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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spinach & Eggplant Cake Stacks

Spinach & Eggplant Cake Stacks are a unique and delicious way to serve eggplant, that was inspired by I only made a few changes to her brilliant recipe of fluffy and savory eggplant cakes, layered with baby spinach, and fresh marinara sauce to create a scrumptious eggplant stack. This dish has many of the same flavors at the Eggplant Parmesan Stacks* I made a few weeks ago, but with a fun, new twist on the classic Italian ingredients.

Spinach & Eggplant Cake Stacks
Gluten Free

1 medium-large eggplant
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup gluten free marinara sauce (such as Classico Tomato & Basil)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup gluten free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2  teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon liquid egg substitute
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons water 
Salt & Pepper
Optional--Fresh Basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil spray. Cut the stem off the eggplant  then cut in half lengthwise. Drizzle the flesh side of the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

2.  Place the eggplant halves, flesh side down,  on prepared baking sheet. Roast eggplant until soft and completely tender when pricked with a fork, 24-26 minutes. Remove eggplant from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.

3.While the eggplant is cooling, place marinara sauce in a small saucepan, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium- low, and let simmer, until you're ready to build the stacks. Stir occasionally.

4. Once slightly cool, use a large spoon to scoop the pulp from the eggplant halves into the base of a food processor. Pulse eggplant until fairly smooth.

 5. Add  garlic, flour, basil, oregano, egg, baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to food proceesor. Puree mixture until relatively smooth. 

6. Spray a large nonstick pan with nonstick spray and heat to medium high. 

7. Fill a (1/4) measuring cup about 3/4 of the way full with eggplant batter and pour into skillet. Repeat with remaining batter (you should end up with about 6 cakes). Cook for 3-4 minutes or until cakes seem firm, and are golden on the bottom.

8. Carefully flip cakes and continue to cook until golden on both sides, 2-3 minutes more

9. While the cakes are cooking, place spinach in a large microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover bowl, and microwave just until spinach is wilted, about 30-45 seconds. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.

10. To assemble cakes, place one eggplant cake on a serving plate. Top with a spoonful of spinach and a second cake. Add another spoonful of spinach followed by a third cake. Pour about 1/2 of the marinara sauce on top of stack, and garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Repeat with remaining ingredients on a second plate  to create the second serving-- eggplant cake, spinach, 2nd cake, spinach, 3rd cake, marinara, and fresh basil.

* For a more traditional eggplant dish, try the Eggplant Parmesan Stacks--

Nutrition Information--approximately 245 calories per serving (1/2 of the recipe)

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