Quinoa Broccoli Casserole

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broccoli-600x899In my last couple of posts, I’ve been talking about how I’ve neglected my own health lately because I’ve been so busy trying to take care of everyone, run a business, homeschool and travel.

I hit rock bottom last week and in addition to losing it, I ended up sick.  As in, I haven’t been this sick in five years I want my mommy, sick.

The conclusion I came to is that I absolutely have to make myself a priority, otherwise I am good for no one.

Moms, we all fall into the rut of neglecting our own needs and we have to make a conscious decision to make our health a priority.  Even when it feels like we don’t have time.

Grabbing junk food because is easy isn’t going to cut it anymore.  I can’t skip my B12 shots.  And green just has to play a major role in my diet, so I’m going to suck it up and make the time to wash the juicer.

(Confession:  the only reason I don’t juice more is because I hate washing that dang juicer.)

Skye’s first birthday is Sunday and we are unexpectedly getting to spend it with family.  After this, we will have an 18 (yes, 18!!!) hour drive ahead of us.

I figure it will take a little time to recover from that, so my goal is that by April 15 to be 100% on track with the new plan, which is really just going back to what I know to do and what has helped me lose 45 pounds in the last year.

The focus isn’t just going to be on weight loss.  I’ve been known to crash off the weight, only to be left depleted and feeling lower than before.

That doesn’t solve much.  (Though I do hope to continue to shed the baby weight.)

Instead, I’m focusing on health.  Green smoothies and juice every day.  Wheatgrass shots as often as possible.  Kombucha and probiotics.  10,000 steps a day.  Exercise.   A high protein breakfast.  Huge salads for lunch.  And filling but healthy recipes like this one, brought to us by Miryam, of Eat Good 4 Life, for dinner.

I’d love for anyone who is interested to join me in what I am calling my Spring Shape up!

What works for you when you are feeling depleted?

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 386g

Calories per serving: 490

Fat per serving: 18.4g

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 1/2 cup vegetable stock, you can also use water
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 1 tsp celtic salt
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder, or (organic) cornstarch
  • 2 cups fresh organic spinach
  • 12 oz skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets
  • 3 green onions, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a 9x13 baking rectangular dish place the quinoa and green onions. On the meantime, place the broccoli in a large bowl and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Set aside. My microwave is not very powerful so this is how long I did it for without the broccoli getting mushy. If you have a powerful microwave you may need just 3 minutes as it will continue to bake in the oven for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, with a wire whisk, mix the vegetable stock, pesto, arrowroot powder and salt. Heat mixture until boil. You can do this on your stove top or microwave. I used my microwave.
  4. Add the vegetable stock to the quinoa followed by the spinach, Parmesan and 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Take the quinoa casserole out of the oven and mix in the broccoli. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the quinoa and broccoli and place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. If you like you can add more Parmesan cheese over the top as well.
  5. I place my casserole under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the top but this is just optional. Serve while still warm.

Notes

Servings 6, Serving Size 386g, Calories 490, Fat 18.4g, Carbohydrates 52.2g, Protein 30.4g, Cholesterol 47mg, Sodium 616mg, Potassium 679mg, Fiber 7.5g, Sugars 3.3g, WW Pts 9

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Miryam Quinn Doblas is a clinical dietitian that strives to eat fresh, local, and organic as much as possible. Making all meals from scratch allows her to increase the nutrition quality. Through her food blog she shares healthy, easy, budget friendly and unique recipes for everyone to enjoy. Her ultimate goal is to inspire people to start cooking healthier so that they can live a longer and happier life. Miryam currently lives in NJ with her husband and two kids.
Website: Eat Good 4 Life
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Cheesy Chipotle Chili Quinoa Casserole

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Cheesy Chipotle Chili Quinoa Casserole|CookingQuinoa.net
This week, I’ve been in the kitchen with the boys. Now for most of you, cooking with your children probably isn’t such a big deal. It’s simply part of good parenting that as they get older you teach them how to cook and how to be somewhat self sufficient in the kitchen. (As appropriate for their ages, of course!)

My nine year old, Alex, is absolutely fascinated by what I do.  One of his favorite ideas of mom time is to watch Iron Chef together.

And not just because he gets to stay up late.

He says he wants to be a chef when he grows up. (I’m pretty sure it is because he knows I cook for a living and he doesn’t really understand what his Dad does.)   But still, he is definitely interested cooking.

He asks me all the time if he can help me in the kitchen.  Because if he helps me, little brother will want to too and because the two of them together are all boy and turn cooking into a competitive sport,  I usually find a reason to put them off.

I know, bad parenting.  Really bad parenting.

I justify it by saying that I’m working, but the truth is that I have been spread too thin since Skye came along and I haven’t always done the best at getting them what they need and deserve.

The other day, it hit me like a ton of bricks that in another couple of years I may have missed the chance to teach Alex to cook because he will no longer want to spent time with me like he does now.

So this week I decided to do something about it.

It’s been really fun having their help, and believe it or not the kitchen even survived.  (Though I may have had to call for back up when it came to cleaning up. :))  One of my favorite memories will forever be them helping me make their favorite from scratch Mac n Cheese and then being in awe of themselves that they actually made it because it was SO GOOD.

I don’t know why I am sharing all of this, but maybe one of you has been putting off something you know you need to do with your little ones and needs to be inspired to take action.    As busy as I thought I was, I didn’t realize how badly the guilt was impacting me every time I said “not today”.  I didn’t realize how happy working together in my favorite space was going to make us all.

 

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Some day I hope that their are four of us in the kitchen. With Skye toddling around and making messes. I hope I can always remember how quickly it all goes, and the extra work of cooking with little ones is always worth it.

Cheesy Chipotle Chili Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 339

Fat per serving: 15.1g

Cheesy Chipotle Chili Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 ounces diced turkey bacon or tempeh bacon
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 ¼ cups unsweetened milk of choice
  • 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a large skillet with olive oil spray and heat to medium high. Add onion, pepper and bacon and cook for eight minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Stir in minced chile, adobo sauce, flour, chili powder, paprika, cumin and sea salt. Cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk and cook until thick and bubbly, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk and scraping up brown bits from the pan. Reduce heat to low and slowly add in 4 ounces of cheese and cilantro. Add quinoa and stir well. Transfer to an 11 x 7 backing dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 339, Fat 15.1g, Carbohydrates 33.6g, Protein 17.6g, Cholesterol 44mg, Sodium 549mg, Fiber 4.2g, Sugars 6.9g, WW Pts 9

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Cheesy Tomato Quinoa Casserole

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cheesy-tomato-quinoa-casserole
When the boys were babies, it often felt like time stood still. The days were oh-so-long and blurred together in a sea of diapers, crying and messes. I had the sense that things were always going to be just like they were right then. Mercifully that wasn’t the case – just remembering having a 1 year old and a 2 year old is enough to make me appreciate how simple things are now.

I’ve said this many times before, but everything is so different with Skye. The days are filled with laughter and more joy than work. I have two amazing little helpers that are just as in love as I am. The hard part? I am trying to hold on to each moment, yet have never been through a time where it felt like things were going so quickly.

While I love all the new things, (she’s starting to sit, she loves to play peek-a-boo!) it’s also sad. This is my last time down this path. My last chance to snuggle a sleeping baby fresh from the bath and hear those little baby noises. She’s not always going to look at me like I hung the moon. It feels like I’m going to blink and have a toddler talking to me. While I’m so excited to hear her little voice and learn more about who she is going to be, I also want to freeze the now.

This week we took an impromptu trip to Carter’s instigated by my husband, who loves to see his little princess all dressed up and also loves how much I have fun dressing her. I found myself tearing up in the middle of the store as I looked at a tiny newborn dress and realized how big she is now. (Wearing 9 months size!) I am not one to be sentimental. I forget my own anniversary, I never save anything. I’m still kind of embarrassed when I think about it.

But there you have it. My late life baby brings out things inside me I didn’t know were there.

Yesterday we took the boys to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (which was cute), and about half way in the middle of the movie Skye stuck my finger in her mouth. Would you believe she is cutting not one but two teeth? Teeth! The boys didn’t have teeth until they were 8 months old. I’m not ready for teeth.

I’ll stop now, since you guys came here for food.

I love everything about this casserole. It’s pure kid friendly comfort food that is perfect for the cooler weather. (Which I’m not actually experiencing but I’m guessing most of you are.) It can be made ahead and frozen either before or after cooking!

Have you ever wanted to freeze time?



Cheesy Tomato Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Cheesy Tomato Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, died fine
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed), rehydrated and diced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan , divided
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese, tofu ricotta or cashew ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten ( optional)
  • 5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 ounces Havarti cheese, diced (or Daiya Havarati)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Spray a large skillet with olive oil and add onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add sun dried tomatoes, thyme, red pepper and diced tomatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile add 1 cup of Parmesan, ricotta, parsley and egg in a large bowl. Add quinoa and stir well.
  4. Add tomatoes to the quinoa mixture and toss until combined. Transfer to prepared dish and top with remaining Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is browned.

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 395, Fat 17.1g, Carbohydrates 37.4g, Protein 24.6g, Cholesterol 65mg, Sodium 541mg, Fiber 5.9g, Sugars 7.8g

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Baked Breakfast Quinoa

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Today we have Morgan from Peaches, Please here to share a great breakfast recipe with us!

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Hello Internet Friends!

I’m Morgan from Peaches, Please and I’m super excited to be a guest blogger on Cooking Quinoa! I’m a recovering attorney turned food blogger in Atlanta, Georgia (thus, the name of my blog) and am mildly obsessed with food (clearly), kitchen tools, photography, ABC family dramas, Doctor Who, singing show tunes when no one is around, Wyoming, seeing how long I can let my lawn grow before I have to cut it, and sea otters.

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I also have a crazy, naughty welsh terrier named Gus. He alternates between being my sweet cooking buddy and crafty master food thief. I blog about all kinds of food, both sweet and savory. Sometimes healthy, super indulgent at other times…I basically blog about what I cook for myself and then write about life, the universe and everything.

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So I’ve had a vague notion of what quinoa was for a long time, but only started really cooking it about two years ago. I really started paying attention to quinoa when a smoking hot guy made it for me. Later on I learned all the good nutritional stuff about it but, let’s be serious, I started cooking with quinoa because of that super cute guy. Since then I’ve found other incentives to cook with quinoa, including all that aforementioned nutritional stuff and the fact that my neighbor (aka test-taster) went gluten-free. I love feeding people and since my neighbor can’t eat the glutenous stuff, I find myself trying to make more food that she can eat.

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The dish I’ve made for you happens to be among those neighbor-friendly recipes: a Baked Breakfast Quinoa. The thing I really like about this dish is that it’s versatile. Not only can you change it up by using whatever dried fruit and nuts you prefer, you can also eat it in three different ways. It’s delicious right out of the oven when it’s all soft and hot, but it chills well and will keep in the fridge for several days. Once the dish has cooled, you can cut it into chunks and either take a chilled square with you to eat on the run or, my personal favorite, crumble it into a bowl, pour milk over it and eat it like cold cereal. I’ve never been able to eat boxed cereal for breakfast because I’m a grumpy hungry mess about 30 minutes later, but eating the chilled quinoa as “cereal” keeps me full and happy.

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So I hope you enjoy this Baked Breakfast Quinoa as much as I do and that you drop by Peaches, Please sometime to say hi! Cheers!

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Baked Breakfast Quinoa

Rating: 51

Yield: 10 servings

Calories per serving: 328

Fat per serving: 9g

Ingredients

  • 2 C White Quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Seed, ground
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/3 cup Pecans, ground
  • 2/3 C Brown Sugar (see note)
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon?1 tsp Salt
  • ¾ C Dried Fruit (Golden Raisins & Dried Cherries)
  • 3 Eggs, large
  • 3 ½ C 2% Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Apple, cored, peeled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and butter a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Soak the quinoa in water for at least 5 minutes and then thoroughly rinse. Combine the quinoa with 2 ¾ C of water and ½ tsp salt in a pot and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cover and reduce the heat. Cook for another 10 minutes and then remove from the heat. The quinoa may not be fully cooked at this point, which is fine because it will be cooked again in the oven. If there is any excess water, strain it out and discard. Let the quinoa sit, fluffed and uncovered, to cool for a while.
  3. Combine the nuts, dried fruit, remaining salt, cinnamon, chia seeds and flax seeds in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the liquid to the fruit and nut bowl and stir well. Stir in the cooled quinoa and pour the entire thing into the prepped baking dish. Lastly, sprinkle the top of the quinoa with the chopped apples.
  5. Cover the dish and bake in the 350° F for 30 minutes. Remove the cover from the dish and continue to cook until the middle has set; approximately another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the dish to a rack to cool. If you’re in the mood for some immediate goodness, go ahead and scoop yourself a nice helping after the dish has cooled for a bit. Otherwise, chill it and then cut into squares, or wait to scoop some chilled quinoa into a bowl with some milk for breakfast.
  7. Bon Appétit!

Notes

Servings 10, Calories 328, Fat 9g, Carbohydrates 51.3g, Protein 11g, Cholesterol 56mg, Sodium 299mg, Fiber 8.1g, Sugars 21.3g, WW Pts 8

Wendy's Note: For those who prefer an unrefined sugar alternative I recommend Muscavado Sugar

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Chicken & Quinoa Casserole

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Guess what? Cooking Quinoa is getting a whole new look!

Of course, I have absolutely no technical skills and the hubby is busy with his own stuff, so it may be sometimes in 2014 before it happens. (Kidding….I hope…)

I’m really excited by what I have planned – its going to be a lot more visual, less cluttered and if I play my cards right the pop up will only show once. (Something I’ve wanted for a long, long time.)

Unfortunately when you’ve got almost 400 recipes, a complete overhaul is easier said than done. There are multiple recipe plugins that I’ve used along the way, posts with no pictures from the early days and some serious database issues.

Since this is such a big undertaking, I thought I’d ask for your help so I can get it right the first time.

Do you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see in the new site?

Obviously I know the pop up is an issue. But beyond that, what would help make it more user friendly for you? Categories you’d like to be able to search by?

Leave me a comment with any suggestions you might have.

Thanks so much!

Chicken & Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 300

Fat per serving: 9.4g

Chicken & Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 5 cups chopped cooked chicken or Beyond Meat Chicken Strips
  • 3 cups cream of celery soup (I used this recipe)
  • 16 ounces Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 3 quart casserole dish with olive oil.
  2. Spray a skillet with olive oil and heat to medium. Add onion and celery and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a large bowl and add quinoa and chicken. Toss well to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together cream of celery soup, yogurt, milk, sea salt and pepper. Add to quinoa and chicken mixture and toss well to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 300, Fat 9.4g, Carbohydrates 14.7g, Protein 38.6g, Cholesterol 96mg, Sodium 1364mg (using canned soup), Fiber 1.3g, Sugars 6.g

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Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Casserole (& A Hair Crisis)

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I have a great casserole for you, but before you can have the recipe I need to whine a bit.

(Ok, not really…just scroll down to skip the whining. Hmph!)

I try to keep things light and positive around here, but right now I am in crisis.

No not a serious problem in a true life sense, but a serious problem to me nonetheless. It’s a hair crisis!

I just got THE WORST haircut I have ever had in my life.

You know how normally when you get a bad haircut your family lies and tells you it doesn’t look that bad? The husband says you are overreacting and gives you that “You must be hormonal” look. Yeah,um, this time the husband commented that you should be able to sue for something this bad, my mother said “I’m so sorry” and both boys said “I don’t like it Mama.” (Normally they don’t even notice.) Even the baby is looking at me weird.

The timing couldn’t be worse given that I’m still carrying an extra 30 pounds and my ego is at an all time low. In addition to being way heavier than I’d like, my hair is now a full four inches shorter than I asked for it to be cut. With two inch layers. As you may know, straight fine hair does NOT go with short layers. Oh, and I am now sporting white blond highlights that I most definitely did not ask for.

I’m a wash and wear kind of girl and now I have to spend 30 minutes trying to calm these crazy layers so that it doesn’t look like I stuck my hand in an electrical socket. Even then, the results are abysmal. I see hat shopping in the very near future.

I share this not merely because I need to whine and get sympathy (though both are true) but because surely at least one of you has had your hair cut way, way too short and knows of some natural remedy to get it growing quickly. Vitmains? Potions? Spells? Really, I’m desperate. Please leave me a comment if you have any suggestions.

Ok, now that recipe I promised you. Unlike my haircut, both hubby and I really enjoyed this one. Really, the photos don’t do it justice but I promise it is a keeper!

Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 75 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 295

Fat per serving: 11.7g

Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 roasted red peppers, diced
  • 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces cottage cheese OR blended silken tofu
  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese or Vegan Parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Daiya, divided
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten OR ¾ cup blended silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a large skilled with olive oil and heat to medium. Add onion and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Add roasted pepper, spinach, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook until spinach is heated through.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in cottage cheese, yogurt, quinoa, parmesan and ¾ cup cheddar. In a small bowl whisk together eggs (or tofu) and flour and add to vegetable mixture.
  4. Transfer mixture into a lightly greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish. Top with remaining ¼ cup cheddar and bake for 45 minutes.

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 295, Fat 11.7g, carbohydrates 24.7g, Protein 24.6g, Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 835mg, Fiber 3.8g, Sugars 3.7g

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Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole (& My Gluten Sensitive Baby)

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italian-zucchini-quinoa-casserole

 

I feel like we haven’t talked in forever!

I’ve been a little busy.

You know, hanging out with her:

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Pretty cute, huh? (If I do say so myself)  I had planned to get back to blogging on at least a semi-regular basis last week, but we’ve been having a bit of a rough time.

It seems that my little princess is gluten sensitive.   For the first six weeks of her life, Skye was an amazingly happy baby.  Of course she fussed.  As I’ve tried to explain to the boys  – who both think that the world is coming to the end any time she makes an unhappy sound – all babies fuss.   But Skye never cried without there being some reason that was relatively easy to figure out.

A little over a week ago all that changed.  She cried.  For hours.  And went from sleeping one 4-5 hour stretch to not sleeping more than two hours at a time. And not napping more than 15 minutes at a time.

It was miserable and I was completely baffled as to what might be going on.  More than anything I just wanted my happy girl back.

Of course I considered my diet.  I cut out garlic and cabbage and tried to figure out what else it could possibly be.  Too many vegetables?  Too many beans?  I was driving myself crazy.

Sunday morning it was so bad that I send hubby to the farmer’s market without me.  The week before we’d had an amazing family day out and I was really wanting him to get some more of the simply amazing gluten free sandwich buns we’d gotten.

Before he left I casually mentioned that he really should verify that the bread was gluten free because it was just so darn delicious.  I was joking.  Of course it was gluten free, I’d purchased it from a vendor while standing underneath their very large gluten free bread sign.

As it turns out it wasn’t .  Apparently, I’d picked up the only bread that they sold that wasn’t gluten free.   And I’d eaten it just about every day for a week.  (I wasn’t feeling good either and my skin was a wreck but I attributed that to 7 weeks of no sleep and exhaustion.)

When he came home and told me, it occurred to me that I had my answer as to what had been going on, but honestly I was doubtful.  Neither of the boys have ever shown signs to gluten sensitivity, though Alex did have colic for about 5 months which was strikingly similar to what I’d been experiencing in the last week.

Still, I vowed to be very vigilant of every bite that went into my mouth going forward and crossed my fingers that it would at least help a little.

Miraculously, my happy girl slowly reappeared about 36 hours after her last exposure to gluten.  And she’s been happy for the last 5 days straight!  We had an amazing weekend, though I’m pretty sure I annoyed Vincent by saying “I’m just so happy that was the issue”  at least once an hour.

Looking back, I have to wonder if Alex suffered from a food sensitivity too.  Obviously beating myself up over that isn’t productive, so let’s talk food!

Today’s Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole is a super easy weeknight meal.  It’s an easy one to play around with too, so feel free to add meat, tofu or tempeh or substitute other vegetables.  (Sauteed spinach would be good too!)

 

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Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole (& My Gluten Sensitive Baby)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 56 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 6 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 307

Fat per serving: 11.8g

Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole (& My Gluten Sensitive Baby)

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 3 zucchini, sliced and cut into half moons
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano (or ¾ teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella or Daiya Shreds
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Vegan Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a skillet well with olive oil and heat to medium. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Remove zucchini from skillet. Res-pray skillet and add onion. Cook for 8 minutes. Add garlic and quinoa and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring often. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini. Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9 baking pan. Sprinkle with cheeses and bake for 30 minutes.

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 307, Fat 11.8g, Carbohydrates 35g, Protein 18.7g, Cholesterol 32mg, Sodium 802mg, Fiber 6.9g, Sugars 9.2g

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Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

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It goes without saying that the last (almost) six weeks have been chaotic for our family. I’m not sure anything can prepare you for the sleep deprivation and fatigue that comes along with the blessing of a new baby.

Even having done it twice before.

It’s kinda like child birth. The memory of how hard it was fades and all that is left is how beautiful it was.  I knew I was going to be tired, but I’d forgotten just how tired.

For the record, I’m not complaining. I know that someday in the future I will again be able to form a coherent sentence, and that the dark circles under my eyes will fade. I’ll stop putting the ice cream in the pantry and trash bags in the freezer. (True story.) When my youngest son asks me what 23 + 9 is, his question won’t always be met with a blank stare followed by his brother answering before I can even digest what it is that he is asking me.

It’s temporary and the flame is most definitely worth the candle.

I am still enjoying every single precious second. Even when those seconds happen to take place at 3 am. And 4 am. And 5 am.  (Baby girl did not get the good-sleep-at-an-early-age-gene.)

The boys have adapted well too, though one thing I hadn’t fully considered is how the demands of a baby were going to impact them. I think when Christian came along it wasn’t such a big deal because Alex was still a baby himself.  I vaguely remember Alex pouting with me for a couple of months.  (Now Christian pouts with Alex because Alex is obsessed with his sister and C wants his favorite playmate back!)

It’s not all bad and in fact in some ways I think its good for them. They are learning to take care of themselves in ways that they should have years ago. I’ve established a “snack cabinet” in the house filled with things they don’t have to ask if it is OK to eat so that they never have to wait for me to finish nursing to get them something.  (I’d done this before and for some idiotic unknown reason didn’t keep up with it.)  Their daily around the house “to do lists” have been re-instituted and (strangely) met with great enthusiasm.

Seeing the impact of a chronically exhausted mom & dad had on the boys has also led to some new decisions.

Our family is location independent and we had planned to spend the first few months in the Colorado mountains, but after a couple of weeks it was clear that it wasn’t the best decision for right now. Skye’s been battling a little congestion and the weather was crazy cold.  Who takes their newborn out in this?

from-the-deck

So, in a move that left me more than a little exhausted, we decided to ditch the cold weather and head to a warmer climate where Skye and I wouldn’t feel so housebound and the boys could enjoy letting off a little steam via the pool without having to wait for Mom and Dad to have the energy to actually take them somewhere.

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So far it’s working out great, though we had a bit of a scare after we got here. More on that later – I’ve rambled enough for one day and it is time to talk food.

Today’s offering is another casserole.  This one is so yummy and is so easy to put together that I managed to make it and get the kitchen clean all in a single cat-nap. Score!

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Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 254g

Calories per serving: 279

Fat per serving: 6.9g

Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup cottage cheese OR silken tofu
  • ¾ cup (vegan) sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 6 ounces chopped baby spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 ounces water packed artichokes, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup Gruyere cheese or Daiya Harvarti

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with olive oil.
  2. In a blender, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a skillet with olive oil. Add onion and cook for 8 minutes. Add garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Add artichokes and quinoa and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the cottage cheese/tofu mixture. Stir well and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes longer. Serve warm.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 279, Fat 6.9g, Carbohydrates 32.8g, Protein 20.3g, Cholesterol 74mg, Sodium 456mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 2.2g

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Spicy Sausage Quinoa Polenta Bake

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spicy-sausage-quinoa-polenta-bake-4In my book, casseroles are one of God’s gifts to mom’s.

Few things feel better than knowing that dinner is already made in the fridge or freezer.

I love having the answer when hubby asks “Thoughts on dinner?”.

I also love knowing that even though life is more than a little crazy right now we aren’t relying completely on packaged and processed foods.

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Though this casserole took a little bit of time, it was worth it for me because I was able to divide it into two separate casserole dishes and freeze one. It was amazing to be able to pull it out of the freezer and know that I didn’t have to think about dinner.

More baby snuggles for me! :)

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What do you rely on to stay sane when things are busy?

Spicy Sausage Quinoa Polenta Bake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 90 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 12 servings

Calories per serving: 362

Fat per serving: 10.6

Spicy Sausage Quinoa Polenta Bake

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 8 ounces tempeh sausage or sausage of choice
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 ounces marinara
  • 6 cups spinach, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt OR vegan sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 ¼ cups polenta
  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 8 ounces smoked provolone , grated or Daiya Shreds

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet to medium and spray with olive oil. Add sausage, onion, jalapeno and pepper and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until sausage is browned. If using meat based sausage, drain off fat. Stir in marinara and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Spray a separate skillet with olive oil and add spinach, garlic and rosemary. Cook until spinach is wilted.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together Greek yogurt, milk, wine and salt. Add to spinach and cook for 10 minutes, until mixture is thickened.
  4. In a large saucepan bring broth, water and Italian seasoning to a bowl. Slowly add cornmeal, whisking constantly. Add quinoa and stir well. Return to boiling and reduce heat to low. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Spray a 3 quart dish with olive oil. Spread ½ of the sausage mixture on the bottom. Spread half of the quinoa polenta mixture over the sausage, working quickly to avoid the mixture becoming overly thick. Top with spinach and half of the cheese. Spread remaining quinoa polenta mixture and top with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes prior to serving.
  7. Alternatively, allow to cool completely and cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze for one month. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove plastic wrap and recover with foil Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for 30 more minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

Servings 12, Calories 362, Fat 10.6g, Carbohydrates 48.1g, Protein 17.6g, Cholesterol 14mg, Sodium 1188mg, Fiber 3.5g, Sugars 19.5g

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Quinoa, Spinach & Sausage Breakfast Casserole

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Once upon a time, casseroles weren’t nearly as interesting to me as they are now.

Not that I didn’t like them – because who doesn’t love a good casserole? I just didn’t realize that making foods ahead of time and having a stocked freezer could be so…life changing.

The truth is that while I’d love to say that I’m always on top of things, I’m just as prone as everyone else to reach for something unhealthy when I’m too tired to cook.  (Chocolate covered almonds, anyone?) And given that my cravings have been anything but healthy lately, I need all the help I can get when it comes to making sure I’m eating well.  Having a fridge and freezer stocked with meals that don’t require any preparation has become critical to my success.

Though I’ve been on a bit of a quinoa and/or oatmeal for breakfast kick lately, at heart I’m still a savory breakfast girl.  But, even in the best of times cooking first thing in the morning just isn’t my thing.

It interrupts my need to sit over a cup of coffee, snuggle the boys and talk to the hubby.

For those days when something sweet-ish just isn’t doing it, I’ve started keeping breakfast casseroles on hand.

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I love it because I can freeze them either before or after cooking and they are easily divided up into smaller portions if the mood strike me.  I’ve even served this one for dinner and no one was complaining.

As I mentioned a week or so ago, I’m a little obsessed with tempeh sausage (recipe link below) but any sausage will do. If you are vegetarian/vegan and not gluten free, field roast sausage would be great here.

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Quinoa, Spinach & Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 364

Fat per serving: 21.3g

Quinoa, Spinach & Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 16 large eggs OR 16 ounces organic silken tofu
  • 1 cup milk or almond milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 8 ounces breakfast sausage OR tempeh sausage, browned
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese OR Daiya shreds
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk together and set aside. Alternatively, if using tofu combine tofu, milk, salt and pepper in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Spray a large oven safe pan with olive oil. Add onion and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Add sausage and cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir onion mixture with cooked quinoa and spinach. Pour egg or tofu mixture over and then top with cheeses.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 364, Fat 21.3g, Carbohydrates 16.5g, Protein 28.2g, Cholesterol 396 mg, Sodium 819mg, Fiber 2.0g, Sugars 3.2g, WW Pts 10

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Cheesy Green Chile Quinoa Casserole

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Cheesy-Green-Chile-Quinoa-Casserole2Today I ordered all of the “preparing for birth” supplements recommended by my midwife.  When I sat down to do it it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but by the time I was done reading all of the reviews and figuring out which ones to get I had a freak out moment.

Oh my, this is really happening.

Not only am I really going to have a new little person to take care of soon, but, um…I’m going to have her naturally.  That will be a first for me and I can’t say that I’m not a little nervous.  Everyone always says I have a really high pain tolerance but I’m kinda feeling like a little girl about the whole thing.  Instead of reading everything I can and really getting myself mentally prepared (which is my normal course of action) I’m digging deep into my Southern roots a la Scarlett O’Hara and saying:

“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Any tips from you natural birth pros out there for getting prepared?

In the food world, my obsession with casseroles and freezer cooking continues. 

This dish is a new favorite of mine and will be my go-to protein bomb for the rest of my pregnancy.   It’s amazingly easy and I put it together start to finish in less than 15 minutes.   I liked it so much that before I was done eating the first plate I added the ingredients to my next grocery shopping list.

It’s a good one to play with and you could always add in black beans, tempeh or chicken if you wanted to change things up a bit.  You do want to make sure that you chop your onion really fine, otherwise it will be a little crunchy, even after it bakes. (Unless crunchy onions are your thing.)

Cheesy Green Chile Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8

Calories per serving: 242

Fat per serving: 10.9g

Cheesy Green Chile Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 16 ounces non-fat plain Greek Yogurt OR (vegan) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar OR Daiya shreds, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 ounces chopped green chiles
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch baking dish with olive oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine yogurt and milk. Add quinoa, 1 1/2 cups cheese, onion, green chiles, jalapeno, cumin, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. May be frozen prior to baking. Thaw dish in the refrigerator. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until heated through.

Notes

Serves 8 (as a side dish), Calories242, Fat 10.9g, Carbohydrates 18.7g, Protein 16.6g, Cholesterol 34mg, Sodium 378mg, Fiber 1.7g, Sugars 4.1g

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Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

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BroccoliQuinoaCasserole3The further I get into this pregnancy, the easier I need things to be.

My current obsession is freezer cooking.

Nothing feels any better than knowing that I’ve got a few meals tucked away for those nights where I just don’t have the energy to do much other than whine about how bad I feel and beg for a foot rub.

I’m not really sure why this has never been something I’ve explored before. Maybe it is because I associate the term “freezer cooking” with unhealthy casseroles packed with processed ingredients and no nutritional value. Or maybe it is because in the past I’ve made a few “healthy” freezer meals that remained in the freezer until frostbite took over and they had to be thrown away.

Either way, in the last few weeks I’ve discovered that you can make nutritious make ahead dishes that are also tasty enough that you not only motivated but excited to pull them out of the freezer and cook them.

Thanks to reader suggestions on my Facebook page, I’ve started making many of these dishes with quinoa.

This Broccoli Quinoa Casserole has become one of my favorites!  I like doubling it and cooking one that night and freezing the second.   I also make four batches of the cream of celery soup so that I have it in the freezer to use for other recipes.  (It’s great in hash brown casserole and anywhere else that you would normally use canned soup!)

If you are entertaining or have a potluck, you can also make this casserole a day ahead and bake it just prior to serving.

I’m looking forward to one day having a packed freezer and looking forward to when I can say goodbye to  the daily stress of figuring out what is for dinner.

Do you have any freezer cooking tips you would like to share?

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Yield: 8

Calories per serving: 254

Fat per serving: 15g

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped broccoli
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked)
  • 2 cups Cream of Celery Soup (see below)
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese OR Daiya Shreds, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss together broccoli and quinoa in a large bowl. Add cream of celery soup, ground mustard, cayenne pepper and ¾ cup of shredded cheese. Toss well and transfer to a 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with remaining ¾ cup of cheese and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Notes

Make Ahead: This dish may be made ahead and frozen prior to baking. If making ahead, steam the broccoli for 8 minutes prior to tossing with the quinoa. (This will preserve the color when frozen.) Allow the casserole to thaw out overnight in the refrigerator and bake for 45 minutes.

Servings 8, Calories 254, Fat 15g, Carbohydrates 19.7g, Protein 11.6g, Cholesterol 23mg, Sodium 522mg, Fiber 3.4g, Sugars 1.4g

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Cream of Celery Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Makes 2 cups, may be doubled or tripled and frozen

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
  • ¼ cup toasted quinoa flour (or flour of choice)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parmesan)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in flour and whisk. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and begins to brown. Whisk in almond milk and vegetable broth. Cook, whisking frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.
  2. Stir in the celery, Parmesan cheese, onion powder, smoked paprika and sea salt. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool to use in a recipe or freeze in 2 cup portions for later use.
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Quinoa &White Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onions

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quinoacannellibeancasserole2One of the hardest things for me about living in a warm climate is waiting for fall.

Really, I love everything about fall. SEC football, sweaters, hot chocolate after a crisp walk and the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet.  Many happy memories of my childhood were spent jumping in the just raked leaf pile from the enormous oak tree in our front lawn.

Although fall is not here yet even according to the calendar, the reality is that my summer will go beyond what the calendar dictates.    We’ll go on swimming until after dark, wearing shorts and flip flops and complaining about how hot it is.

But that doesn’t stop me from bringing on the fall food.

I’m anxiously awaiting Gator football Saturdays, which for me is 15% about interest in the game and 85% about fun hanging out with the family eating football food.  (Especially this year.  If it gets really ugly I have classics recorded from the Tim Tebow years to enjoy with my yummy appetizers.)

I’ve  been threatening the husband with a pot of soup, an idea that he is less than receptive to in the heat.  Something crap about no sane person willingly eating hot soup when its 95+ degrees out.

So I’ll wait (a week or 2) on the soup, but I’m not waiting on casseroles.

Who doesn’t love the ease of putting a casserole together early in the day (or a day ahead) and popping it in the oven to enjoy the yummy gooey goodness?

This casserole is different enough to be fun and works great as a vegan main course or a side dish.  Pair it with a loaf of garlic bread and you’ve got a perfect fall meal.

 


Now – to wait for the weather to accompany it.

Are you seeing a hint of fall yet?

 

Inspired by Food Illustrated.

Quinoa & White Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onions

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6

Calories per serving: 349

Fat per serving: 7.5g

Quinoa & White Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 onions, peeled and sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 cups cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 cans)
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • ¾ cup grated white cheese (I used Daiya), divided
  • ½ cup non-dairy or low fat cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 2 ½ quart baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Heat oil to medium high in a Dutch oven. Add onions and salt and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Add wine and cook for about one minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Remove onions from heat and place in the prepared pan. (Leave any wine that hasn’t cooked off in the pan.)
  3. Add the cannellini beans, quinoa, vegetable broth and rosemary to the same Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer. Stir in ¼ cup of cheese and cream cheese. Stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and place the mixture over the onions in the baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and fresh ground black pepper if desired.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

Calories 349, Fat 7.5g, Carbohydrates 49.1g, Protein 16.6g, Cholesterol 2mg, Sodium 63.3 mg, Fiber 13.4 g, Sugars 3.7g.

Sodium may be reduced by cooking dried beans

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This post was featured in Wellness Weekend, Gluten Free Fridays, and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Zucchini and Quinoa Casserole

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zucchini-quinoa-casseroleThese days, cooking is the last thing I want to do on beautiful evenings when the boys are playing outside in the woods.   Watching (and hearing) boys be boys is just so…amazing.

Sticks become weapons or forts, (invisible) enemies are everywhere and imaginations run wild!

I must confess that it is bittersweet to see that my babies have turned into full fledged boys.

Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – watching them can’t be accomplished from the kitchen.  So unless I want to miss out on these precious moments, I have to plan ahead so I can be outside too.

For us, this has meant lots of make ahead meals like today’s Zucchini and Quinoa Casserole or the Enchilada Quinoa Casserole that I shared recently.  Luckily, no one seems to mind.

This casserole is extremely flexible and can be adapted to suit your tastes.  If you’d like to make it a little more filling try adding in cooked tempeh or sausage (I like Tofurkey) right before mixing in the cheese sauce. Also, you could skip the red and green pepper and just use all one! Even a frozen onion/pepper mixture would work just fine.

If you do make it ahead of time and the casserole is completely chilled, plan on cooking it for at least 20 minutes.

I just love dishes like this that free me up to enjoy the important things.

What do you enjoy this time of year?

Zucchini and Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Total Time: 43 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 385

Fat per serving: 19.3

Zucchini and Quinoa Casserole

This is a great main dish casserole that is easy to make ahead. If you would like to make it even heartier, try adding in 8 ounces of cooked tempeh or sausage.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ Green pepper, chopped
  • ½ Red pepper, chopped
  • 3 zucchini, shredded
  • 4 ounces chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons quinoa flour (or flour of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 8 ounces havarti cheese, shredded (any white cheese will work - I used Daiya Havarti)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (I used toffuti)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a medium skillet with olive oil and heat to medium. Add chopped onion and cook for five minutes. Add peppers and zucchini and cook for eight more minutes. Stir in green chilies, corn and cooked quinoa.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in flour. Cook for 3 minutes, until brown. Whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add cheese, cream cheese, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika and salt and cook until cheese is melted.
  4. Combine quinoa mixture with cheese sauce and top with additional cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

Calories 385, Fat 19.3g, Carbohydrates 46.8g, Protein 11.3g, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 624mg, Fiber 11.3g, Sugars 9.3, Weight Watchers Points Plus 10, Old Points 9

Note: If you are following Weight Watchers (or any diet) and want to reduce the points/calories stretch the dish to provide 10 servings and serve with a steamed vegetable. This will reduce the points plus to 8 and the calories to 308 per serving

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Enchilada Quinoa Casserole

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enchilada-quinoa-casseroleHappy Mother’s Day!

 

To all you Mom’s out there I wish you a restful day filled with love!

I am spending a quiet (and rainy) day with my three best boys.  Snuggles are the best Mother’s Day gifts of all, don’t you agree?  I’ll definitely be working the Mother’s day angle to get as many as I can.  Oh, and I’m not cooking today.  Well, other than making cookies and cinnamon bites with the boys, but that’s together time not work. :)

Today’s recipe wasn’t one I’d planned on posting just yet, but after sharing the picture on Facebook I decided to push it ahead of a few others I had planned.  It’s that yummy and best of all in addition to being quick and delicious this quinoa casserole can be made ahead of time.  Yep, perfect for you Mom’s out there!

I actually made mine in the morning and didn’t cook it until the afternoon. We weren’t actually ready to eat (but I needed to snap a photo) and it was heated up again later that night. It held up just fine to both making ahead and being reheated. Next, I’ll be testing this baby to see if it freezes well.

Enchilada Quinoa Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 casserole

Calories per serving: 323

Fat per serving: 9.3

Enchilada Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups refried beans (about one can)
  • 1 tablespoon butter ( I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons quinoa flour (or flour of choice)
  • 1 cup gluten free vegetable broth (or broth of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 4 corn tortillas (I use my quinoa corn tortillas)
  • ½ cup shredded pepper jack (I use daiya)
  • Sour cream, optional (I used tofutti)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil and add chopped onion. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until onion is tender. Add quinoa and cook for another few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to one minute, or until fragrant. Add flour and cook for 30 seconds whisking until well combined. Add vegetable broth, taco seasoning, nutritional yeast (optional), chipotle chili powder and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Reserve ½ cup of tomato mixture and add the remainder to the quinoa mixture.
  4. Spread ½ cup of refried beans on a tortilla and place in a pie plate or cake pan lined with parchment paper. (Lining with parchment is optional - if you don't spray well!) Top with ½ cup of quinoa mixture and a small sprinkle of cheese. Repeat layers, ending with a tortilla. Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla and top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Cut into four wedges. Top with sour cream if desired.

Notes

323 Calories
9.3 g Fat
48.6 g Carbohydrates
12.4 g Protein
9.3 g Fat
15 mg Cholesterol
820 mg Sodium (753 from refried beans - reduce by making your own)
10.4 g Fiber
3.2 g Sugar
8 Weight Watchers Points Plus
6 Previous Points

Variations: Add one jalapeño, seeded and diced to the sauce mixture prior to the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Use black beans instead of refried beans. (Mix with quinoa mixture.) Add 1 cup chopped chick’n to the quinoa mixture.
Notes: Nutritional yeast is added to add a bit a “cheesy” flavor, but it can be omitted, especially f you are using dairy cheese. This quinoa casserole can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. If you make it ahead, cook it covered with foil for 10 minutes and then uncover and cook 10 more minutes.

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Cranberry Apple Quinoa Casserole

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This is one of my favorite quinoa recipes when the weather gets cold. Most of the year I’d much prefer a light quinoa salad, but as the temperatures drop I really enjoy this hearty quinoa casserole! To me, it feels special enough for a holiday and reminds me of a very delicious rice stuffing.

The original inspiration for this recipe was a Vegetarian Times recipe for stuffed apples. I made it and we enjoyed it but I have found that though I like cooked apples I much prefer them cut up small. I will typically cube two of the apples and shred the other two.  If you want to try the stuffed apples, just make the filling stuff and bake.  For me, I really like the ease of a simple quinoa casserole.

One thing to note is that due to the time it takes to cook the rice, prep time is longer than with most quinoa recipes. I’ve found that I can make this ahead of time however and have it ready to pop into the oven when I’m almost ready to serve. It holds up well enough to make a day ahead of time and the leftovers are delicious!

By the way, if you haven’t already gotten it you can still pick up my new ebook, The Best of Cooking Quinoa for $4.99. It has over 300 pages of quinoa recipes all with nutritional data and with tons of photos. You can can get it along with Quintessential Quinoa, my ebook of all original recipes NOT on the website, for just $12.99.

Order one or both here. Through the holidays we will be offering gift options so this is a great way to give the gift of health.

Recipe inspired by Vegetarian Times

Cranberry Apple Quinoa Casserole

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup of wild rice
  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T fresh sage, chopped
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz low fat or non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 4 Red Delicious apples, chopped
  • ½ cup cheddar or vegan cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place quinoa in a medium bowl and cover with water to soak while rice begins cooking. Bring broth, salt and 2 cups of water to a boil. Add wild rice and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 50 minutes. After 45 minutes, place quinoa in a fine metal strainer, and rinse for five minutes. Add quinoa to rice mixture and cook for another 20 minutes or until the liquid has all absorbed. You will want to check and make sure that you do not need to add more broth.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in an oven safe saute casserole. Add onion and sage and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
3. Add cayenne and black pepper. Stir in quinoa mixture and cook until all liquid has absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese until blended. Add in cranberries and apples. If desired, top with white or yellow cheddar cheese.
5. Bake for 35 minutes. (If preferred, you can add cheese in the last 15 minutes.)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Calories: 336

Fat: 9.16

Protein: 8.94

Carbohydrates:56.75

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Recipe by Cooking Quinoa.

Vegetarian Burrito Recipe

vegetarian burrito recipe

I’ve always loved Mexican food and now that I’m a vegetarian that hasn’t changed a bit.  Today, I’ve got a great vegetarian burrito recipe that is easy to make and comes together much quicker than you would expect.  I actually made the filling ahead of time and then when I was ready to cook them it only took me about 5 minutes to put everything together and pop it in the oven.  This was my first go at adding quinoa to a burrito, and I was happy with the results.  When you think about it, people add rice to burritos all the time!Vegetarian Burrito Recipe

Since corn is in season, I used fresh but thawed frozen corn will work just as well.  If you do decide to go with fresh corn all you need to do is bring a pot of water to boil.  Add cleaned corn on the cob and boil for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly, then cut it off the cob.  If you have any extra it is great added to a tossed green salad.

Vegetarian Burrito Recipe

Now, if you are a vegan or lactose intolerant, don’t think this isn’t a great vegetarian burrito recipe for you too!  You could use vegan cheese, but if you aren’t in love with the idea that’s ok too.

I’m gearing up to start the 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart (if anyone wants to do it with me shoot me an email, leave me a message on Facebook or the website) which is going to require pretty significant changes in the way that I eat.  The idea behind it is that you can dramatically improve your health – and even reverse high blood pressure & cholesterol (Are you listening MOM?) – by sticking to a plant based diet and avoiding fat.  I’m not quite ready to start yet, but a happy medium for this dish for me was skipping the cheese and topping it with diced avocados, salsa and jalapenos.

This is a great vegetarian burrito recipe for those who are vegan but have family members who protest when you skip the cheese!

This recipe was inspired by a Fish Burrito Recipe in Clean Eating

Vegetarian Burrito Recipe

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • zest of one lime
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 T fresh cilantro
  • 6 whole wheat or gluten free tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan or regular cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • Diced jarred jalapenos (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine quinoa, lime juice, cayenne, cumin, garlic and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook covered for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in black beans and allow to sit covered for 5 more minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Add green onions, corn, lime zest, red peppers and cilantro to the quinoa mixture.  Salt and pepper to taste
  4. Fill tortillas with quinoa mixture and place them seam side down in a baking dish. Top with cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more.
  5. Top with salsa and diced jalapenos and enjoy!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Mexican

Variations:  I made a vegan version of this for myself without the cheese.  Instead of covering it with cheese I topped it with the salsa and diced avocados!

Calories: 359

Fat: 11.8

Protein: 16.9

Cholesterol: 30 mg (with cheese)

Sodium 517 mg

Carbohydrates 47.2 g

Fiber 7.4 g

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Recipe by Cooking Quinoa.

 

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese with Quinoa Pasta

healthy macaroni and cheese

Have you tried quinoa pasta?  If not, you are missing out!  This healthier alternative to regular pasta is also quite delicious!  Even my mom, who famously said “I’ll just have to get used to it” (talk about a rave review :))at a dinner party where I served whole wheat pasta likes it.

Now I know that when you think of quinoa recipes, macaroni and cheese is probably the last thing on you mind.

In this quinoa pasta recipe, I’ve adapted a healthier macaroni and cheese recipe.  Now, I love MY macaroni and cheese, but even with the adaptations it is still far from being healthy fair.  This recipe makes use of cauliflower to add bulk and creaminess!

I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Shells but you could use any other quinoa pasta as well.

A Few Notes on How to Cook Quinoa Pasta

First, make sure your water is at a full boil.  Add pasta and then a few teaspoons of salt.  The package says 7-9 minutes, but for me it takes closer to 9.  I’ve taken it off at 7 minutes and it was no where near done.  You need to test and see what works on your stove – it isn’t quite like white pasta where nothing can go wrong.  It’s not that cooking quinoa pasta is difficult, but you just need to pay a little more attentionIf you are not ready to toss with the sauce I recommend adding a few teaspoons of olive oil to prevent sticking.

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese with Quinoa Pasta

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6

Calories per serving: 404

Fat per serving: 18.3 g

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese with Quinoa Pasta

I must confess that I was very slow to adapt to quinoa pasta as a regular part of my diet. The first few times I prepare it I undercooked the pasta and the results were less than desirable. Since I'm planning on a quinoa pasta section in the new cookbook, I knew I had to get it right! I finally did and it was a huge hit at my house. Only my 5 year old didn't go for it and that was based on the fact that he smelled cauliflower, not how it tastes!

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 can evaporated whole milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1/2 tsp mineral sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 5 ounces muenster cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce fresh grated Parmesan (not canned!)
  • 4 cups cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 1 package shell quinoa pasta

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl beat egg. Add in evaporated milk, cayenne, sea salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.
  2. In a different bowl, combine 4 ounces muenster, cheddar and Parmesan.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Cook quinoa pasta according to package directions in the same water. (Tip : make sure you don't under cook! The package warns against overcooking but under cooking is bad too!)
  5. In an empty pot combine egg/milk mixture with the cheeses. Cook over medium low heat until the cheese melts. When the cheese is melted, add to food processor. Blend until smooth.
  6. Toss pasta with sauce.
  7. Place in a medium oven safe dish. Top with remaining 1 oz of muenster. Broil for 5 minutes.
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Do you have a favorite quinoa pasta dish that you would like to share –  If so, I’d love to hear from you!