I love Italian food and I’m a sucker for anything eggplant. The other day, my Swiss cousin said she making millefiore. I asked, “What’s that?” She explained it to me and my mouth just watered. We happened to be texting at midnight (which was about the time she was waking up) so I went to bed hungry. The next day, I ran to the grocery store and bought my ingredients for this tasty dish. I wish I could have eaten this for breakfast, but I waited till dinner before serving. And leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day!
She doesn’t put the ricotta-spinach layer so I couldn’t really call this millefiore. Instead, the best thing to call this dish is Roasted Eggplant Lasagna. No pasta, no flours, no sugar. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian, and cheesy good! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
2 large eggplant, sliced thinly (about 1/4″)
1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach (or use fresh spinach, chop first)
2 tbsp. olive oil
chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
salt / pepper
1 lb of ricotta cheese
1/2 c of grated parmesan and/or romano cheese
1/2 grated mozzarella cheese
2 c spaghetti sauce (I used half a jar of Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce.)
Preheat oven at 350*.
Slice eggplant. and lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Salt eggplant and roast in oven till they turn brown. (About 15-20 min.) Set aside.
While you are roasting your eggplant, you can sauté spinach with olive oil, garlic, chopped basil, salt and pepper. Let it cool. Then mix the spinach in with ricotta cheese, parmesan/ricota cheese and egg(s).
Grease the bottom of an 8×8 square.
Layer like a lasagna (eggplant, sauce, mozzarella, eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella, etc.
Top with more tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake covered in foil for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and cook for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
A few months ago, I went to an upscale deli and had this beautiful quinoa salad that was so delicious and flavorful. I didn’t know how to reciprocate it since I didn’t know all the ingredients used. But I decided to get creative and try to achieve something close. I call it Cheesy Quinoa Salad because, well, there’s cheese in it. Maybe I should have come up with a different name but, hey, my kids will eat anything that starts with “cheesy.”
This makes for a great gluten-free, vegetarian side dish with dinner or you can eat it by itself for lunch. Filling and tasty!
1 cup quinoa
1/2 to 1 cup of grilled asparagus, zucchini, steamed spinach (or whatever cooked veggies you may have)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Not the dry pre-grated that comes in a can but the one that comes fresh in a resealable bag or plastic tub. But you can really use any kind of cheese you prefer: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, etc.)
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper to taste
Cook your quinoa following the directions on the package. I cooked mine in my rice cooker using 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.
While that is cooking, grill or steam your vegetables, then rough chop them in to big bite size pieces. I like to see and bite into my veggies.
After the quinoa is cooked, mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from the lemon, and salt & pepper. (You can add red pepper flakes if you want more heat!)
Let the quinoa cool for about an hour, then add the Parmesan cheese.
Add the tomatoes and stir.
Add more olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper depending on your taste.
This hits the spot when you’re craving lasagna! Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash uses an alternate for pasta. And the best part is your kitchen smells so delicious – like you’re baking a tray of your favorite Italian dish. Gluten-free and lower in carbs. So good!