I haven’t posted a legitimate recipe for a while, unless you count the buttermilk chocolate cupcakes. I just haven’t felt like cooking. I wanted to be a good wife and make dinner for my husband this past Saturday, so I took inspiration from a quinoa recipe I saw in a magazine.
I changed a few things, including substituting cheddar cheese for the fat-free feta & cream cheese combination the recipe originally called for, since I thought my husband didn’t care for feta. I also used the “one pot” approach to cook the quinoa, thinking it would make a creamier product.
As we’re on our third or fourth bite, I mentioned the changes I made – and he says, “Yes, it’s kinda dry – I bet the cream cheese and feta would have been better.”
I swear, he does love me. Even though I don’t know his cheese preferences.
Spinach and Cheddar Quinoa Bake [adapted from Shape]
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped (I used half green, half red)
- 2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring quinoa, almond milk, and water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, saute onion and bell peppers until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in spinach, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, and paprika, stirring well to mix. Cook an additional 3 minutes, until garlic becomes fragrant but not brown.
- Add vegetables and 3/4 cup of cheese to the quinoa mixture, mixing well. Spread into a sprayed baking dish.
- Top mixture with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray top lightly with cooking spray.
- Bake 25 – 30 minutes, until top is browned and casserole looks slightly puffy.
Slice into 12 squares.
Approximate nutrition (per 1/6 of the recipe, or 2 squares): 245 calories, 10 grams fat, 14 grams protein
I was amazed at the awesome vitamin and mineral content, too: Vitamin A 196%, Vitamin C 79%, Calcium 26%, Iron 24%. A great entrée for vegetarians, maybe a better side dish for meat-lovers.
Simple sides: fries for my potato loving husband & veggies for me (which I lovingly shared ).
We did quite a job on the casserole for not being HUGE fans of the results!
It was filling, healthy, and a very easy dish to make. Next time I think I’d try the feta approach, and possibly leave out the eggs and cook it just on the stove top. More quinoa experiments to come!