I’m getting ready to leave town for a little while to head home to see my family for the holidays. And I still have a large amount of produce from my CSA bin that is just dying for me to use it. So, I was trying to decide what I could make that would utilize some of the contents in my crisper drawer, which would allow for me to clear out some of the produce and make room for the new stuff I’m getting on Friday…which my roommate will have to take care of as I won’t be in town.
So, after a little bit of searching I ran across a recipe on a blog called Purely Twins, and I sort of based my own recipe off of the basis they laid down for theirs. I did a completely different sauce and chose very different vegetables…but the quinoa…that stayed the same.
I wasn’t too sure how this was going to turn out…but the end result was actually mighty tasty…and extremely healthy.
Recipe: Baked Quinoa Casserole with a Spicy Cheese Sauce
Time: Prep 20 minutes; Cook 30 minutes
- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chopped raw zucchini
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 2 handfuls kale
- 1-1/2 tablespoons butter (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
- 2 tablespoons flour (I used Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- pinch paprika
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the quinoa by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil. Add in 2 cups of dry quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, allowing to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is gone.
While the quinoa is cooking, make the sauce.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flour into melted butter, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute or until mixture is golden and lumpy.
Gradually whisk in the almond milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Add the cheese, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and paprika, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat.
Once the quinoa is ready and the sauce is made, grab a large bowl and pour your cooked quinoa into the bowl. Add the cheese sauce. Then put the freshly chopped vegetables into the bowl. Mix well so that the vegetables and quinoa are evenly dispersed.
Pour the mixture into a 9×13 glass pan and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the quinoa casserole is golden brown.
Serve and enjoy.
What can I say about this? For being something that I just took a concept from a blog…and then mixed up a sauce and threw it all together…the end result was really delicious and super healthy. Quinoa is packed with protein and combining it with fresh vegetables was a great way to boost the nutrition value of this meal. I was a big fan. And the spicy cheese sauce wasn’t overly spicy. It just gave enough of a little kick that you knew it was there.
Yeah…I’d make this again in a heartbeat.