add chopped onions, chopped eggplant, chopped zucchini along with salt.
  • Cover the pan with its lid and cook for 2 minutes, don’t have to cook till tender.
  • Now, add chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala to it.
  • Combine well and saute for a minute.
  • Add water and let it come to a boil.
  • Add the quinoa, combine well and cook it covered.
  • It would take about 20 minutes for the quinoa to turn tender.
  • After 15-20 minutes, check whether it has cooked well.
  • Uncover and cook till the water has dried out.
  • Have a taste and add salt if needed.
  • Sprinkle chopped cilantro and lemon juice over it, give it a stir and remove from the heat.
  • Discard the bay leaves from the cooked quinoa.
Baking stuffed eggplants:
  • Stuff the baked eggplants with quinoa, sprinkle parmesan cheese generously.
  • Bake it for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve it in a plate while its warm.
Tips:
  • You could use any kind of veggies and seasonings while cooking quinoa.
  • Make sure to soak quinoa in water for 5 minutes as this would remove any bitter taste from it.
  • Make sure to bake the eggplant before stuffing, otherwise eggplants would be undercooked.

 

Quinoa Stuffed Baked Eggplants - Healthy and Gluten Free
 
Ingredients
  • Eggplants, cut vertically into halves- 1 or 2
  • Parmesan cheese, grated- to sprinkle while baking
For cooking Quinoa
  • Quinoa- 1 cup
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Whole cardamom- 2
  • Whole cloves- 1
  • Whole cinnamon- 2 inch slice
  • Bay leaves- 1
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Ginger, chopped- 2 tsp
  • Garlic, chopped- 2 tsp
  • Onion, chopped small- 1 large
  • Zucchini, chopped small- 3
  • Eggplant flesh scooped out and chopped small
  • Chili powder- 1½ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1½ tsp
  • Cumin powder- ½ tsp
  • Garam masala- ½ tsp
  • Water- 2 cups
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handful
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut 2 eggplants vertically into 2 halves and create room in them by scooping out the eggplant from it.
  3. Make sure there is some flesh at the bottom and at the sides.
  4. Chop the scooped out eggplant into small and keep it aside as we will be using this while cooking quinoa.
  5. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray, place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
How to cook quinoa
  1. Rinse quinoa taken in a sieve under running water, this will help to remove the natural bitterness of quinoa's outer coating.
  2. Place a large pan over medium heat, add oil.
  3. Add whole cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds to it, saute for a second.
  4. Add chopped ginger and garlic, saute till aromatic and not let it brown.
  5. Add chopped onions, chopped eggplant, chopped zucchini along with salt.
  6. Cover the pan with its lid and cook for 2 minutes, don't have to cook till tender.
  7. Now, add chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala to it.
  8. Combine well and saute for a minute.
  9. Add water and let it come to a boil.
  10. Add the quinoa, combine well and cook it covered.
  11. It would take about 20 minutes for the quinoa to turn tender.
  12. After 15-20 minutes, check whether it has cooked well.
  13. Uncover and cook till the water has dried out.
  14. Have a taste and add salt if needed.
  15. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and lemon juice over it, give it a stir and remove from the heat.
  16. Discard the bay leaves from the cooked quinoa.
Baking stuffed eggplants
  1. Stuff the baked eggplants with quinoa, sprinkle parmesan cheese generously.
  2. Bake it for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and serve it in a plate while its warm.
Notes
•You could use any kind of veggies and seasonings while cooking quinoa.
•Make sure to soak quinoa in water for 5 minutes as this would remove any bitter taste from it.
•Make sure to bake the eggplant before stuffing, otherwise eggplants would be undercooked.

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