This vegetable pasta bake has quickly become a go-to dinner of ours. It’s a great throw together meal as you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. If you’re following a strictly vegan or dairy-free diet, you can omit cheese or replace with a dairy-free cheese alternative.
We use a gluten free pasta made from rice and amaranth however you can use pasta of choice. We recommend garnishing with broccoli sprouts, chopped parsley and/or toasted pine nuts.
Want to know the health benefits of Eggplant?
Eggplant (Aubergine) is a member of the solanaceae, or nightshade family, along with tomatoes, capsicum and potato. This family has become very controversial as some people are sensitive to foods from this family. As we have discussed, people can be sensitive, or even allergic to any food. The focus on avoiding these foods advocated in some diets dismisses the many nutritional benefits. Some of the key nutritional benefits include:
- Good source of a variety of nutrients, including vitamins including A, B1 (thiamine), B6, B9 (folate) C and K; as well as minerals, including manganese, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- Protection against Cancer and heart disease. This is due to high quantity of anti-oxidant phytonutrients, such as chlorogenic acid.
- High in dietary fibre, whilst low in calories
- Brain and Heart health: The purple skin of eggplant contains an antioxidant flavonoid compound called nasunin. Studies have shown this particular anti-oxidant to protect brain cell membranes, the critical structure surrounding the brain cells that facilitates transport of essential nutrients into cells and removal of waste out of cells, as well as allowing proper message conduction. This same compound has also been shown to have a positive influence on blood vessels, thereby benefiting cardio-vascular health.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
2 cups cooked pasta
80 grams goats cheese
200 grams baby spinach, steamed
80 grams cheddar cheese
100 grams rocket leaves
Broccoli sprouts and/or toasted pine nuts (optional)
Gently heat olive oil in heavy based pan. Sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes.
- Add eggplant, zucchini and capsicum. Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for 35 – 40 minutes.
- Whilst cooking, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Stir though cooked pasta, goats cheese and steamed spinach.
- Place in greased baking dish. Top with cheddar cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with broccoli sprouts and/or pine nuts (optional).