Mixed Quinoa Eggplant Rolls (Low Carb)

Catching up through online research, quinoa was a staple food of the ancient Incas to be translated with “the mother grain”. There are a lot of different types of quinoa but the most well-known are the white, black and red ones. For me, cooking with quinoa is a must, especially due to my part-time low carb lifestyle. But what are the differences in taste and cooking between those three types?

White Quinoa: Due to its fine taste, white quinoa is suitable not only for hearty dishes, but also for desserts and breakfast meals. Cooking time: 10- 15 minutes

Black Quinoa: Black quinoa is usually cooked al dente and has a hearty taste. Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

Red Quinoa: The red quinoa keeps its shape after cooking. It´s therefore ideal for cold salads.  Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

For the eggplant rolls, I used mixed quinoa (black, red and white) just to try something colourful. It turned out as a good decision because the white quinoa kicks in stickiness to the mixture, while the red and black quinoa makes it al dente. Certainly, the three colours blend together beautifully.

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The eggplant quinoa rolls are also fine as a cold appetizer, but this time, I prepared them as a warm main dish.

          INGREDIENTS for 4 servings

  • 2 big eggplants
  • 300 g cherry tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 80 g mixed quinoa
  • 80 g pistachios
  • A bunch fresh mint
  • A bunch fresh thyme
  • 200 g feta cheese
  • 4 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 400 g chopped canned tomatoes
  • 40 g parmesan cheese

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           INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the quinoa, a pinch of salt and water into a pot and bring it to boil (1 cup of quinoa = 2 cups of water). Reduce the heat to a simmer until the water is absorbed (approximately 10 to 15 minutes). Let the quinoa rest until it`s cooled.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C circulation air.
  3. Meanwhile, clean the eggplants and cut them into thin slices. Then, put them onto a baking tray and sprinkle with some olive oil and salt on both sides.
  4. Leave the eggplants in the preheated oven until they´re done (which can usually take about 5 minutes on both sides). When they´re finished, remove the eggplants and let them cool.quinoa-2
  5. Meanwhile, roast the sliced almonds for a few minutes.
  6. Cut the fresh mint and feta cheese into small pieces. Add them with the quinoa and pistachios into a bowl and mix them up.
  7. Take a pan and add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, pressed garlic, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, a pinch of salt and some fresh thyme and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Start preparing the eggplant rolls. Take one eggplant slice and fill it with the quinoa mixture. Fix it with a toothpick and finish the rest.
  9. Put the tomato sauce into a casserole dish and place the eggplant rolls on top of it. Then, sprinkle some parmesan cheese and olive oil on the rolls and leave them in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Serve the dish with some fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh thyme.

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Cheers with sunbeams.

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