The most delicious eggplant recipe you need to know
Love eggplant? I do! It is so healthy and a very versatile vegetable. Did you know eggplant is known to support a healthy heart, the central nervous system and is a powerful antioxidant? Eggplant contains fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium, which are all key nutrients to support a healthy heart. Eggplant is a very good source of vitamin B1, which is used by the nervous system to relay messages between the nerves and the muscles. (Source: World's Healthiest Foods) So eggplant is not only tasty, it is a very healthy vegetable to have in your diet. Plus, it only has 28 calories in a one cup serving making it great to help maintain or lose weight.
I grow eggplant in the garden in the summertime and it has been growing like crazy! I was inspired to make this crust-less eggplant pie because I was thinking of vegetarian lasagna. While I like vegetarian lasagna, sometimes I don't want the heaviness of pasta and cheese. Especially, because I try to eat vegetables exclusively for lunch. I find if I eat a lot of carbs at lunch, I am sluggish in the afternoon.
I started thinking about how lasagna is layered and how perfect eggplant would be to substitute for the pasta. I also didn't want to add a lot of cheese so instead of using ricotta, I sprinkled it with feta. The feta is a nice salty addition and it doesn't melt. Since I didn't use pasta, this recipe is gluten-free.
The eggplant and zucchini are roasted, which is a really easy process. Slice the veggies, drizzle with olive oil and cook at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping half-way through. I love how roasting brings out the flavors of veggies.
In this recipe, I use plain canned tomatoes because I usually have a head of garlic in the house. When I roast veggies, I take a few cloves, wrap them in aluminum foil and drizzle some olive oil into the foil. Then I place the packet on the same pan as the veggies. Nothing smells or tastes as good as roasted garlic. However, if you are crunched for time, use garlic roasted diced tomatoes. There is no shame in it!
Once the veggies are roasted and the tomatoes are ready, the pie is put together just like lasagna, simply layer the veggies. Eggplant first, zucchini, sprinkle with feta cheese, top with tomato mixture, repeat until done! 30 minutes in the oven and you are ready to eat.
The recipe serves two. However, if you are making this for a crowd, you can double or triple the recipe. It makes a great meat-less Monday dish that can be served with a salad and a crusty bread. If you have a strict meat-eater in the house, the dish pairs nicely with boneless chicken breast that is simply sauteed in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper.
If you make my eggplant pie, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes! If you would like healthy living tips and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin.
1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen, chopped spinach
3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
3 cloves roasted garlic
1) Slice the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise. I leave the skins on but feel free to peel the vegetables if you desire. Place the eggplant and zucchini slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil.
2) If roasting the garlic cloves, put 3 in aluminum foil, wrap the cloves leaving a small opening at the top. Drizzle in olive oil. Close the aluminum foil and place on one of the sheet pans containing veggies.
3) Put the veggies in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Halfway through, flip the veggies.
4) Meanwhile, open the tomatoes, put them in a saucepan along with the frozen spinach, start to heat. When the garlic cloves are done roasting, squeeze the garlic into the tomato sauce.
5) When the eggplant and zucchini are cooked, take them out of the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees.
6) In a casserole dish, put a layer of eggplant, top with a layer of zucchini, add the feta cheese, spoon the tomato-spinach mixture on top. Continue the process until all ingredients are gone!
7) Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Take out and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!