I was originally planning to save this recipe for the next Meatless Monday, but I was having it as part of my lunch yesterday when I realized that I should just go ahead and pull the trigger. So 2 recipes today, both easy, foolproof, and great for lunch (ie highly portable, and tasty even if cold)! Both are also Gluten Free and lactose/dairy free (if cheese is omitted, or you use lactose free cottage cheese). Oh, and did I mention PROTEIN PACKED???
First up? Alex’s lunches for this week! I made these Sunday after Mo left me. Making these + runger meant that I had to go back to the store that afternoon, haha.
I cheater-asana’d (yoga reference, but I think it’s hilarious) and used TJ’s Corn Salsa (it has some nice sweetness to it, if you haven’t used it before), but I didn’t want to list it as part of the recipe because I wasn’t 100% certain of its gluten content (and I was too lazy to look it up). Another great addition to all of this would be black beans (gluten free), rinsed and then seasoned. This was part of the original plan, but I had Cuban, and not plain, black beans, an they carry more moisture (because they are stewed, to an extent). Annnnyhooooo. Garlic powder and cilantro added to the quinoa!
Another quickie recipe? 5-minute Ratatouille. See my instagram for it! PS, are you following the_suzlyfe on IG? BECAUSE YOU SHOULD. I forgot one little part of it–finish with balsamic!
And now for what I fixed on Monday, and a recipe that I have been planning on recreating for the longest time (I have been talking about it ad nauseum, it feels!). And see? I really did have it as the main part of my lunch yesterday!
Here you go! I often add chicken sausage to this as well, but I wanted it to be vegetarian for this iteration.
Protein Packed Eggplant Lasagna Trifle (Gluten Free)
- 1 eggplant, cut into ½ in thick slices (either into circles or in strips)
- Spinach (fresh or frozen (thawed))
- Cottage Cheese (desired amount, but for a large eggplant, at least 1 ½ cups)*
- Vegetables: mushrooms, zucchini, tomato, garlic, onion
- Sundried Tomato
- Pomodoro sauce (same amount as cottage cheese)
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- Basil, Thyme, Oregano, red pepper flake, Marjoram, garlic powder,
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: grated mozzarella and or parmesan for the top; prepared TVP (add to the quinoa filling!
- Cube veggies and pan saute (make sure to season!), add spinach at the end and lightly wilt
- Combine cottage cheese, sundried tomatoes, and herbs as desired.
- In a square casserole dish: Layer of pomodoro sauce, layer of eggplant slices, cottage cheese mixture, spinach and veggie mixture, quinoa, eggplant, pomodoro etc.
- If desired, sprinkle cheese over top
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, remove foil for another 5 minutes.
- *Note: Higher fat cottage cheese has less moisture. If you are using lower fat CC, it might be a good idea to press some of the moisture out before making the trifle (try using a sieve/strainer).
- Between the eggplant, spinach, cottage cheese, and sauce, this recipe has the potential to be rather watery. To combat this, make sure that your eggplant is as dry as possible (they are basically sponges, see note about roasting step) and opt for a chunkier tomato sauce. See note above about cottage cheese. Fresh spinach will give off water as well, thus why it is necessary to wilt it with the veggies. Use paper towels to absorb excess moisture in the corners of your pan after cooking.
Do you cook with cottage cheese? For a great fall cottage cheese and pumpkin recipe, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Cranberry Enchiladas!
What are you packing for lunch this week?