Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quinoa Bake

I love quinoa and have been cooking more and more with it over the last year or so.  It's gluten free so it's a great alternative to barley or farro (both of which I also love).

This quinoa bake is delicious and feels like comfort food even though it is really healthy and very few calories.  I use the website Spark People to log calories and they have a function where you can add up all of the elements of a recipe and get the overall calorie content (along with protein, carbs etc.)  This recipe makes about 8 servings, each of which is only about 270 calories.  The recipe is gluten free but not vegan.

1 medium onion diced or 2 leeks
1 red bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
5 shiitake mushrooms diced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups spinach
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups quinoa rinsed
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 eggs
3/4 cup shredded swiss cheese
salt and pepper
parmesan for sprinkling on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 9x13 baking dish.

Rinse the spinach and sautee in a pan with just the rinsing liquid until spinach is wilted.  Chop and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and add the onion, bell peppers and mushrooms over med/med-high heat.  Cook until softened.  Season as you go with salt and pepper.  How much may depend on what type of stock you're using.  I used my homemade stock which I don't add too much sodium to, so I definitely added salt.  If you're using a packaged stock check the label. 

Add the quinoa and garlic and cook until quinoa starts to become opaque (about 4 minutes).

Add the stock (you can also use water) and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, whisk 2 eggs together in a large bowl and add the cheese and spinach.

Once the liquid is absorbed from the quinoa and vegetable mixture remove it from the heat and continue to stir it to let it cool.  I also let it sit for awhile.  It needs to cool before adding it to the eggs or your eggs will scramble!

Once the quinoa seems pretty cool (definitely not steaming anymore) add a small bit to the egg, cheese and spinach mixture and mix well.  Continue folding in all of the quinoa mixture.

Pour the mixture into your greased baking dish, sprinkle with cheese if desired and bake for 35 minutes.

Most versions of this recipe I saw call for adding a cup of milk to the eggs.  We don't drink milk in my household so I just omitted it.  Adding milk will definitely make it a little creamier if you have it.  Even without the milk it was a perfect Saturday lunch.  I often eat it as a main course but it is a great side dish as well.


Rosemarie said...

I love quinoa and it's so easy!

Colleen said...

I finally got around to making this. It is excellent!!!! My hubbie and I both think this is the best quinoa recipe we have ever had. Thanks!