Z. and I planned terribly this week. Like really terribly. Monday night I went straight to class from work because I had my first physiology test. Z. worked late and then headed to D&D, so by the time I got home it was close to 9:15 and we had not made a crockpot meal for either of us.
Normally that would make me so grouchy that I would want to talk about it, but this recipe I made was so killer that it put me in a great mood. Even the leftovers were phenomenal.
It is for a spinach, eggplant, and quinoa dish topped with feta. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.juliasalbum.com/2014/10/spinach-eggplant-and-feta-quinoa/ . Thanks for the recipe, Julia!
Hers might be better, I don’t know. It certainly looks delicious. I just always riff recipes. Please note that while I consider myself a decent cook, I am certainly not professional and you should feel free to make changes as it makes sense to you. Below are the changes I made:
- ½ small eggplant, cut into cubes of varying size. Smallish cubes
- 1 small onion
- salt and pepper
- spray olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic or a tablespoon of the jarred stuff
- 5 ounces fresh spinach or 3 big handfuls
- 1/2 cups uncooked Aldi garlic quinoa
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray cooking sheet lightly with olive oil spray or your misto.
- Start cooking quinoa. You know what to do.
- Throw eggplant on the sheet; spray again lightly with olive oil. Salt and pepper. Roast for 15-25 minutes (keep an eye on it and look for the eggplant to soften. ) Midway through roasting, take out the sheet and flip over to keep it cooking evenly. I cooked mine for 15 minutes because I made fairly small cubes.
- While baking the eggplant, heat up a skilled, add some olive oil spray, and sauté onions and garlic until transparent and fragrant. If I use garlic I diced, I add them at the same time. If I am using jarred garlic, I wait a few minutes until the onion is almost transparent to add the garlic. When the onion is transparent, add spinach and a little bit of water (like 1/8th of a cup) to help the spinach wilt. Still occasionally until the water is gone or until the spinach looks done. If everything looks done (then it probably is done) and there is still some water in the skillet, just pour out the remainder.
- Once eggplant is done, pull it and let it sit until the spinach looks yummy and wilty. When the spinach is done, add eggplant to the skillet. Add your cooked quinoa. Mix everything well, take off heat, and season with more salt if needed.
I originally added the feta cheese, but the flavors were too much with the garlic quinoa. So, I took it off and was happy as a clam. I served this as a side to a baked chicken thigh, but this was a hearty enough dish that next time I will either make it as my main or toss some sautéed boneless, skinless chicken breast.