Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Peruvian Baked Quinoa and Cheese

It's like a great familiar outfit with a fabulous new pair of shoes. :) Mmmm... this was a nice change from regular mac and cheese and it's gluten-free for those who are on GF diets. And if that's not enough to win your heart, check out all the superfoods!

I just read a little blurb in Vegetarian Times that gave me another reason to love quinoa! It has 8 essential amino acids and is a complete protein all by itself! I did also just read that vegetarians really don't have to worry about "complete proteins" but whatever.. This same blurb also stated that quinoa is high in antioxidant activity. Yeay for super foods! :)

I changed a few things from the original recipe so I'll mark those in purple.

Serves 4

1 tsp. olive oil (superfood!)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (original recipe called for 1/2 a medium leek, white and green parts, halved and sliced)
1/8 cup red onion (superfood!)
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (I used a mix of red, green, and yellow peppers)
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (I think of quinoa as a superfood!)
1 garlic clove, minced (superfood!)
1 1/2 cups water
1 large egg (some, myself included, would say eggs are a superfood!)
1/2 cup nonfat milk
3/4 cup grated cheese (I used sharp 1/2 C Cheddar, 1/8 C Parmesan, and 1/8 C mozzarella; original only called for Cheddar)
1 tomato, seeded and chopped (superfood!)

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onion, red onion, and bell peppers. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the quinoa and garlic. Cook, uncovered 3-4 minutes or until the quinoa grains turn opaque (pretty sure mine took a bit longer than that but I wasn't paying attention - trying to get DH's food done at the same time!)

2. Add 1 1/2 cups water, season with salt if desired. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 3-4 minutes more or until most of the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray (the one I used is about 9-inch x 6.5-inch - it's a ceramic Le Creuset thing/not marked!)
Whisk the egg and milk together in a large bowl. Fold in the quinoa mixture, tomatoes, and cheese. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, and bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and on top.

Reference: From the April 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine.


Liv422 said...

If you heart quinoa (as I'm seeing that you do!haha) I have a *great* recipe on my blog for quinoa salad with lentils and sundried tomatoes! Very filling, tasty and vegetarian! It's under my Vegeterian tag! :)

Ashlee Wetherington said...

I finally found quinoa in the grocery store, your recipe looks great, I'll have to give it a try!

Sherri said...

I made this tonight. It was really great! Even my 2 year old daughter loved it :)

mike said...

lol...several things that you've called "superfoods" on this list aren't actually considered superfoods, including tomatoes. But I'm assuming you're just being silly anyway? :p