I LOVE this meal in the fall! Not only because eggplants, hot peppers (optional) and tomatoes are available locally at this time, but because it is SO simple, tasty, nutritious and it is a wonderful, warm dish to welcome cooler temperatures!

Spicy Eggplant Parmigiana with Quinoa (hold the hot peppers if desired)
Serves 5-6+
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
3 tbsp canola oil (split)
1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 2 cups leftover, cooked quinoa)
2 cups of water with salt
2 large eggplants 
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup spinach
2 large tomatoes, sliced thinly 
1 large handful of basil leaves (1/2 cup)
1 small handful of oregano leaves (3 tbsp) 
(You can use 2 tbsp Italian herb seasoning in replace of fresh herbs as well.)
1 small jalapeno pepper (optional)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup chevre* Use VEGAN cheeses as an option
2 cups of tomato sauce (I used Salvatore’s). You can also ROAST and STEW tomatoes with salt, pepper and Italian herbs for a homemade tomato sauce.
2 tsp salt

Directions: 
1. Cook quinoa on stove. Boil water, reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, slice eggplants thinly and pan-fry eggplant slices for about 2 minutes on each side (done in a few batches) and sprinkle each slice with salt.
3. Chop jalapeno and break apart cauliflower, spinach and basil/oregano leaves.
4. Once quinoa is finished, turn off heat.
5. Preheat oven to 400F.
6. Assemble parmigiana as follows:
Eggplant, sliced tomatoes, cauliflower, jalapenos, cheese, quinoa, tomato sauce, spinach, herbs, seasonings. Repeat and top with remaining cheese and sauce.
7. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into 4-6 servings.

Bon Appetit!
Eat Well, Halifax!

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