I’m not an avid Pinterest pinner. I glance at it on occasion, and pin teaching ideas more than anything else. Every now and then, I’ll admit that an awesome food picture crosses the screen, and I find myself thinking, “Ooh. That sounds interesting.” That’s sort of the case here. Sort of. I use it quite a bit for visual storage/indexing of our recipes. Somewhere on my Pinterest wall after I posted the recipe for Baba Ganouj, there was a link for vegan “cheese” made from Eggplant.
I thought to myself, “Well, shoot. I already have the ‘cheese’.” The lovely, delicious Baba Ganouj was sitting in the fridge. So I started thinking of all the things that the eggplant “hummus” is served with, aside from olive oil, which was already in the dip itself. Pita shells. Tomatoes. Onions. Lamb or chicken. Peppers. All of these ingredients could easily be transformed into a Baba Ganouj Faux Mac and Cheese, with the dip itself lending its creaminess to the entire thing.
Right away, I knew this dish would NOT be paleo. Sure, cauliflower could be used as the “pasta” as well as other veggies (such as zucchini). But frankly, I was hungry for some quinoa. If I’m going to eat any grains, I prefer the once-in-a-blue-moon indulgence of this ancient grain. It has some great health benefits, and some paleo aficionados decide it’s worth keeping in their diets, even though it’s a grain and a no-no by many paleolithic/caveman parameters. So quinoa pasta, made by Ancient Grains, is diet-breaker in this dish. Followed by shredded baked chicken breasts, oven-roasted tomatoes and onions (both diced). Even if you think I’m a very very bad paleo girl, go on and try it anyway. This is too delicious not to stuff your face with.
I had the Hubster try it. A good friend of ours, who strongly dislikes eggplant, tried it, too. She was shocked when she found out that the sauce was primarily eggplant! Apparently, it was quite tasty. The initial consensus was that it was a little dry, and could use some more chicken. Recipe tweaked, and tada! The second time around was much better.
- 3 cups Baba Ganouj
- 1 cup dry Quinoa Pasta
- 4 medium Tomatoes, Oven Roasted
- 2 medium Sweet Onions, Oven Roasted
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1 Diced cooked Chicken Breast (optional)
- Make our allergy-friendly Baba Ganouj according to instructions.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Cut each vegetable into quarters. Line on baking sheet. Lightly spray onions and tomatoes with olive oil. Broil in oven 2" away from heat (usually top rack setting) for about 10 minutes, or until the onions and tomatoes have a nice char on them. Remove from heat and chop. Place in a glass mixing bowl.
- Cook 1 cup of quinoa pasta according to manufacturer's instructions. Drain and place in the bowl with the onions and tomatoes.
- If you're adding chicken, dice up your cooked chicken breast, and add it to the bowl as well.
- Add 3 cups of Baba Canjou. Mix until everything is well coated. Dump it all into a casserole dish or into individual rammekins.
- Cook at 350° F for 40-50 minutes, or until the top of the faux mac and cheese is starting to brown.
- Let cool for two minutes and serve.
© Julie Marie Pierpont and Death Defying Diet 2013-Present