Crispy Quinoa Bake

I have nothing fun or exciting to report today. Unless you count my dream last night about making homemade gnocchi exciting? ... which I do.... I think it was probably because I read this blog post the other day. And really what fat kid at heart doesn't dream about food at night?! Just me?! Ok, cool. 

Think I might have to make it soon.  Although I am wondering if you can make it with sweet potatoes instead!?!

{insert quick google search....}

Nailed it.  Might be making this or this soon.  Maybe even play around and find ways to healthy them up a bit.

In other food news, because food is really what my life revolves around - last night, after spin class (side note: spin is quickly becoming my new favorite workout, more on that in a future post, though) Brad and I went to the grocery store to get the goods for this dinner:  Crispy Quinoa Bake

The Bake, Pre-Bake

{What you Need}

::1 cup quinoa, uncooked
::1 tablespoon + another 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
::2 cups chicken stock
::1 cup onion, diced
::1//2 green pepper, chopped
::2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
::1 cup zucchini, cubed
::1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
::1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
::1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained  *don't forget to drain!*
::1 cup frozen corn
::1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
::1 teaspoon oregano
::1 teaspoon chili powder
::1/2 lime, juiced
::Salt / Pepper
::2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

-Added celery and previously cooked chicken to my bake. 
-Used minced garlic instead of cloves, still got the job done. 
-Used a can of corn instead of wasting half a bag of frozen corn, did not ruin everything.

{What You Do}

::Preheat your oven to 375ºF. 
::Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

::Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cool water for at least two minutes. Drain.  
(This is probably the most annoying part of the meal prep.  Does anyone else struggle with the qunioa getting everywhere?! Is there some secret trick that I don't know about?!) 

::In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil on medium-high heat. 
::Add quinoa  - stir for about one minute. The quinoa should begin to dry out and pop a bit. 
::Add the chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil. 
::Turn the heat down to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. 
::Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

::While the quinoa is chillin, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. 
::Add onions and peppers, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. 
::Add garlic and zucchini (and celery, if you're into that kind of thing) and cook 3 more minutes.

::Fluff the quinoa with a fork and place it in a large bowl. 
::Mix everything in with the quinoa 
::(NOTE - MAKE SURE YOU DRAIN THE DICED TOMATOES.  I forgot to and my bake was a little runnier than I would have liked.)
::Mix together and transfer to the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes 
::Top with cheese and bake for 10 minutes more or until the cheese has melted and is just beginning to brown.

::This makes a good amount of food, so now I have left overs for days! Which I am definitely not complaining about it, makes my lunches so much easier to plan. 

::Last note - since there is a little bit of prep work on top of the baking time and if you're a grandma like me and have a bed time of 9:15pm, I would suggest starting this meal before 7:30pm.  Rookie mistake on my part. 

Cheers to Quinoa! 

<3 BB 


Erica said...

This fat kid is coming over when you make the Gnocchi! And I'm totally stealing this quinoa bake recipe - yum!

Jenn Pdx said...

I wanna see the "after"... this looks and sounds delicious!

Allison Jordan said...

This looks delicious! I want to try it!