Hello Meatless Monday friends! Sarah and I are happy to have you join us for the link up today. I’ve literally been cooking up a storm this weekend during the blizzard and will have lots of veggie goodness to share with you the next few weeks. Today I am showing you my lighter, healthier version of a traditional Eggplant Parm. This Polenta Eggplant dish is layered with Polenta, Eggplant and spinach in individual stacks. You have the taste and comfort of traditional eggplant parm without the breaded, fried eggplant. These stacks are also portion controlled but I guarantee you will have a hard time not eating them!
This Polenta Eggplant dish is naturally gluten free as Polenta is made from corn meal. The polenta is baked first to give it a crispy taste and makes a great layer with the eggplant to bring a heartier taste. Instead of breading the eggplant, I’ve created a gluten free panko topping combining spices and gf bread crumbs that gets sprinkled on top. That way, you have the texture and flavor of a breading without the actual breading.
Polenta is great to cook with as it is inexpensive, low in carbohydrates and high in vitamins A & C (source) It is easy to find pre made polenta (organic and non organic) on a regular grocery store shelf. All you have to do is slice it up no precooking necessary.
I’ve thrown a layer of spinach in there as well to give a little color and up the vitamins as well.
- 1 roll of polenta cut into 1/2 inch circles
- 1 large eggplant-skin on, cut into 1/2 inch circles
- 1 large tomato cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 3 cups of spinach
- 2 cups of tomato sauce
- 8 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese
- for topping:
- 1/2 c gf panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp oregano, basil, parsley and red pepper
- Place eggplant and polenta on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray
- sprinkle with small amount of salt
- Bake at 375 for 20 min, turning midway and re spray
- Remove from oven
- Meanwhile, saute spinach and set aside
- In a casserole dish:
- create a layer of tomato sauce
- add eggplant circles, top with spinach, then with tomato slices followed by polenta
- top with a few spoons of sauce & sprinkle with cheese
- To make the topping:
- heat a skillet with a Tbl of olive oil
- add in panko crumbs and spices and cook until browned on med low heat
- less than 5 min stirring continuously
- Sprinkle on top of each stack
- Bake stacks for 20 until cheese is warm and bubbly & serve
This Polenta & Eggplant stacks have been one of my favorite go to winter meals for years. I hope that you enjoy it as well. It’s really very easy to whip up for a weeknight meal and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.
Tell me do you cook with lots of Polenta? How do you like to make it?
We are looking forward to you joining us today!