Tag Archives: quinoa

Quick meal #2: Cheesy Quinoa

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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.

AroundTheTableRI.blogspot.com

AroundTheTableRI.blogspot.com

Recently, I came across this Cheesy Quinoa recipe on Pinterest,  and thought this might be a good recipe to try out.

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.

My “special” quinoa recipe

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I like to call this a “special” recipe, but really it’s probably something most people with cooking skills would do anyway – but for those of you who are learning like me, I’ll share just in case!

Quinoa (with sweet potatoes)

Quinoa (with sweet potatoes)

If you’re wondering where to get quinoa, it’s getting much easier to find it. I’ve been buying ours from Costco, simply because the package is large and I don’t particularly care for grocery shopping, so I’d prefer to have enough to last me awhile.

Anyway, back to my recipe. Quinoa is made similarly to rice – the ratio of water to grains is 2:1. I like to make four cups of quinoa (cooked measurement) at a time so that I have enough for different recipes and meals. One cup of dried quinoa puffs up to four cups of cooked, so the recipe is pretty simple:

– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 cups water
– 2 chicken bouillon cubes*
– 1/4 cup dried onion flakes

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cover and set the timer for 15 minutes. Towards the end of the 15 minutes you may want to lift the lid to check – once the water is absorbed by the quinoa, it’s finished – and you don’t want it to burn.

*Alternately, instead of water and bouillon, you can just use 2 cups of chicken broth if you have that on hand. Some people prefer vegetable broth, and I’m sure you could use beef broth, but I like chicken the best so far. I like bouillon because it’s in a much smaller package than the carton broth that I would buy otherwise.

So, do you have to add onions and broth? Absolutely not. In fact, for some recipes (like breakfast cereals), you would just want to make it with plain water. I like to make it with the extras because it can then stand alone as a side dish if I’m feeling particularly lazy. For most dinner recipes, the extra ingredients just add to the flavor.