Light Italian Eggplant, Lentil and Quinoa Meal

It’s summertime, but we’ve been graced with some colder, autumn-ish days this past month. In case that happens again in August, practice perfecting this lighter, Italian dish featuring eggplant and lentils. You’ll have it on lock by wintertime. 

Serve as-is or with a side of charred veggies or a bowl of leafy green salad. The recipe below feeds two, but if you serve it on a piece of toast or on a bed of extra quinoa, it could feed four. 

Light Italian Eggplant Lentil Dish

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (any variety)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no salt 
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Olive oil for cooking 
  • Fresh basil, fresh oregano, and parmesan for serving 

Directions

  1. Start by cooking you lentils and quinoa. I’ve had success cooking them in the same pot to save time and dishes. Rinse and dry each ingredient, then heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the quinoa and lentils to get a light toast (about 2 minutes, stirring frequently). Carefully add 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. 

  2. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft. 

  3. While the quinoa and lentils are cooking, prepare the eggplant. Start by slicing the eggplant into circles, then quarter each circles. Next, toss the eggplant in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  4. Heat another 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Tip: Use a pan that can also accommodate the quinoa and lentils. Cook the eggplant for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden.
  5. Once the quinoa and lentils are done, add them to the eggplant and toss. Next, add the tomatoes, dried basil, and dried oregano. Heat until warm.
  6. Taste and decide if it needs more salt and pepper — odds are, you’ll want it! Serve as is, over greens, or with extra quinoa. Top with fresh basil, oregano, and a touch of fresh parmesan.

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