Thursday, November 11, 2010

Easy Eggplant Marinara Bake

I have made a delicious zucchini bake worth remembering a few times from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen blog, where she creates a casserole using almond flour and nutritional yeast in between layers of zucchini. The combination gives a ricotta like texture and cheesy flavor in between layers of zucchini or summer squash. Not only is it a great recipe for those who can't eat cheese, but it's a much less guilty casserole even for those who can.....without compromising flavor! I have served this to unsuspecting guests receiving rave reviews!

One evening, with a giant eggplant in hand and dinner on the mind, I decided to create a similar dish using the same method with my eggplant and a jar of marinara sauce. To save time I omitted the typical 'salting of the eggplant' method used to extract excess water and bitterness, and it seemed to work just fine. The end result was a delicious eggplant bake that blew my mind, and got an A+ on the hubby factor rating system!

Eggplant Marinara Bake

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2" discs
2-3 shallots or small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/3 C Almond Flour
1/4 C Nutritional Yeast (can usually be found in the bulk section)
1 T dried oregano
1 T Italian seasoning/ Chef's Shake
Salt & pepper
2 C marinara sauce
I used 'Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro, Homemade Style Marinara' sauce made with red wine which is one of my favorites.

Step-by-step photo instructions:
1. Layer the bottom of casserole dish with marinara sauce and then a layer of eggplant
2. Sprinkle eggplant with almond meal, nutritional yeast, herb blend, salt & pepper, some sauce and shallots, then repeat with another layer of the above until all ingredients are used up
3. Top with marinara, a drizzle of olive oil, nutritional yeast and herbs
4. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour
(eggplant should be starting to brown and have settled into dish)

Allow to cool slightly before serving......and enjoy!

Nutritional Nugget: Yeast, believe it or not, is a valuable nutritional supplement as it contains high levels of protein and vitamins. Nutritional yeast is a non-active form of yeast that you can use in a number of ways in the kitchen and it adds a delicious nutty, cheesy flavor. Add it to salads, casseroles, soups, popcorn, crackers and dips to experience all of its great health benefits.

It contains 18 amino acids, making it a complete protein, as well as 15 different minerals. For those on a low cholesterol diet, vegetarians or those looking to boost protein levels, nutritional yeast makes a great addition or substitution to meats, dairy and other high fat proteins.

1 comment:

tempppo said...

I made this when my husband discovered he's lactose intolerant. With marinara made fresh from our own garden tomatoes, I was super excited at how great this dish was!