Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cheesy Quinoa Bake

I was craving something cheesy, and got creative with some leftover quinoa. You NEED to make this!! It's only a few ingredients, and super easy to make. Plus, quinoa has an amazing nutrition profile. It is one of the only whole grains that can serve as a complete protein source (it is technically a seed, but it's lumped into the grain category because it cooks like one). This means it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that must be obtained from food (since the body cannot make them itself). Quinoa is also a great source of fiber and antioxidants, and is particularly high in magnesium, with 1 cup having about 30% of the RDA.

Fun Fact: Quinoa is pronounced keen-wa, not kwin-o-a

I haven't eaten this hot, but sliced it and ate it cold- it tastes like pizza!

Cheesy Quinoa Bake


Ingredients:

3 cups cooked quinoa
1 garlic glove, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups frozen spinach
3/4 cup Trader Joe's Lite Mozzarella Cheese (it's the only Lite brand I recommend- it melts and tastes the best!)
4 ounces fat free cream cheese
Salt
Pepper
Onion powder
Oregano

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 

2. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray and the 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Add the garlic and saute until soft.

3. Meanwhile, put the spinach on a plate and cook in the microwave (about 4 minutes). Add to the pan and saute for a minute or two. Add the quinoa, cream cheese, and spices. Cook until the cream cheese starts to melt (I mash mine a little with a spatula). Stir in half of the mozzarella cheese.

4. Spray a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the quinoa mixture and spread evenly in the dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese starts to get bubbly and golden!

Serves 4

Nutrition Information: 280 Calories,  8 grams Fat, 33 grams Carbs, 19 grams Protein