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the haas machine: Crispy Quinoa Bake

Friday, March 22, 2013

Crispy Quinoa Bake

The first thing I want when we've been away from home is usually vegetables. Besides the comfort of our usual routine & our amazing bed, just normal vegetables are really what I crave. I don't know if your travel habits are like ours, but when we travel, we don't usually eat too healthy-- I mean, it's really hard to do & who can resist all those fun extra perks when you're on vacation (coffee? dessert? wine? convenience foods?) Don't even get me started on the food selections in airports! If I have to eat any more empty carbs, I think I will scream.

We ate quite a bit of healthy seafood when we were in Florida, & we did actually eat a lot of veggie sides, but after a 12-hour day of traveling & another monumental trip to Ikea, I was bound & determined to make something loaded with veggies, but something more filling that "just" salad. I was threatening John with a week of salad, but I know I wouldn't even be OK with that.

This recipe is so good for you- it's loaded with all kinds of veggies & I bet you can experiment a bit with whatever's in season to make it even more scrumptious. I bet some cubed butternut squash or sliced mushrooms would be quite nice. Plus there's quinoa & it's covered in cheese, so it's packed with the protein that will really, truly satisfy you for hours.

And it is mighty comforting, too. I'll admit that it's been a bit harder for me being back in Wisconsin than I thought it would be (um, there was a 70 degree temp difference when we landed in Minneapolis). I mean, it was nice for winter to hang around until we got back from Florida so that it could say goodbye & everything, but now it can stop the awkward lingering & just leave already. In the meantime, we will comfort ourselves with this warm, hearty, & savory crispy quinoa, turn up the heat & maybe listen to some youtube ocean videos & call it a date.

Crispy Quinoa Bake
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium)
1//2 chopped green pepper
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 cup cubed zucchini (about 2 small)
2 cups black beans
1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 lime, juiced
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
Cilantro (to top)
Greek yogurt (to top)

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer & rinse throughly. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa & cook, stirring, for about one minute. The quinoa should begin to dry out & pop a bit. Add the vegetable stock, stir & bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low & cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat & let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions & peppers & cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic & zucchini & cook for about 3 more minutes.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork & place it in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture, beans, green chiles, tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano, chili powder, lime juice, & salt to taste. Mix thoroughly & transfer to a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, top with cheese, & bake 10 minutes more or until melted & just beginning to brown. I usually like to broil it for a few minutes so the cheese starts to get just a bit crispy.

Serve with Greek yogurt & cilantro.

Adapted from The Live-In Kitchen



At March 22, 2013 at 8:39 AM , Anonymous Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen said...

I feel the same way! I ate one meal away from home yesterday and came home dying for a vegetable! I love how our bodies adapt to craving healthy food.


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