Quinoa has become something we make just about once a week – high in protein and quick to make, it’s a great substitute for rice and even better as a side dish for those nights when you’ve forgotten to take the meat out of the freezer.
While we like quinoa, the girls tend to think it’s much more fun to play with – and cleaning it off the floor is just as much of a pain as cleaning cooked rice grains off the floor! This recipe makes the grains stick together (in a very tasty way!), making it easier for the girls to eat and much less of a hassle for cleanup.
The longest parts of this recipe are cooking the quinoa and baking the final product. You can cut down on the quinoa step by having it pre-cooked – I make quite a bit when I make it so that we can use it in other things throughout the week.
However, 15 minutes isn’t a huge deal, and that time can be spent chopping up veggies, since the quinoa pretty much cooks itself.
I’ve modified the recipe from the link above a bit for our tastes, and also to reflect the veggies we had on hand. You can skip the veggies or use just about anything you have on hand. Here’s what we used:
– 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
– 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
– 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
– 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
– 1/2 medium onion, chopped
– Progresso Garlic & Herb breadcrumbs*
– 2 large eggs
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 cup milk
– 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (we used mexican blend)
While cooking the quinoa (here’s my “special method”), preheat the oven to 350 degrees and chop up the veggies. Lightly saute them – just enough to get them started softening.
Next, whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl large enough to hold everything. Add in the veggies, quinoa and cheese – mix until everything is coated with the eggs.
Transfer to a greased baking dish of your choice – I used a 9×13 casserole dish and it was perfect. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
This recipe took me about 45 minutes from start to pulling it out of the oven, which is pretty impressive for me!
* If you need gluten-free, you can eliminate the breadcrumbs.